When does Search Engine Optimization make sense?
You can spend a lot of money on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) but does it always make sense? It depends, on the market you are in. WordPress the primary Content Management System (CMS) is already pretty darn good at SEO. The amount you spend on SEO can get rather large if you hire a company that specializes in SEO. Well my answer is yes it sometime makes sense but at other times it is a waste of resources. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo and others keep their ranking systems very secret. No one know exactly how they rank websites, no matter what they may tell you. Any good web designer always designs with SEO in mind. Yet I just said that no one knows exactly how they do it and that is true. However there are some general principles that we do know. One is is your site secured by using a SSL certificate. Another is how to design a site that is easily crawled by search engines. Does the site properly configure meta data. It takes many hours of research on just how customers can reach your site. A lot of time is done researching what customer type into a search engine. This is called keywords. Keywords can point to thousands of websites that may be in the in the same business as yours. The secret is to find unique keywords that potential customer may type into a search engine that will lead to your business. Then the kicker is that it may all change over time. SEO optimization is an ongoing and constant process. If done properly it can point new customers directly to your business by giving you a top ranking so that your business shows up on search results on the first page. Results are not instant. It may take from 4 to 6 months before you start seeing results. It can be of great value to you but it does come at a cost.
So back to the original question. Well it actually depends on how much competition you have. If you are one among thousands of businesses in your area, the chance of getting a top ranking right off the bat is pretty small. If you are a business that is very unique then I would say yes it does make sense. A good web design company will research your competition to see if it makes sense to spent your resources on SEO.
SEO ranking usually builds over time. It may make more sense to get a free listing on Yelp or Yellow pages which is quick and free. If you have a unique place in the market and have the resources, then I say go for it.
I hope this helps you decide.