If you’re looking to achieve top-ten results in Google, Yahoo! or MSN (the Big Three), there are a few things you can do on your own to optimize your site, without having to pay top dollar to a SEO firm.
Begin by reading this article from SEOMoz.org to familiarize yourself with the basics: Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization
Next, conduct a keyword analysis to identify which keywords you should be targeting. Be sure to include these keywords in the meta tags of your site, and also write relevant page descriptions for each page on your site.
Finally, spend at least 20-30 minutes each day actively seeking out sites where you can get backlinks to your website. A great place to start would be to submit your site to as many different web directories as you can find (some are free and some are paid). You could also spend just a little time each day in the blogosphere, leaving your comments with a link back to your site.
Achieving a number one position in the search engines is not something you can do overnight! Your results will be far better if you consistently spend 20-30 minutes per day than if you simply spend one entire day optimizing your site!