Sometimes it's tricky to explain to customers that the hardest part of developing a website is getting a good position on the search engines. Some expect us to wave a magic wand and suddenly their site will be "top in google" - regardless of the search term!
Of course, sometimes it's easy: if the client is an Aardvark breeder in Dolgellau and wants to be number one for searches for 'pet aardvark dolgellau' it's a doddle. For others in a more crowded market it requires a little more skill.
But with some diligent work, and careful understanding of how we develop the site content, and structure, and a few little tricks we have up our sleeve, we can often get some very effective results. For instance, one of our customers is Mark Derby, an incredibly talented mechanic, who runs RS911 Porsche Restoration from a site in the hills near Llanidloes in mid-Wales. But if you Google (or bing) 'porsche restoration' from the UK guess who is no. 1 - www.porsche-restoration.co.uk
Recently I've been working in conjunction with Chris Gibson of mach2media to do some work on the website of a rather lovely Guest House/B & B called Brynarth which is a few miles outside Aberystwyth. In addition to the fact that there are a lot of B&Bs around here, part of the difficulty is that they are NEAR Aberystwyth not IN Aberystwyth, and this now seems to be important for Google, so we've been doing a bit of fine tuning to see what we can manage. It'll take a few days for the changes to take effect and we'll then see how effective they were.
Brynarth is an interesting client. Chris and I first worked together to build a website for them back in 2003. Since then the business has changed hands twice, and each time we have been asked to stay on and redevelop the site for the new owners, which just shows the importance of building up a good relationship with clients. We want to work with our clients in the long term, not just deliver a quick template-based website and then disappear.