The simple answer – SEO is the way of making your website visible in major search engines for popular search queries. SEO is of high priority if you want to make your Brand/Company/Product/Service/Technology popular and to make some Money or Fame out of it.
Just Imagine if you just started some new company with some cool innovative stuff. Even if your website looks cool, nobody is gonna see it unless it shows up on the Search Engines when people searches for the service, technology or product that you offer. This can’t be done without implementing SEO.
When talking about the expenses, it varies according to the SEO needs. It is smart not to worry about the expenses as the end result is some thing huge. The only thing to worry about is the SEO firm or SEO guy that you are hiring.
Some SEO firms claims easy success and fast results. I must say that, its utter Bullshit. Firstly, no company or firm can guarantee your website on first page in a short time, unless they have the direct access to the Google/Bing search algorithms.
SEO is not dead. Its just evolving. The SEO techniques that worked in the past may not work now, The matter of fact, it might even harm your website if you try to implement them. The search Engines updates their algorithm ffrequently to fetch the best result available for the users. Check detailed Google Algorithm Change History by clicking here.
The Search Engines has become smarter. They want the show the best results for queries, not the fake low quality stuff. Now most of the search engines are aware of the Black Hat SEO techniques that worked in the past. For example, Google introduced the Panda and Penguin updates to make sure the SEO/Webmasters follow the rules while optimizing and don’t play dirty.
SEO Comprises of On-Page optimization which deals with all the HTML improvements like Title, Meta implementations and Off-Page optimization which is all about Quality link building and Social Media Optimization using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc.
There is no such thing as minimum time for SEO. The results may take time depending on the compatition around. In my experience, the “Improvements” will be visible within a month if done right. SEO is an ongoing process, if you stop, the competitors will run you over.