The times when online businesses only required a simple website and an email address are long gone. Too many countries have joined the World Wide Web and merchants all around the globe have put up shop in the world’s virtual shopping mall which emerged on the Internet.
It goes without saying that, nowadays, every business needs a website. This may not be an easy task for small-business owners, who are trying to juggle their company’s start-up process, financial turmoil and everything else related to their new enterprise. For them, there is only one obvious solution; if they want to make virtual history they will have to hire a professional website designer.
As part of their consultation, website developers should feel obligated to mention SEO, or search engine optimization, to their clients. Many of them do, others don’t. The reason why some website service providers ignore mentioning SEO is because:
– They presume the clients know about SEO, when in fact they do not.
– They assume the clients are not interested because they feel it is not a requirement to be successful on the Internet.
– They want to bill the SEO applications as a separate service later on.
Even if small-business owners, who are having their first website designed, knew about SEO, it is very unlikely they would ask for it. They may even assume it would automatically be included in their website order. This raises the question: should web designers discuss SEO up front, during initial consultations?
Many newcomers to e-commerce know little about search engines and how they operate. They believe that all they need is a website, and that in no time, their URL will spread like a wildfire by simple offline advertising and word-of-mouth. How little do they know, until months later when they abruptly wake up to realize their online business is in shambles!
Web crawlers are attracted to search engine friendly websites. Web designers know that quite well, and if they want to offer their clients impeccable services they should reveal that information up front. For convenience, they could even include SEO in their basic web design packages, or offer it as an affordable add-on option. By explaining the importance of SEO tools, they would not only help their customers, but also enhance their own reputation. Believe it or not, most people still respect honesty and appreciate all-around services.
Clients, who do not feel the immediate need for SEO, should be informed that the longer they wait, the longer they will be invisible to search engines. These clients should also be told that their costs may be substantially more if they want their website optimized later on. One of the reasons the fee could increase is because some of the original page lay-outs may be unsuitable for a user and search engine friendly design. For example: unattractive content may have to be rewritten, pages may need rearranging and slow-loading flash videos removed.
There is no doubt about it! Marketing strategies have changed and today, no business will reach top search engine rankings without SEO. Be it Google, Yahoo, Bing, MSN or Ask, they are all hungry for keywords, link building, proper page structures, HTML, or anything else that will feed their everlasting appetite for information. So, why not give it to them?!