Depends what your business is but Facebook, Twitter and blogging are all useful ways of increasing your traffic. Hootsuite will draw them all together so you don't have to make multiple posts all the time.
I second using Google - they do have a lot of free resources.
I also agree that books shouldn't be written off as a possible source. I personally find them easier to read that looking at a computer screen, plus the basics don't change that much, the jargon still means the same and once you know what you are doing a bit more you can start reading the online stuff, a lot of which assumes that you know something. I'd recommend the Dummies books for this
There are lots of free sites like Hubspot that are forever sending me free 'How to..' ebooks so they are worth signing up for. Some are irrelevant but some are really interesting and they tend to send out stuff in a neat bullet points.
Some advertising on Google adwords. Look out for talkingpeace (or something on the freelance topic, a mine of information on adwords) But basically, building up hits with adwords will help your rankings, and you wont have to spend more than a couple of pounds per month, if you do it correctly.
We spend a lot more on our business, because some of our keywords cost a lot, but we have got new business this way and covered all our adwords spending.
If not Wordpress (I dont do much SEO for our blog, as it comes as a natural given based on topics covered) but an actual website, submit to Google, get to grips with google analytics and have fun! Also think about using the keyword finder, to get an idea of what keywords get lots of traffic, but be as specficic as possible to your line of business. For example, millions will search for shoes, you are unlikely therefore to get many hits from people looking for shoes, because there will be so many like you. But not many people look for Black leather court shoes with silver buckle.
Set up a Google plus profile. Integrate to your social networking and get Likes. It will count for your ranking on Google. Google is changing (again) how they categorize and rank websites, and now Google plus will count more. (They are taking up the battle with FB)
I know next to nothing about SEO but I have asked a few people who I trust in RL if I need to do this for my site (one man band business that does rely on my site for business) and the advice I was given was
- keep updating your site with blogs and new material - use google +, post links and news about your business on google + as much, if not more than facebook. Apparently google are very proud of google + and like websites that use it. I'm still trying to work out the best way to do this but I have found that I quite like google + as a social media! - use analytics (I use googles own, its free) to find out how people are using your site and then adapt it accordingly - If your business has a physical location put it on google maps (I think this has recently become google local) and again keep checking it as google keep updating.
Be careful with the keywords - Google's latest update means a lot of websites are having to do a lot of rewriting as they are now being penalised for having a lot of keywords. SEO experts believe that Google is going to turn the dial all the way down on keywords in the next few updates.
The key is consistent updates, unique content and use analytic tools to find out what people are Googling.
Respectfully disagree re books. I know what you mean but I found a lot of the stuff in books is still relevant - it is just some things that change over time as Google gets wise to tricks and techniques. I found books a helpful path through the almost overwhelming amount of online info there is on SEO.
I would add constantly updating the site or keeping it active to the list too.
Can anyone give me any advice re. website SEO - I'm setting up a website for my business & seeking generic tips re wording on homepage etc to help with my SEO. Am a technie novice - maybe I should get a relevant book & get reading? Thanks.