Hi stacks, and welcome to WebmasterWorld.
There's a classic post on the forum that's almost ten years old, a little dated in spots, but remarkably prescient overall, that you definitely must read. It's... Successful Site in 12 Months with Google Alone http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum10003/2010.htm
Among other things, though, it doesn't discuss how to select your subject matter or decide on target keywords. It also doesn't discuss business model.
Things like adding keywords and such...
You might say that the "and such" is what the forums on WebmasterWorld are all about. ;)
About keywords, since you've asked... you don't really add
keywords afterwards. They should be implicit in what you write about and conceptually be part of the page from the start, and that includes the title of the page that targets them. The meta keywords element (aka the meta keywords "tag"), if that's what you were wondering about, hasn't really been used by any of the major engines in quite a few years.
While the essential unit of optimization is the page, with Google's Panda update there are now user satisfaction and quality factors that apply to the entire site... beyond simply page relevance or linking. Internal linking and relationship among pages in a site overall has been important for quite some time.
You should be using a keyword suggestion tool to give you an idea what search phrases to target. I recommend the Google AdWords Suggestion Tool [adwords.google.com
...] over other tools available. It's free, and it's got the best data. IMO, it doesn't have the best interface, but the data is what's important here.
On the Google Tool, for SEO, make sure you set your Match Type preferences to "Exact" match, not to "Broad" or "Phrase", when you look for keywords (actually phrases). Ultimately, you'll need to search a lot and literally dissect a great many successful sites to get a sense what works and what doesn't, and why. Note that Google is looking for variety and innovation, so simply reproducing what you see ranking in your field isn't the best approach.
These are the reasons I quit my job....
I'm sorry to say that now is a probably a bad time to be quitting one's job and jumping into this cold. Search has been changing rapidly over the past several years, and it's never been a short term strategy, so success is likely to come slowly. Additionally, the economy is difficult.
It's very important to learn how to use WebmasterWorld site search, and to use it often. Use it before you post a question, both to see what's already available and to help you sharpen up your questions.
Also, in the Google SEO News forum [webmasterworld.com
...] ...pinned to the top of the forum's home page... we've got a Hot Topics area that I recommend you read... Google Hot Topics - FAQs http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/3269983.htm
My basic tip, particularly in the current climate, is to do what Steve Jobs used to tell the filmmakers at Pixar when they started a new project... "Make it great."
A site has got to be good enough to bookmark and to share with friends. In the long run, anything less isn't going to cut it.