I have been developing and designing websites for over 10 years now. In the beginning I admit, I thought it was a fairly simple combination of the right URL with the right content keywords, well placed meta and image naming = good search engine optimisation. Take a look at the image – it will show you otherwise!
Those who know or have worked with me know that I do NOT specialise in SEO optimisation and I do not charge for the service. All of my sites come very neatly packaged with very good chances of being found – that is they have the right content, meta, keywords, formatting and so on. But it is only in recent years I have really been getting to know the world of paid online marketing, and I will admit, I find it very frightening. Adwords is of course exorbitantly expensive, and did you know that many trade pages charge their advertisers for the privilege of quoting for a job.
I still think that good content rules, because of course at the end of the day the consumer wants something from your site and only if it is the right match does it translate into business – which ever way you look at it, I still argue that good design plus well considered content is the best bang for your buck and gives you a fighting chance in the online fight.