There are a few general things you can do to keep water out of your basement. They don't always work because every situation is different. So I'll point out a few guidelines.
It's recommended that the dirt slope away from the house at least 1" per foot for 6 feet. You also want to make sure the dirt is not higher than the top of the foundation. Usually, 3 inches is enough but 8 is what most inspectors recommend to be safe.
The other key to avoiding basement water is gutters. Full gutters should lead to a downspout that extends 6 feet away from the house. Downspouts that long aren't very esthetically pleasing but really help to keep water away from the foundation. If you go to Homeowner Resource
there is a link under gutters and drainage.