What triggers popularity with a search engine has always been elusive. You have to change how you market your website and even build it from the ground up to make search engines rank it on their top page. For someone new to the process, it can appear to be a daunting task.
First thing is what not to do. Recall when websites had massive keyword lists at the bottom or top of the pages. These words were paragraphs in length and didn't make any sense! The words added zero useful content for the reader; the text was designed for SEO and to trick the search engines. Sure, it worked for awhile, but now search engines are wise to those tricks. They know these paragraphs are designed only for SEO, and now will get you penalized.
Create Search Engine-Friendly Content
Simply said, make sure you put a large amount of text on your website designed for your audience, not the search engine. Search Engines can now detect if a sentence doesn't make sense. For SEO make sure you write text for your site the same way you would speak. The trick is to make sure your keywords show up in your text about 2% of the time. If you do it too much, the search engine will know what you are up to and begin to penalize you.
Reduce the use Flash or text embedded images as well. Search engines ignore these things. They are very bad for SEO. For images that you do have on your sites, attach alt image tags with a brief sentence that describes the image, using some keywords. Also use heading tags and do not try to hide keywords by making them the same color as your page. While this used to work for SEO, now it is the fastest way to get sunk to the bottom of the page. Sure, it might work for a week or two, but after that your ranking will begin to decline.
As you write your content you may notice that the longer your text gets, the harder it is to keep your keywords at the optimal amount. Some will be higher and others will be lower. Writing more only seems to lower the keywords that are having trouble!
You will want to make sure that your home page text is informative, but concise. Pick the keywords you want to target on your homepage wisely. If you have other keywords you want to focus on for SEO you may want to consider creating a separate landing page.
A landing page is in essence like another homepage that funnels traffic into your site. It will provide a small amount of information with links to your main site. This way if people search for keywords not targeted on your homepage, they can still find you on the major search engines. Creating multiple landing pages for different sets of keywords is very popular right now with SEO, and it works. A good landing page doesn't take long to generate as it should be just one page long and directly link to your site right away.
Generate a Site Map
A site map, in case you are not familiar, is a page from your site that is strictly text links of your site. It is like a table of contents in a book that shows all the links that are presented on your site. Search Engines are attracted to these, especially the big ones. Each time you make a site map change, you can ping these search engines to re-index. That will keep your rankings fresh.
Speaking of keeping it fresh, frequent updates are another thing that is great for SEO. Make sure to update your website often, about once a week. The changes don't have to be significant. They could be very small like changing the homepage text or posting comments on your services page. Any change will be considered as keeping your site fresh which search engines love. One of the worst things you can do for SEO is to have a stale website. No one likes outdated information and neither do search engines.