People use a search engine to look for information, product and services or be entertained. The job of the search engine is to provide a set or results that best answer the search query. These results may include adverts, local business listings and what is known as 'organic results'. If you own or manage a website and want to rank well in the organic results you need to make sure your site best answers the search query. To do this the site (not just the page), is informative, interesting, adds value, is authoritative and trustworthy. This means good quality content written to meet the needs of the reader. It should be complete and comprehensive enough to cover the whole topic. You might want to spread this over a number of pages rather than one long page. You also need an navigation system of menus and internal links that allows the reader to easily find the answers and information needed. If you have a product or service you need a call to action that is clear and unambiguous. Name, address, telephone and email are important as it adds trust. Reviews, citations, testimonials and referrals are good - these can be from external sites and help to build up trust. If you take a holistic approach to your website you can rank well with few inbound links. But beware the shortcut.... There are millions of sites. Some with huge competition making it difficult to rank well. People try to game the system with all sorts of tricks. This might work for a while but you will get caught out eventually. Anything to do with social media is pointless - all links are not follow so will be ignored by the search engines. Forums are mostly no-follow. Those links that are followed will have little value, Google even warned against forum links a few years back Guest posts on other blogs can work if the source and target are related and the source is a trusted site. Anything else will be ignored. What you want is a referral from a related site - where the source recommends your site. These aren't easy to come by. It can take months to build up a relationship. In the meantime work on getting reviews and citations. Again these aren't easy to get but are good inbound links. Remember the general rule: the easier a link is to obtain, the lover the value of that link. Focus on your website, make sure it's the best source for the search query. If there is too much competition, change your focus - look to lower competition long tail keywords. These are easier to rank and can be much more targeted.