I highly recommend the book "Building Findable Websites" by Aarron Walter. It’s current (2008) and there’s a lot of SEO, web standards, accessibility, and microformat info that will help you with every aspect of building a site. A great guidance book for the intermediate/advanced user. I bought mine at Amazon.
1. If you dont want too much competition from other SEO?s, choose your keywords precisely.
For example, Instead of keyowrd Loan choose keywords like Bank Loan, Equity Loan, Student Loan, Home Loan etc.
Order of keyword also matter for search engines. Search engine treats ?Loan Equity? and ?Equity Loan? as different keywords.
2. Best seo practice is to get at least one of your primary keywords in domain or sub domain name of your website.
You can use hyphens (-) to separate multiple keywords.
For example: seo-service, seo-guidelines, free-seo each cover two keyords.
3. Get your second or third keywords in your directory name and filename.
4. Keep your webpage free from any syntax error, declare document type at the beginning and validate your HTML and CSS because search engine don?t like pages with too many errors.
5. Give a short Title in of your page in 3-9 words (60-80 characters) maximum in length containing your primary keyword.
Remember it will be displayed in search results so choose wisely.
6. Try to include your most important keyword phrases in heading tags on your page if you can but keep in mind it should not be exactly same as title of your page.
You can use (H1 H2 H3) tag for specifying anything important.
To reduce size of heading use CSS.
7. Specify Meta keywords in heading of document. Limit it to 15 to 20 words. Although not all the search engines give importance but there is no harm doing it.Search engine like Yahoo still give it importance.
8. Write Your Meta Description tag attractive containing keywords because it will appear on the search engine result pages.
9. Use text for navigation menu instead of using images or Java scripts.
10. Try to include your most important keyword in hyperlinked text and text and text that immediately precedes or follows the hyperlink.
Do not use same keyword always use synonyms at few places.
Jusk like instead of seo, I have use search engine optimization at many places on this page.