I would like to mention that I have been getting a lot of email and calls from companies promising "Search Engine Optimization" for the websites I created and managed. They promise the moon. One, recently told me that they found a particular website I created, updated and keep up to date "ranked low" on Google, despite the fact that in the state my client works, she is #1 for all search queries she wants to be in.
You can not do search engine optimization without getting your hands on the web site's code. It's just not possible. And these companies promising the moon and the stars are either misstating what search engine optimization is (perhaps confusing it with Search Engine Marketing—SEM) or they are lying through their teeth in the interest of running a scam.
All of the replies to your enquiry above are all about causing the code in your websites to be findable by the search engines. If you can tweak or rewrite or write the HTML code using modern web tools, like Dreamweaver, you can optimize your website for the search engines. And companies who claim to do this without being able to touch your code are not doing SEO.
So, once your website is really pulling in viewers, do ignore the scam artists.
Here is the checklist
• Creating the Keyword Ranking Strategy (also keyword research)
• Writing Metas
• Creating a Content Request
• Implementing internal links
• blog post
• Free Directory submission
• Local Directory submission
• Social Bookmarking
• Diagnosing competitors