SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. And that is a vast body of knowledge dealing with strategies and efforts intended to improve any particular website's search position, usually for specific keyword searches that are deemed useful of profitable.
For instance, a website named bestgolfshoesintheworld.com sells golf shoes. A Google search for the phrase "best golf shoes" shows that the website doesn't appear in the search results until page 42. The sad result is that very few people who are looking for the best golf shoe will ever find bestgolfshoesintheworld.com. What they need is a good old fashioned SEO program.
So they hire a trustworthy SEO Firm and here's what they do:
- Evaluate the site for possible problems with architecture or construction and fix whatever they find that might be a problem
- Research the keywords that will be actively searched on by people looking to buy golf shoes
- Change a number of important page elements to include the keywords
- Create a few special pages designed to help search engines index and understand the site
- Begin a link acquisition program by submitting the site to a handful of directories and emailing a few relevant bloggers
After enough time for the search engines to find, index, and evaluate the website, magic begins to happen. Three months later, and the same search for best golf shoes brings bestgolfshoesintheworld.com in on Google's page 13. Still not much traffic, but a clear improvement.
More work to develop incoming links ensues. More content-rich pages are created. A three-minute YouTube video of the company president eating a golf shoe gets posted. And suddenly, as if by magic, the site reaches page one of the Google search results page. Traffic increases dramatically. Profits skyrocket. Bonuses are paid. People's jobs are saved.
And that is SEO. Will SEO work for your business or website? It depends on how bad your current situation is, how significant the competition is, and how much effort you can put to it.