I see an overwhelming and recurring problem when I'm giving site evaluations to prospective clients for makeovers. When they tell me their website isn't doing very much for their business, I can see why—it hasn't been optimized for the search engines. The necessary ingredients are missing!
Your designer needs to know what the search engines are looking for and add the necessary components for successful results. And finally, your site needs to be submitted to the major search engines.
There are two basic scenarios, based on the intent of your website:
1) Local audience
Let's say you repair accordions in Dripping Springs, TX. Since there are only a few accordion repair businesses, you're a big fish in a small pond. If your designer has optimized your site for the search engines, it should be easy to find your website.
2) National audience
Now, let's say you're a shoe store and you want to reach the entire USA. Since there are so many online shoe stores, there's no way you can do well unless you pay for it.
Paying for ranking (pay-per-click)
Some of our clients have a nationwide audience and are using Google AdWords pay-per-click ad campaigns. You choose keywords, create an ad campaign (or several campaigns based on different keywords) and pay when someone clicks on your ad.
Search engines give websites that have other sites linking to them, a better ranking—this is called link popularity. Many sites have a links or resources page where they exchange links with other websites. Sometimes the links are interesting/useful resources for a visitor, but often they're sole purpose is to increase link popularity.
Since search engines are constantly changing the way they function, to be successful, your designer must keep up to date with the latest search engine opitimization strategies.