Search engine optimization is a long term commitment. Once you start down the road of optimizing your website you can never turn back. Well not if you want to stay ranked anyway. There are many factors that affect you page rank, and not all of them you or any SEO can control. To keep up with your sites rank you must be monitoring your sites performance constantly making adjustments and changes accordingly.
A few things you can't control
The big G own 60% of the Internets searches. It really is true, every site I monitor statistics on gets about 60% if not more of its referral traffic from Google. Google can be your web site's best friend if you keep track of what Google likes and doesn't like and give it what likes. Problem is Google is constantly changing what it likes and has no problems dropping you like a sack of potatoes if you don't keep up. This is why even if you get ranked on Google for the keyword you want. You have to keep up with Google and adjust your site accordingly so as too not fall in ill report.
All SEO in its truest white hat form is delivering relevant content to those searching for it. Plain and simple. Your audiences needs and wants change, often rapidly. If you can' give them what they want they will find it elsewhere.You cant control what people like and want but you can give them want they want. User Experience or UX will continue to drive web development and your sites importance on the web depends on it. We know Google's PANDA change took this into consideration and will most likely increase UX importance in it's algorithm with the increase of use on mobile and tablets with touch screen interaction. I would recommend you adjust your websites look and FEEL every couple of years to keep up with current trends and platform capabilities.
Don't sweat the competition, but don't under estimate them either! The truth is competition is good for business. It pushes all parties to be the best they can and to be continually improving. The advertising and marketing you competition does will naturally bring in more business for you as well due to increase product awareness. So don't sweat what the competition is doing! Keep track of their efforts and let them inspire you. However never let them scare you into changing your SEO campaign to copy theirs. Have trust in your SEO team and let them work their magic. You can point out who you think your biggest competition is and what they are doing but if your SEO is any good most likely they are already watching. Of all the factors you cant control this one is the hardest to deal with. Watching your competition climb closer to or above your Google ranking is down right devastating to moral.