I work as a web developer for a small-to-medium sized company. We're not huge, but we do business throughout the entire US and internationally because our service is very niche. We repair and remanufacture gas station and car wash products. We sell to distributors, who in turn service individual gas stations and car washes.
Last summer I was primarily tasked with making the website not suck (because it did). Now, it's decent in terms of layout, markup, and content, but it does not have much in the way of search engine optimization. Optimizing it is my main job this summer.
Since I received my mission, I've been reading up on the subject. I read a good chunk of the book Search Engine Optimization Bible, Second Edition, and I've been consistently reading articles on the web. I added the keywords and description tags and set up Google Analytics and Webmasters accounts. However, the site largely lacks content.
I've been thinking of ways to keep fresh, dynamic content available, but neither I nor my supervisor (who's in charge of marketing) can think of anything right away. We currently have about fifteen main pages (although a couple will likely be merged soon), and only one is updated frequently (to show a table of used pumps available). We have a press release page, but it hasn't been updated in over a year. We don't have a lot of news-worthy events occur within our company (unless we were to announce when an employee gets married or has a baby, completely irrelevant to the company's services).
We also have an e-store hosted by Prostores, but it's separate from our main website. I'm working on making the two sites more tightly coupled, but I can only do so much with what Prostores allows. Furthermore, we don't sell to just anyone. Only distributors can buy from our store, and they have to call to get an account. Anyone can browse our products, but the prices and cart functions are hidden unless they sign in.
Any tips on how to optimize a niche website?
Also, I'm currently working on changing the main site from straight XHTML to PHP. A few of the pages use PHP to update tables from data on the server, and I'm moving the static pages to a simple template system to keep things more homogeneous. I'm not sure whether I should wait until the templates are finished to start SEO or just jump in now.