Here we will help you answer the question of What is SEO? or What Does SEO Mean / Stand For? by explaining the terminology and scope in a simple, easy to understand article. [That's the plan anyway]
What Does SEO Mean?
SEO stands for, Search Engine Optimisation. It's the term used to describe a process of optimising a web page or website to perform to it's highest potential on global search engines.
Search engines save and make a list of all websites available on the Internet, basically an index, or a massive YellowPages / Library. The search engines job is to show the user the most relevant web pages concerning the search phrase or words that they searched for.
So the SEO of a web page, basically entails making sure that search engines know exactly what that web page is about, it's subject or topic, and maximising the chances of that page appearing in search results when a user searches for words or phrases directly related to the web pages topic, or subject.
What SEO is NOT & What It Doesn't Mean
SEO does not mean your web page will now go to the top of Google. It does not mean the extended marketing of your website across the Internet. It does not mean a process of placing links to your website on thousands of other peoples websites. It does not mean optimising a web page to appear in search results for every word in the dictionary,
In practice, SEO concentrates on your physical website and web pages and nothing beyond that. However the term SEO has been so loosely used and applied that there's no wonder people are confused about what it means or what it covers. Especially with companies from India, Pakistan and Asia sending spam emails to UK business owners offering cheap SEO services and damaging peoples trust in the service of SEO and SEO companies within the UK.
So How Do You Optimise A Web Page With SEO?
When using SEO correctly you will optimise a web page so that it performs to it's highest potential for search phrases directly related to the pages subject matter or topic (Sorry for repeating that, I need to hammer this one home).
You would do this by looking at the visual side of the web page and the hidden coding side of the page and adjust, add to or extend elements of that page or its coding. There are many elements of a web page that can be optimised and it's a little in depth to explore here right now.
For the time being, here's a simple example of one of those elements;
*Check my quick disclaimer below the example too.
The heading of this page is = What is SEO and What Does SEO Mean?
This heading is formatted within a <h1> heading tag, the <h1> tag tells search engines what this page is about. It is descriptive to what the subject matter is and follows a fashion to what a user might put into a search engine when looking for an answer to this very question.
A BAD heading example would be = Welcome to Jamie King Media
While I might want to use my first heading in the page to welcome visitors and enforce my brand name, all this does is informs a search engine that this page is about "Welcome to Jamie King Media".
So if I was looking for information about "What is SEO?" on a search engine, the search engine will unlikely list my web page early on within the results because it thinks my page is about "Welcome to Jamie King Media".
*My disclaimer on this example; All search engines work differently, they constantly change their criteria and filtering systems for displaying and finding the most relevant pages. They are very intelligent and can perform complex tasks very quickly. SEO is about pulling many strings all together and bringing them neatly together to get the best out of a web page. I highly recommend looking for a more in depth article about how to perform SEO and then understanding how Internet Marketing works, which is the process of marketing a website on the Internet.