From having your keywords in bold font, to having your text as close to the top of a page, along with the famous 3% - 7% keyword density rule, we can scrap them all since it comes down to three basic key points.
Keyword Selection The most important point out of the three is keyword selection.
If you end up selecting keywords that do not have any/few searches, then you are simply wasting time by optimising for them.
There is no point in being ranked number one for a keyword when there are no searchers for that term.
A good place to start is by using keyword research tools such as "Wordtracker", "Overture Keyword Assistant" and "Keyword Discovery", to find out what people are typing into search engines.
Once you have found those terms, the next step is to work out the level of competition and effort it will take to get a reasonable rank for each term.
The best way is to look at the number of competing pages in search engines for each keyword and how many incoming links the top ten websites have ("Marketleap link popularity checker" is a good tool for that).
If you have the knowledge and time, you may want to go for the slightly more competitive keywords.
Good On-the-Page and Off-the-Page Structure For on-the-page factors, making sure that there is a sufficient amount of text based content, title tags and a strong internal linking between all web pages, is a good start.
Title tags and content should contain keywords provided that they are not "stuffed" into the text.
For example, if your keyword is "dog supplies", this sort of writing should be avoided: "We base our business on dog supplies and have a great range of dog supplies.
Check out our latest dog supplies today!" A visitor will be immediately turned off from this sort of writing and will question the credibility of your site.
Keywords should be written around the content, not the other way around.
Incoming Links Attaining incoming links to your website has become a more heavily relied upon factor in last couple of years.
Each incoming link is seen by search engines as a vouch from another site.
The more incoming relevant links you have, the more trusted your website becomes by search engines.
This does not mean you can simply acquire a bunch of links from any site.
Links need to relevant in the sense that the website linking to you has some sort of affiliation with your theme otherwise the links will not benefit you.
Provided you stick to the three basic key points of search engine optimisation, in time you will notice a stronger website presence in the search engines.
Whist it can be done on your own if you have the knowledge and time, hiring an SEO agency is one avenue to success if you have the budget.
Having said that, time should not be spared in taking advantage of the vast opportunities the internet can bring you and your business.