Each search engine has its own criteria for which sites are listed first. The search engine companies don't exactly want you to know the specifics - otherwise people would tailor their websites to rank high on searches. The search engines look at stuff like the webpage title, text in the body of the webpages, metatags and how many other sites link to your site.
This is a decent article with several other links. Let me know if that doesn't answer your question.
My advice is contact a Technical College or Trade School where they teach a web design class. Instructors sometimes like to have a "project" to help with the design phase of the class.......that's what my instructor did. You might even get an instructor who is a full-time web designer who teaches on the side.
Going to a company that hosts websites, designs websites, maintains websites, and functions as your Internet Service Provider is probably easier, and is definitely the way to go if money is no object....but be prepared to open your wallet real WIDE.