WARNING: This article includes spoilers for Game of Thrones season four.
When it comes to optimising for search engines, you have to review your site's performance on a regular basis, at least once a month.
As a web developer, I often come across clients who have invested a lot of time in optimising their site for search engines but stop optimising once their site appears on the first page of search results. This is a big no no. If your site is performing well in organic search then you have to keep that momentum going. It is a lot faster to lose your ranking than it is to gain it.
Some basic things to do are to monitor your site's traffic using Google Analytics. You can also check to see which search queries people are using to get to your site. Are there keywords which are underperforming? Could you optimise the landing pages for these keywords? Are there new keywords you could target?
The other thing to keep in mind is that search engines do change and revise their search algorithms so a strategy which was working well a few months ago may not perform as well anymore. I would recommend keeping up to date on the latest search engine news particularly around any major search algorithm updates.
The other mistake I see clients make is that once their organic search results are doing well, they invest all their time and resources in paid search results such as Google Adwords. Google Adwords is a great way for driving qualified traffic to your site but you cannot neglect your organic ranking. Also if your organic ranking goes down, it indicates that your landing pages need to be optimised for those keywords and as a side effect that can also lead to you having to pay more for CPC in Adwords to appear in the top positions.
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT
A recent episode of the Game of Thrones series (The Mountain and the Viper) is a good analogy for SEO. You can never let your guard down around big mountainous search engines, because if you do... they will grab and pound your site and crush it untill it explodes and all that remains is a sad sad shell of what was once a popular and much loved site!! R.I.P Viper :'( Okay, that was a bit extreme but you get my point.
So regardless of whether your site is ranking well or not in search engines, you will need to review your SEO strategies and site content on a regular basis. These reviews may seem time consuming but the results are worth the effort.
A shout out to all my Game of Thrones comrades! Can't wait for season five!