Regardless of it's eye catching style,
it's cutting edge technology,
it's efficient usability,
the high value of your product/services,
your website is worthless
if no one knows it's there.
In the last year (2011 and 2012) the search engines, Google in particular have been making a major effort to determine which web sites give the user the best experience by giving high quality sites a higher SERP, Search Engine Results Position. This started with the release of Panda in April 2011 a new factor in their algorithm and they have since released a series of updates and continued with Penguin released this year (2012) which penalizes WebSpam.
In the past the main source to getting a high SERP was via BackLinks (PageRank) which still play a part in your site's rank but not to the extent that they used to. Google hopes that web designers and site owners will concentrate more on providing a high quality site rather that trying to manipulate search engines. First and foremost you need to concentrate on providing the best possible User Experience.
In addition to providing a high quality site you need to give a lot of thought to the keywords, copy and media that you will include on your site, SEO should be part of the initial Information Architecture. Each of your web pages needs to be search engine optimized in order to gain the highest rank in SERP and this means including keywords that are a relevant and if possible a unique representation your produce/service/information but at the same time try and match the anticipated keywords that the user would use. The ultimate aim is to have your site show up on the first page of the search results. The majority of users do not go past the first page of search results and very few look at more than three pages.