Today, everyone's number one concern with their site is, "will I be in the top 10 Google results". Well, in response to that, we as web developers can only do so much to assist you. Although, some of the tricks good developers can do to help out are have good, W3C compliant markup and make sure your site is submitted to the Open Directory Project. Although, compliant markup isn't easy. It includes good meta-tags, specific alt tags, page titles, headings and good keywords in text. Outside of these factors, the ranking depends on you.
The major factor does require quite a bit of work. This requires creating a lot of rich content and making sure your content relates (hyper-link/forward-link) to other content on the web. As stated in a recent Site Pro News article:
You will probably notice that the top sites in your niche have many articles and other quality content, and are continuously adding new content to their sites.
What people are doing is writing and writing often. This is the number one way to get more people on your site, in my opinion. We have really been able to witness this with ALA Techsource. They put up numerous blog posts everyday and this has resulted in them breaking 200,000 hits for the month of November. Just a few months ago they were only drawing as few as 10,000 hits a month.
Another contributing factor is to backlinking, which can also be referred to as 'inbound links'. Most search engines are using the 'link:' query to represent this. If you look at our site backlinks in Google, Yahoo and MSN, you can see how we approach this. Also note, that in Yahoo a lot of those backlinks come from the Open Directory submission.