The initial stage: site building
The overall structure of your site needs to be clean and clear without useless code. And the same for each part of your site structure, especially for navigation, all your settings must match to user experience, which is the most important thing.
For example, navigation should contain keyword, and can be easily recognized by site visitors. Besides, from the perspective of search engine and site visitors, horizontal structure is much better than vertical structure. So do not make your site has very deep structure.
The second stage: content adding
If your site is focus on a single produce or nice, you need to do keyword research first, choose some long-tail keywords with less competition and relatively search amount, and you can use Google keyword tool to analyze and choose.
If your site is not focus on a single product, take download site as an example, amount is the first thing, you need to add as many content as possible. In this way, after the index by search engine for those pages, you will find some of them have a pretty good ranking position. And then, focus on optimization of those keywords, in this way, the rise of ranking for those pages will the traffic and ranking position for the whole site. And here, I want to mention, a sitemap for your site is necessary since it can offer a complete and quick index, especially for big sites with many pages, new sites, and site update very often, and the sitemap tool I use is a free one but very powerful, it is SitemapX.
The next stage: out-site optimization
Out-site optimization mainly means backlinks, quality is more important than quantity! After, Panda Update, Penguins Update and so on serial algorithm update, the main focus in on backlink quality. And, what quality is? Natural and various! Do not use any black-hat way to get backlinks; do not use single backlink resource. Write one original high quality content and share in different places is much better than hundreds of junk links.
I do in the above way, now, I succeed; hope it also can help you! Glad to see your review or recommandations! Good luck!