SEO is a process of getting a web site listing to the top of the list in a search engine result and thus improving volume or quality of traffic to a web site. The most popular of these search engines are Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL and ASK.
Most search engines rank a site using many criteria. These criteria include page content (word on the page) , meta data (data stored in the page to explain what the page is about) and also the number of times that other sites link to the site.
If others are willing to link to a site then the content is assumed to be of higher value than other sources. To improve your search engine rankings you need to get you site linked on as many sites as you can. There are a range of free and paid business directory sites available that you can submit you details to to get a listing. If you participate in online forums or bloggs then you should always include your web address in a posting. If you have affiliate business’s or industry partners with web sites than maybe you could ask for them to link to your site and you to them.
Make sure the words or phrases that people will search for your products/services on are in the text on the page. Text in graphics does not count as the search engines can not see or read graphics.
Paid advertising with individual search engine companies can also raise your profile within that search engine (e.g. Google add words)
Changes in coding, structure and presentation of the site can also improve a sites ranking as it can allow the search engine indexing programs better access to the information in the site.
Aggressive efforts to improve web site ranking has lead to a rise in web search spam. Have you clicked on a search result and gone to a page that had nothing to do with your search criteria and was mainly filled with advertising. One reason for this results from the web site owner loading keywords, metadata and visible text in the site with popular search criteria in an effort to generate traffic to the site and thus the advertising. Search wikipedia for “Spamdexing” to get more information on this problem.