SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimizing, which is a term used for improving how a website will perform in search engines. At one time, you could cheat by using techniques which would not be wise to use today. For example, a common practice was to hide keywords by using white text on a white background. When someone would search using that keyword, your website would have an increased liklihood of coming up.
Today, many of the old techiques will do little to get you ranking higher, and often will get your website blacklisted by Google or other search engines.
Most search engines use complicated algorithms to determine how to rank a website. Some are outside of our control, such as how long a website has been active. But there are things that can be done to increase SEO. One common practice is to increase the number of quality websites that link to your website. But some SEO companies will use fake 'link farms' to provide many incoming links. Google may quickly increase your site ranking, then pull the plug once it is seen that these incoming links are from questionable, off-shore sources. Bottom line - don't try to fool Google.
Here at Webberman, we use techniques Google approves of, such as the use of real keywords and phrases on a website. As an example, we may see 'website developer', 'website development', 'web designer' and more similar terms throughout our site. This increases ranking for any of those phrases.
One of the most important aspects of ranking is site load time. If a website takes 5 or 10 seconds to load, it will be given a lower rank by most search engines. Websites built with CMS such as WordPress, are generally slower to load, and as a result, suffer from poor SEO. Adding a WordPress SEO plugin will just add more code, slowing down the site even more, although a temporary improvement may be noticed.
The only real way to improve SEO is by doing it right the first time. When we build a website, we will use Google-approved methods to include the words and phrases your customers will be using when searching for your products and services. This is why hard-coded websites often out-rank the CMS ones in searches.