Wilburforce - 1:22 pm on Jan 5, 2013 (gmt 0)
Basically I have to sit here and hope A) that someone is searching for what I have, and B) that I show up at the top.
Someone is certainly searching for what I have: if there isn't a market for it you don't have a business.
An important part of "optimisation" is anticipating what terms the searcher is likely to use for what you offer (they are not searching for what you have: they are searching for what they call what you have). Showing at the top for these is more useful than showing at the top for other terms, but don't underestimate the value of showing at the top full stop: if someone is wanting technical information about how to mend their broken widget they may not be planning to replace it today, but they may well come back to you when they do want to replace it if they found you easily and the information you provided was useful. Marketing the business (in terms of raising public awareness of it) is as important as marketing individual products and services.
Refining your site(s) to match changing search patterns and terms does not mean sitting and hoping. Volatility is Google results in the last year makes getting it right more difficult, but some people are still getting it right (although Google is also more often getting it wrong).
To get it right you need to make changes, wait to see the effect, evaluate, make changes...
There isn't a permanent solution (whatever you do won't keep you on page 1 forever), but being on page 1 is important for a business now as it has ever been.