Start thinking of links as advertising rather than just for their SEO value. Which prominent online mentions would be worthwhile?
Our biggest sites get 1/3rd of their traffic from referrals. Networking is a big part of getting good traffic. There are plenty of places you can network from; Customers, Suppliers, Partners, Competitors etc.
Yes blogging = content, but one well written, interesting, funny, shareable, provocative post is worth 100 copies of below average scraped content.
Site structure is about 30% of the game. Not just your meta tags, and your keyword usage, but the flow through your site for the user and for the search engine.
Find trending topics/areas of your industry and build content around that. Yes, everyone wants to go for the top keywords for instance “web design” but recently people are looking for “responsive web design”. Catch the wave early.
Sign up for sites like Source Bottle, and get PR shout outs when the press want them. Some of our most valuable links have come from responding to a journalist’s request for information
Track keywords that convert, not the ones that give you traffic (necessarily).
Make sure you have analytics installed and can see if keywords have a high bounce rate. SEO is also about delivering information to your customers.
Think like a reader/journalist. Would you quote/source/share the information you are writing? If not, then it is not worth the effort.
Guest blogging can be worth while if you are giving something to the outlet you are writing for, and if they are giving you something back. Copy/pasted spun content on a below average blog is not going to do anything. You need to think, is the outlet you are writing for giving you a more prominent voice than if you wrote for squidoo or hubpages?