WHAT IS SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION (SEO)?
There is little value to having a website of nobody ever visits it, this is where search engine optimisation comes in. These days you will find that you have to spend far more time on this than you will on building or maintaining your site. The actual process is fairly simple but incredibly tedious which is why most people outsource the work to somebody else.
Search engine optimization is simply the process of making sure that your website will rank as high in the search engine results as possible. The reason that you would want to do this is pretty obvious, the higher you rank the more visitors you will get. The search engines like to claim that the site that is most relevant for the term searched and that provides the best information will rank at the top, in practice this rarely happens. The search engines simply aren't sophisticated enough to do that yet so there are things that you can do to get your site to rank well. Keep in mind that some search terms are very competitive and it can take years of hard work to get to number one.
The big thing that you have to do in order to get your site optimised for the search engines is to make sure that they know what your site is about. Before they can rank your site they have to know what terms it should rank for. In the past they would base this on the title and how often certain keywords appeared on the page. This lead to what is known as keyword stuffing so the search engines had to change the way that they do this. They are pretty good at determining what your site is about but in order to make it easy for them you want the content on each page to be focused. Try to keep each page tightly focused on one topic.
The other big thing when it comes to search engine optimisation is how many links are pointing at your site. One of the problems that the search engines have is that there is no way for their algorithm to make an objective judgement about a site. That means there is no way to determine which one is best. The way that they get around this is by looking at the links that point to each site. They use the logic that the best site will have the most links pointing at it. This is true in some cases but by no means all, webmasters can of course create other sites with links pointing at their site. In order to get around this the links will now have different values, basically the harder the link is to get the more it will count for. Search engine optimisation is largely about getting as many links as possible pointing at your site.