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SEF - Search Engine Friendly, July 2004
That's just about it. A good webmaster should provide this as part of their service to you. If they don't, yes an SEO company can make the changes. However, a good webmaster can probably do it for less with the same results. So, your best bet is to have your site designed by a webmaster that already makes the site SEF (I like it more every time I write it). Why pay to have your site designed and then again to make it SEF, when it could be built properly in the first place?
Now, for a reality check. No one can guarantee you a top spot in any, let alone all, search engines. This is not to be confused by those promising this. What I mean is they can not possibly deliver unless your site is so unique that nothing else like it exists or the terms they use are so obtuse that no one would use them anyway. Beyond SEO or SEF, another very important element in rankings is the number of relevant and high quality websites linking to yours. That is another topic. Be aware, there are many companies willing to separate you from your money to provide this service, too. Again, that's another topic.
DrTandem® is Dan Prinzing, a freelance webmaster specializing in affordable custom websites for small businesses. He is located in the coastal community of Encinitas, north of San Diego.