We have often gone the rounds internally asking, “What can we do to bring the most value to a customer?” The default answer is frequently, let’s make these services cheaper somehow. That obviously becomes harder and harder to do over time.

I am convinced that our customers want real value and value to them is having the ability to efficiently and reliably accomplish whatever goal they have for their web sites.

In today’s world, that typically means getting your message or product in front of the right audience. Everything on the web is about getting to the right audience. Sometimes that audience is only 1 person and that 1 person needs the site to work in just the right way. Very frequently,however, it means getting the message or product to the thousands of people locally, nationally or even internationally that need what we are providing.

Their are really only 2 ways to do that. First, and most important for long term success, make sure your customers can find you easily and quickly when they search for what you are offering in standard search results. This is what is known as organic search results. In other words you did not pay for the “search result” that the customer clicked on to get to your site.

The second method is to pay for advertising. You pay to have your site available as a “search ad” when someone is searching for your type of product or service. Every time your ad appears and every time your ad is clicked, you pay.

In the end, no matter what Microsoft or Yahoo would have you believe, Google is totally dominant for both of these areas. In fact I can say from personal experience that I can be #1 on MSN or Yahoo and get very little traffic (read: almost zero), but the same result on Google is a flood of traffic.

So, knowing how important Google is for our customers to be able to gain real value out of their website, it is my conviction that our customers would value a service that helps to ensure that their site is not only working, and pretty, but that their customers are finding them.

Tell me what you think. Is this a critical element in your search for a good hosting provider? Do you take care of this yourself and not need help? What is most valuable to you in a hosting company?