Improved search engine rank is achieved through the intelligent and correct use of search engine optimization techniques. This involves both onsite and offsite methods and the more SEO techniques you apply to your site the better chance you will have of achieving a high listing in the indices of the major search engines for the keywords you are targeting.
These techniques need not be the classic SEO methods that involve seeding spider-bait into your web pages, but the carefully thought out construction of a website that allows spiders to easily crawl your entire website so that every page is visited and every page has a chance of being indexed by the search engines.
* The correct selection of a domain name
* The correct selection of page keywords
* The correct use of page keywords
* The insertion of meta tags, even though most search engines don't use them
* The correct HTML tagging of Titles and Headings, including subtitles
* The proper use of images and other graphics
* The correct construction of the site
* The ability to lead search engine crawlers to wherever you want them
* Good onsite optimization
* Good and extensive offsite optimization
You must know what you are doing when you play with SEO, and poor search engine optimization techniques can do more harm than good to your sites listing position or PageRank, or even its chances of being listed or ranked at all.
If you learn and apply the basics first you will get the ball rolling. You can then use some off site techniques to get the spider to arrive at your site and crawl at least your index page, and hopefully a few more. This 'hopefully' can eventually become a 'certainty' if you know how to do it right.
The problem is that few people know how to do it right. Even some who profess to be experts make fundamental errors of omission due to some misguided ideas and misconceptions that they appear to have. I prefer to apply what I know works, irrespective of any theoretical considerations, and I always try to keep in touch with the latest news and buzz on what the search engine algorithm writers are rumored to be getting up to.
These rumors are frequently proved to be truths and are well worth paying attention to. Also, I apply some methods that are not supposed to work, but I get results. The Google SEO forum is a good one to keep an eye on. Then you will be more prepared to achieve improved search engine rank of your existing websites, and rapid high listings of any future new sites you put online.