I think the most effective short cut would be analyzing your top 10 competitors' sites using your main targeted keywords and do a little better than them. I would like to recommend some tools like SEO Elite for this purpose.
how can I get higher rankings like the other sites ?
is there any "short-cut-key" for that ? I guess nothing.
There is a way that may help you, you should compare with the SEO passages that are the top10 passages in google, try to make your own passage like them in the field of the keywords numbers and the keywords location and the beautiful sentence they use, you should consider in two sides. one is the reader, one is the google robot, if you passage are both satisfied by the readers and the robot, your passage will surely get higher ranking.
get more traffic! you can rite and submit articles, press releases. or write and ping blog entries. Always make sure to link back to your website with your blog posts. and if possible, make review some related products on epinion.
I think the most effective short cut would be to analyze the websites of its 10 competitors that use main targeted keywords and do a little better than them. I would recommend tools like SEO Elite to that effect.