SEO stands for search engine optimisation. SEO is the process of preparing your website so that it can be easily read by search engine site crawlers. What exactly is a search engine site crawler you ask? A site engine crawler is a term used to describe the code, or algorithms that search engines use to scan your website content.
Why do they do this? Search engine algorithms are used because they can determine what content your site contains and therefore where your website should appear in their search results.
It’s important to aim to be high in search results because it should in theory gain you the most website traffic for the specific search terms used to find your website. A search term is the words or phrase used in a search to find your website. The theory is that many people simply click on the first two or three results of a search query, many will only go to the first result, so website owners will want to aim to be as high as possible in the search results in order to gain the attention of their potential visitors.
Search engine optimisation can be implemented in different ways. The most popular way, in my experience, is by optimising your website with the intent to influence organic search engine results. Organic results are the results you see which, at least on Google, appear below the sponsored results when you conduct a search. These results are not paid for. Non-organic results are paid results e.g. the sponsored links that appear on Google, some would argue these are an easy way to get the most traffic to your site as your site is more guaranteed to appear at the top of the search results for your specified keywords. Keywords are the words you choose to use as relevant terms on your site and the words that you think will gain you the most effective exposure via search engines.
Effective exposure to your website does not just mean lots of traffic, the ideal exposure to your website should involve both high traffic and traffic which conducts the desired action of the website e.g. purchases a product, or learns some new information.