(Part of the series on Sun Tzu's ; The Art of War – from the SEO perspective.)
Sun Tzu said:
What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease. Hence his victories bring him neither reputation for wisdom nor credit for courage. He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.
As an SEO warrior, seek to employ greater strategic elements than the opponent(s). Be lean and nimble to capture opportunities (often hard for larger corporates). See the larger picture. When you do this you may seems to win with ease. To the observer you have done seemingly little but accomplished much. As noted in 1 translation;
Mei Yao-ch`en says: "He who only sees the obvious, wins his battles with difficulty; he who looks below the surface of things, wins with ease."
Have a better plan and make as few mistakes as possible, success is nearly certain.
Sun Tzu said:
Hence the skillful fighter puts himself into a position which makes defeat impossible, and does not miss the moment for defeating the enemy. Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.
Simply enough, be prepared. As we have discussed prior it is not all about brute force (think large budget) nor is it all about strategy. It also does not revolve around the best team nor resources at hand nor timing even. It is about no single element. But by considering all of these elements and how they will affect the battle (SEO program) and anticipating mistakes (Mr Murphy is always on staff) puts us in an excellent position to succeed.
Never simply charge in and then begin to plan on the fly. While it may work now and again, it surely isn't the approach to guarantee long term success.
(tune in Wed for the next edition)