Although critical for industries that rely heavily on attracting customers over the internet, Search Engine Optimization is a widely misunderstood process that professionals can have a lot of difficulty with, let alone business owners who come from a distinctly unconnected background.
Firstly, SEO is not about optimizing search engines, rather it focuses on making your website attractive to search engines like Google or Bing. This can be done in a number of different ways, the most common (and understandable) being Keyword Optimization.
Keyword optimization means that there are keywords in your content that search engines can find relating to specific search results. If you are a jet engine manufacturer, having jet engine on every page will not optimize your search results. Having content with supporting keywords that are related to jet engines throughout your site, on the other hand, will help optimize your web site for the search engines.
Secondly, the algorithms determining the strength of SEO are constantly evolving. It is better to have quality content with supporting links and backlinks than it is to have keyword heavy content. Although the algorithm might change with the next update, so far the algorithms have trended to supporting quality over quantity when rating websites.
Finally, the best way to find out how SEO experts can impact your business is by contacting professionals who work with it on a daily basis. Google and other search engines keep the details of their algorithms secret and companies and individuals who work with it on a daily basis are far more familiar with optimizing websites than talented amateurs.