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Search Engine Optimization…just an afterthought, right?

Search Engine Optimization and WordPress Website Design

Elkhorn Springs, Idaho, May 12 —

At we have a theory about what makes a small business WordPress website successful. For years I have explained to prospective clients that the following steps are all essential…

  • The website must appear on page 1 of the major search engines for at least some pertinent search phrases.
  • The text that the search engines present on their results page must entice the human reader to click through to the website.
  • The website must load fast and be visually stunning…eye-catching. These work against each other and need to be optimized by a professional.
  • Within 5 to 7 seconds the first time visitor must be convinced that that website is easy to navigate and contains the information they are seeking.
  • A contact is made either by phone, email, newsletter signup, or a form being filled out.

If even just one of these steps routinely fails…then the website is a failure. This has been my “sales pitch” for many years and small business owners typically understand and agree with all of these steps. Recently we added one more…the website must be “responsive”. Websites developed with Responsive Website Design will re-format themselves to properly display at all resolutions, including on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.

So what exactly is search engine optimization and can it be added at anytime?

Organic WordPress search engine optimization for the major search enginesSimply stated, SEO comes down to telling the search engines what you do and where you do it. What service and/or product you are marketing and the geographic area (we call these “geographic qualifiers”) that defines your business’s region. The larger the region (and the more diverse the product line) the more challenging the SEO project will be. Competition is another big factor—the more competition, the less merrier for search engine optimization! This is certainly an over-simplification but, search engine optimization is actually not rocket science.

I am often approached by business owners who have websites that are not bringing them any business. Unfortunately this is not the exception, but rather the norm. There are so many “SEO gurus” out there who have no idea what they are doing…except that they are taking money from small business owner who all too often get nothing in return for their investment. It happens all the time.

Search engine optimization should never be an afterthought…it just doesn’t work that way.

The first two items in my bullet list above are at the top for a reason. A successful web developer will be thinking search engine optimization from the moment that the project begins and will keep it in mind during every step of the process of developing a small business website. We do this at and we have been very successfully optimizing our own and our clients websites for nearly 15 years.

On the other hand, we have tried several times to optimize other developers websites, something that, in theory, should work. It never has. We gave up on this many years ago. If you’ve ever heard of TOMA advertizing (Top Of Mind Awareness) that is how we do SEO…it is always at the top of our minds. Effective organic search engine optimization is so essential to a website’s success that it can never be done as an afterthought. But it almost always is. It’s almost painful for me when I have to explain to a small business owner who recently spent good money on new website that their developer had absolutely no idea how to properly optimize a website. It’s a sad commentary on my industry, but unfortunately it’s the rule rather than the exception!

How can you know if your website is properly optimized? Find out for free…

If you, like most small business owners, have no real idea whether your website is effectively promoting your business online, we have a service that will tell you. Our free website analysis is comprehensive and honest…without any sales hype. We use sophisticated software to analyze your website and then explain the results in language that non-technical folks can easily understand. And, when appropriate, recommend specific remedies to the issues we find.

To schedule a free website analysis, contact us and we will go over the information we will need from you…basically your website’s address and some search phrases people would use to find your business online. At we are dedicated to making our clients website marketing a valuable asset to their business!