The most important for you is to first identify what words that you want customers to find you on search engines is? The less unique the search term, the more competitive your site will be with others. Ultimately this will cost but depends on your search words or ‘keywords’ as they are known. There are things that you can do to help the search engine rankings but it does require effort and you can speed this process up by paying for such services.
Be warned of black hat services that offer you better search rank position which may get you blacklisted from search engine listings. These can take forms such as link farms.
I take a holistic approach and combine a mixture of techniques based on quality content, blogs, and strong inbound links as part of a strategic seo (Search engine optimisation) / sem (Search engine marketing) campaign. I would budget for a number of hours a month over a six month period to see some serious improvements in search listing placement, depending on your keywords if you want to become first place in your niche Market on the search listing results.
But a campaign shouldn’t stop there like any business shouldn’t stay stagnant, your business is always a work in progress.
Let me know your thoughts?