An honest suggession which I want to convey you is that, Keep following only what search engines say. Follow the recommendations or features suggested by the search engines to be in the ranking. Guidelines must need to be followed by heart.
You can start by having quality content of your article and then article submission for different directories, share it to social media, press release and I think that these few things can help you get in top of google...
This is not an easy task it takes months of hard work to get an improvement in keyword ranking.Study about SEO and meta tags and see that the content of your website is good and does not have any spelling or gramatical mistakes.Try to participate in Forums,Article writing and blog commenting.But first you need to have knowledge about SEO.Install tools like page rank which will keep showing you where your website ranks and the check your website traffic through alexa.Keep updating Your Website.
hiring or self doing depends on your business and keywords. if you are expectig a good revenue with traffic means i suggest you to hire SEO expert, if not try your self with social bookmarking and article submission