Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the act of altering or optimizing your website and its content in order that search engines deem it to be relevant and useful to certain topics. You are able to select the most appropriate topics through the use of certain keywords in your website.
When surfers conduct searches on search engines they are presented with a list of results for that search term. These results are called Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) and generally speaking, the websites that appear at the top of the SERPs will receive plenty of traffic to their websites from searchers.
In order to determine your position on the SERPs, search engines use their own algorithms. While nobody knows for absolute certain what these algorithms are it is widely accepted that your website needs to be easy to navigate, popular and relevant.
Easy navigation means that your site should have text links to each of its pages. If you use a flash menu system then you should include a sitemap in order that search engines and visitors can quickly and easily find their way around the whole of your website.
In order to make your website appear popular you need to get links to your site. While search engines would rather these links were generated because visitors to your site genuinely found your content useful, it is commonplace to undertake a reciprocal link campaign or generate inbound links. Reciprocal links mean a website links to you in exchange for a link to their own site.
Relevance is judged by your content. By including the keywords you place in the metatags of your site throughout the body of your content and in certain places within your site you are indicating to the search engines that your website contains relevant information.
By combining these factors you can effectively convince search engines that you deserve to be near the top of their SERPs. However, this can take time and a lot of effort if you don’t fully understand what you are doing.