Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) ensures your website uses best practices, so that search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing look favourably on your website in their search results pages.
huh!?! I hear you say....
Put simply, the job of search engines like Google is to return the most relevant results to us, the searchers. These websites that are relevant get the top positions in the results. Search Engine Optimisation simply puts together factors that make your site more relevant and easy to use for your visitors, including a few technical bits and bobs for the Search Engines
How do they figure out how one website is more relevant that others?
Search Engines use top secret homebrewed algorithms (tricky mathematical calculation thingies) to determine what they deem important. Although they are all different, they look at things like the information available on your site and technical things like meta tags, keywords, coding and how many people link back to your web site.
What does this mean to you and your business?
Research by the folks at Searchlight Digital shows roughly where people will click, on an average results page:
Of course statistics and research are very general and some websites do better than others, but you get the idea of where you want to be.
If you Google your business name, product or service and are not coming up on the first page of Google at least, then you need to optimise your website.