Adding title tags and meta descriptions to your pages is an important part of SEO. This can be done easily with free plugins like All in One SEO, Platinum SEO and SEO by Yoast. If you have a large and complex site, it is important to get the right technical SEO in place (or hire someone who can). Most well-known hosted platforms offer more than enough SEO capabilities for most people.
On-page and off-page SEO refer to the activities that are performed on or off the website in order to improve its ranking on search engine results pages. If you are a small business that would benefit from ranking for very specific geographic terms, focus on strengthening your local SEO efforts (and then consider other marketing efforts once you start to see diminishing returns from your efforts).
Black hat SEO is a set of unethical (and usually spam) practices used to improve the ranking of a website. White hat SEO, on the other hand, refers to all the usual SEO techniques that adhere to guidelines and rules.
Most hosted platforms handle basic SEO functionality right out of the box, but this is not the case with WordPress. In addition to that, you might want to consider hiring an SEO professional who can help you audit your pages. Once you have written your amazing SEO content and implemented all these steps, it is important to track how well it is working. There are many other valuable SEO tools out there, but these are the best ones to start with in order to learn more about whether your SEO efforts are making a difference. Professional tools offer other metrics and SEO information useful for evaluating keywords and choosing the best ones.
In conclusion, SEO can be a complex and ever-evolving field, but it is possible for beginners to get started with some basic knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals. Adding title tags and meta descriptions, focusing on local SEO efforts, avoiding black hat techniques, and tracking progress with professional tools are all important steps in getting started with SEO.