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I have actually had good luck with search engines using the meta description tag. So I usually put a keyword filled description on every page specific to the page.
Probably the best thing, though, is still the <title> tag. Keywords in the title in a complete sentence work well.
As always, though, the more text you have in your page that spiders can read, the better.
Remember also to put keywords/ keyword phrases in your links. I think I am the only person who still appreciates and uses text links at the bottom of every page...very old school html, but effective for spiders and people who don't want to wait for gif buttons to download.
Hope that helps.