In my opinion this is dependant on your intent or online strategy. For many businesses the first interaction they have with you will be through your website. If the intent of your website is to generate sales leads or sell direct to the public you would likely need a professional.
For websites to work and be effective you need to invest time and money into your site.
Having a dedicated person be responsible for your site are far more affordable then people think, and opens up your time to focus on that what you do.
This might surprise you but when a website is developed in a planed and structured way the development time is relatively short.
What takes the most time when starting a new project is the content for the new website.
Depending on the project scope, on average between 2 – 4 weeks
Personally I think where you host your website is very, very important. Like most things in life you get what you pay for.
You should choose a hosting partner that offers more than just a platform to bring your site online, but offers very good security and backup options.
Most companies offer backup services, but like PC backup solutions until you try to restore your PC you never sure if it actually works.
I have have been working with my current hosting provider for 11 years, and its the only company I recommend.
I have so much trust in my hosting provider that as part of my commitment to my clients, in the unlikely event of a hardware or software failure that leads to the loss of a client website, should backups fail, we will redesign at our cost the clients website.
This depends on how important your website contribution towards your business is.
Some clients just need a online presence to showcase their past work, and use other forms of marketing like newsletters, direct marketing or Social Media marketing. In this case Search Engine Marketing is less important.
For clients that need their websites to generate sales or sales leads, absolutely yes.
By investing in Search Engine Marketing you will be building a long lasting presence in search, build your brand and be more visible in search compared to your competitors.
We have a lot of experience in the field and work closely with our clients and analyse their needs, goals and available budget to develop a solutions based plan to help them grown and reach their goals.
No company can promise you a number 1 Search Ranking, and people that do are lying.
When a website is developed using industry guidelines, and the content for a website is done right clients will have great results.
Therefore you should look for a company that has the technical knowledge and expertise.
SEO is NOT a short term commitment and should only be part of your marketing strategy if you can invest into it for 4 – 6 months.
Think twice before partnering with a company who offers SEO at very low prices, as it is a time consuming and technical product.