(Part of the series on Sun Tzu's ; The Art of War – from the SEO perspective.)
Sun Tzu said;
There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.
The skillful soldier does not raise a second levy, neither are his supply-wagons loaded more than twice. Bring war material with you from home, but forage on the enemy. Thus the army will have food enough for its needs.
Travel lean and mean. Prolonged in our case being carrying on a program with diminishing or minimal returns. Always seek out what has been done by your competitors in the past leverage it in concert with your own approaches. The sooner the program, and by extension the team working on it, can move into a cash positive position, the stronger your campaign will be in the long run.
Speed has it's place over strategy in many cases. Time must be utilized effectively.
Sun Tzu said;
Poverty of the State exchequer causes an army to be maintained by contributions from a distance. Contributing to maintain an army at a distance causes the people to be impoverished. On the other hand, the proximity of an army causes prices to go up; and high prices cause the people's substance to be drained away.
Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging on the enemy. One cartload of the enemy's provisions is equivalent to twenty of one's own, and likewise a single PICUL of his provender is equivalent to twenty from one's own store.
The greater your expansion of targeting the more stretched the over-all campaign will become. And your presence in each query space can trigger increased activity by those in the space. The great SEO arms race. That will in turn further weaken the larger presence. Once more, develop programs that leverage what has (and hasn't) seemingly been working for the competitors.
Seek to learn what will be the low-hanging fruit and take paths of least resistance where possible.
(tune in Friday for the next edition)