The following are a sliest of short and basic SEO techniques. I have gathered them from my personnel experience as well as from the internet.
1. Content is not King
This is commonly believed but it is not true. Content is not king. You will see a lot of top rated sites with 3 lines of contents which could be related but they are not a lot. There are bogus sites which have not contents but appear on top. Bottom line, content is not king
2. Domain name
Domain name is the second biggest factor in appearing on top of search results. If I searched for juicy oranges, the domain that contains juicy oranges will be on top. In there is not such domain, the page that had this name in the URL will be on top.
3. Page Title
As discussed above page name (that is url) contains keywords, high importance is given to it.
4. Page URL
Page title is the most important factor if you leave all the above factors. This is how the search engine decides is this the right page?
5. Meta tag
People used to believe at one point, meta description of the site is really important. Then other say, well it is not important at all as long as the contents are terrific. That is true, if contents are great, meta is not needed. But if you think you site contents are good but the site is still not on top, work on meta. Simply include keyword or phrases that you want to work target. I would target only one or two phrases at most. Phrases are better than keywords in the modern searching engines.
6. Header Tags
They are really important in the page. It brings focus to the search engine what you are discussing. Without header tags, there is no focus. Meta tags in your contents acts like magnets to search engine.
7. Contents are king
If all the above are sound (with the exception of meta), your contents are kings. If there is nothing on the site that makes people read or simply click and go back (that is higher bounce rate), the rating will gradually and quite fast go down. The site or page will loose it spot in the top page and soon it will not be shown in top results.
An important thing about content is, that it should contains the keywords or phrases that are mentioned in the title, headers so that it bring harmony and focus to the page. If contents are all over the place, it does not have a focus and it rating will be low.
8. Use of Proper HTML tags
Use proper HTML tags where it can be beneficial, for example use lists that agains bring focus to the page, you are talking about something in particular, or use definition list etc to say what a word means. These little things help and in a good way.
9. Page Life
Older pages usually have more history associated with it so they can possibly be rated high. If you ever want to replace it with a new page, use 301 redirect that is page has permanently moved. This will not affect the SEO of your new page at all. In fact it will improve it if the contents and tags are better listed in the new page.
10. Google is not stupid
Just want to say if there you have a domain, it does not have any content and it barely has anything on it, it may never show up on google search because simply there are a lot of other sites which has higher ranking that than site in that particularly category.