3 components - on-page - off-page and ??
you need to do all, no exceptions, you can try and get around it but be warned the learning curve for SEO is steep and long, oh and always changing...
do a search for on-page seo in google and find a basic step by step page format... its not hard but you need to tell the search engines what your page is about (keywords), do not over look this, we see many clients fail because they feel they just need to build links ( it's not enough anymore)
off-page seo- link building, slow and stead is best, mix it up in anchor text and link types. quality over quantity.
oh and #3 - ??
patience. no matter what you read on the net and who is trying to sell it too you, it takes time..
try and skip over anyone of these 3 and it is failure these days -