You invested copious amounts of time and money to ensure your web site was cutting edge. Sadly, this will not matter if your site is hard to find and/or you do not generate traffic. Most people look exclusively at the first page of results when conducting a web search, with a full 1/3 of traffic going to the top-ranked page. Twenty percent of traffic goes to the second-ranked page, and, if your page is not in the top five, there is less than a five percent chance you will receive traffic from the search.
All search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) derive their primary search result rankings from something called Search Engine Optimization or SEO. These SEO rankings are strictly formula based; you cannot pay for the top spot.
The elements of the SEO formula have been revealed, but not the exact formula. We do know site rankings are based on the quality and freshness of content, the speed and security of the architecture, the HTML coding (titles, descriptions, headers), how trustworthy the site is, the quality and number of links, how many “shares” the site has, and the site’s history. In addition to these main factors, there are sub-factors such as keyword placement, descriptive titles, weighting of header tags, and so forth.
There is no single factor that will place your site at the top of the rankings, and not all factors are equally weighted. The SEO process rewards pages that have factors combined correctly per the secret formula. Interestingly, negative factors impact your rank as well. Some things that will work against you are paid links, spam, hidden agendas, too many ads, thin content, and not having trustworthy source data, especially if your site affects the health, finances, or well-being of customers.
With so much riding on search engine placement, having a professional SEO analysis simply makes sense. Further, SEO rankings are highly fluid and many of the key indicators on your site require frequent updates to remain optimized. This makes SEO maintenance as important as the creation of the web site itself.