By looking on the word of SEO itself always difficult for a newbie to understand what is SEO means. SEO is the process where website builders emphasize on the designing on the web pages to improve the volumn of traffic. Designing on the webpages does not mean the design of the theme but it mainly focus on the content of the website. The website must be in good structure and content so that the chance of it will be picked up by search engines tend to be higher. In other word, the search engine would give rank based on the website which have good content and structure well with related keywords.
When someone searches for specific phrases on search engines like google, yahoo, msn etc, the chance of click the first few websites tend to be high and almost 100%. These websites are so called high ranking website. Their websites always structure well, have relevant content and informative. As the website is rank high in the search engine, the chance of generate traffic is very high.
SEO is definitely a technical part of web marketing. It sounds easy but in fact even you follow all the rules, you are not guaranteed to have the top ranking. Search engine works in the ways that they crawl your website to see what is your content. After pages are crawled, they index its content. Search engine then store the indexed page in a giant database. When people search for a certain keyword, the search engine starts to processes it. They calculating the relevancy and retrieving the results. The end, people will find the most relevant to the least relevant sites. In summary, search engine performs the activities of crawling, indexing, processing, calculating relevancy and retrieving.
There are many consultants and agencies provide services for website owners. However if you are the owner of the website and do not wish to spend money on SEO, Google Webmaster Help Center is a good place for you.