Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means the process of maximizing the number of visitors to your website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.
SEO has many moving parts. Some of the most important parts to SEO are:
Being able to identify your potential customers (using demographics)
Determining which search terms your potential customers are using
Writing the text for your site using these search terms (within rules)
Adding code in the backend to highlight these terms
The above can give you what is called “organic results.” This term refers to the results you get from a search engine that is free.
These results show in the left side of the page. Results which cost the site owner money are displayed on the right column and/or sometimes at the very top of the results on the left, somewhat separated from the ones below.
When paying search engine for results, it usually gives you better results (meaning your site can be listed higher up, on the top and/or right).
One popular search engine payment system is called Google AdWords. This system is not cost effective for every site. It is best to have an expert in Google AdWords to make it work right.
Results are not overnight and need to be consistently tweaked (from daily to every few months).
There are other factors that help determine the results using the free system and/or the paid-for system, such as: direct competition in your business market, worldwide and locally, how long you have had a site with your domain name on the Internet, how often you change text on your site or add content and if your site is set up for mobile devices.