Why SEO is a long-term investment
If you want to elevate to the top of a search engine tomorrow - don't even consider SEO. Search engine ranking is a gradual process. Most SEO companies who are worth their salt will suggest a period of at least 3 months to have an impact on the rankings you currently have. But it doesn't end there. It is so vitally important that the correct search terms are agreed at the outset. Wanting to be found for "small widgets in Cambridge" is great if that is what people are likely to be searching for. The reality is that the widget is the cause of a larger service problem like "my big widget has stopped working" and therefore you may wish to rank for that instead or as well as. So having the best search term for your business will certainly help you get found more easily. Do not be fooled that getting it wrong will get no traffic - get it right and your phone will ring off the hook! Once SEO has been refined and is working at getting your website to the top it will slowly move up through the rankings.
For more immediate impact - look towards Pay Per Click - again it is vital that a business is prepared to speculate - but also to ensure that the keywords are relevant and drive prospective clients straight to your door. A well crafted PPC campaign will bring more traffic and normally will bring leads and enquiries.
Another way is to use e-marketing. If you have a database and you haven't kept in touch lately, think of some interesting information, products and services and send them - on a drip-feed to your clients over a few weeks or months. Keeping in contact is a sure fire way of being the first person thought about - even if you email ends up in the junk-mail. It is still more likely to get seen there than if your sent by the post a letter addressed to your prospect! Secretaries are pre-programmed to filter junk snail mail. However with e-marketing generally it reaches your recipients!