Now for the sake of privacy I won't name their website because that's completely confidential but they have allowed me to document their rankings on this keyword.
When I was approached, they were dancing around #116 and just today they broke into the top 10, here's how I did it...
1) Adjusted the title tag, description tag, and content to include the keyword early and often. Nothing scientific about keyword density, just natural all the way.
2) Created a Link Juicer campaign which sends 10 links per day and so far has done nearly 350 links from web 2.0 sites.
3) Wrote 5 articles and submitted them to only EzineArticles. They got picked up by nearly a dozen decent sites with a link back.
4) Build a classic link wheel of 12 properties with unique content all interlinked smoothly.
5) Contacted the top bloggers in the niche and secured 6 really high quality backlinks from a few authority sites.
6) Outsourced 250 profile links from high PR sites. Then bookmarked, pinged, and blog commented towards all 250 pages.
7) Outsourced 50 do-follow blog comments on theme related blogs.
8) Submitted a press release on PRWeb ($140) which also got picked up a handful of times and scored some real quality links.
All of this work was done over a period of 30 days and about a week after the website broke into the top 10 of Google. It still doesn't rank in Yahoo or Bing, but we were going after Google so that's good.
Some more details:
Keyword: baby gift ideas
Broad Competition: 42.7MM
Exact Competition: 111k
The website already had some good link building done, was aged, and had been managed very well. They just couldn't crack the top 10 for this keyword, but were doing fairly well for some long tail keywords.
It goes to show SEO comes down to 90% link building and 10% on-page basics. Just spreading the keyword early and often followed up with both quality and quantity links does magic.
I'm open to answer any questions