As the phrase goes, the best place to hide a dead body is in page two of Google search results. Which means prioritising SEO and getting to the top of the search rankings for your keyword is still a huge goal.
For most smaller businesses, the immediate aim is to start ranking to a degree where potential clients can see you.
Having an understanding of how Google works in principle is paramount: Firstly, the search engine collects information data by using 'spiders' or 'bots' to index all the information. Since Google uses over 250 variables to decide on the information hierarchy and ranking order, it's near impossible to fully understand the enormous complexity of it, however some factors have a stronger influence in the ranking process than others.
Ultimately ranking requires time and patience - unless you have a large budget to spend on alternative techniques - but even then instant results cannot be guaranteed. It is dependent on an array of other factors besides time and money. The significant factors that determine a website's ranking are dependent upon are things such as, website reputation or strength, budget allowances, and your positioning in relation to your competitors.
A common factor in websites that rank, particularly those that rank highly is age. A recent study showed that much of the top ranking sites and pages are over two years old, implying that credibility of any website or pages is built up over time - as backlinks and web visitors are accumulated and trustworthiness grows.
Naturally, age is by no means a certainty to ranking: the user experience and quality of the website and its content has to be well spread out, and things such as blogs are also as valuable as SEO tricks that will make Google notice the site.
Only 6% of newly-published pages will make it into rankings - but these have both a high domain authority and low-volume keywords, but even so these can take up to six months to make it into the rankings.
Of course competitive keywords will take more time to rank for than less competitive terms. Keywords that contain large popular cities will generally be harder to rank for than smaller cities, e.g Bristol Architects would take more time to rank for than Clifton Architects
In summary any company that is serious about increasing its ranking visibility needs a strong strategy, careful consideration of SEO techniques - and most importantly a great website that has excellent content to both attract and keep its visitors.