All this talk about websites and SEO makes ones head dizzy. There are countless articles and web pages on the Internet describing how to create a website, and how to optimize it. Besides all the technical jargon such as HTML, and PHP, the most relevant information to reach a small business owner should be ~how to capture our prospective customers. I've heard countless times the war cry, “I'm going to do it myself”. Admirable indeed, however in reality, a professional start up has to involve the pro's, and creating a website will require people with skills that we do not necessarily have ourselves. So whats the secret? The local experts.

The acronym SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization, which essentially means a properly optimized site will generally rank high in search engine's such as Google, or Safari. The higher the rankings, the more our website will be seen by potential customers. But exactly what is optimizing? The literal interpretation is, making something more effective with ongoing work towards perfection. Within a local company, the team working on any project should all be optimized towards the goals and deadlines established prior. The local firm is held accountable, not one overseas. But the guts of the website starts with a professional programmer and coder, and if the website is not coded according to industry standards, the search engine robots will not recognize it and in some cases, may even ban it.

Optimizing a website may involve editing its content and HTML, and/or associated coding, inserting back links, marketing and advertising campaigns such as Pay Per Click (PPC), and combined with ongoing analysis, is a quite a handful and lots of work. When we outsourced our web developing to countries such as India with its low hourly rates, the work usually is not of the highest quality, resulting in very cheaply built websites, rendering the sites infective and riddled with bad code. The good news is in the last 10 years or so there has been a resurgence of local IT engineering firms in the US , and there are folks here locally who are quite proficient in these skills. In recessions such as the one we are experiencing now, they are ready to work and eager to form long lasting relationships. Finding the right IT firm to help with coding, marketing, and advertising is the start to any successful enterprise. If we surround ourselves with the correct help, we can optimize it for the benefit of all parties.

When we hire the right team we must now relay to them our blueprints, our vision, and our specifications. Think of it akin to building a small cottage or a mansion, the specs have to be presented to the architect, who will then work with the project manager to fulfill the contract. Over an agreed upon time frame the building will arise, and the results will be apparent, no guessing in the professional world, we must be sure. Ongoing marketing and advertising, as well as ongoing developing is suggested, cost of PPC campaigns from Google begin from a few cents per click to many dollars, depending on keywords and specific industry, so an established budget will be a necessity.

In our personal lives and in business, time is our most valuable commodity, let us not waste any of it. The more we can save the better, and by hiring the correct help, the better off we shall be. Find the local qualified help, establish a repertoire with an IT company, and start working out of this recession. When we allow the local folks to handle the technology and advertising the worry stops, and our valuable time frees up, enabling us up to formulate more ideas concerning our product or service, leading to growth. Focusing and working on our business instead of working in it, and forming long lasting local relationships is the secret of success, leave the SEO and the rest of it, to the experts... ~Timothy Clacton

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