SEO Truths, Tips and Trends: Seek and Find launches this week with a look at SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. We’ll provide truths, or things you need to know about SEO; Tips or ways to maximize your SEO even if you aren’t a coder; Trends or what is happening now and next in the search engine world. Don’t yawn. We promise to make it interesting.

SEO Truth #1: It’s more mystery than fact.

The ultimate goal is to get your site ranked #1 on search engines, to optimize your articles and to get clients. SEO experts tell us there are formulae and secrets to all the hours of work that go into making sure your site is visited. Q: Are they accurate? A: Partially.

There are tools to rate website articles to determine if the right keywords are used appropriately and frequently. The title of the article should match the subject, of course, and be repeated throughout the article. Yet, there is something that SEO experts may not know or aren’t admitting: There are times when an article gets loads of hits for no apparent reason. Which is not to say there is no reason, instead the reason may not be easily discovered. In my experience, articles with near-perfect SEO may never get seen and an article with no thought to SEO may be visited and read daily over and over. While I have yet to find an explanation, I know that it happens and I don’t mess with success.

SEO Tip #1: Write real content.

While experts are paid to make sure content contains the right number of “keywords” for search engines to find them and rank them favorably, your best strategy is to write real content in articles on your site. Write what you know. Write about what you are offering to clients without a sales pitch. If you repeatedly use the same words, readers will pick up on it and read it as “advertising.” What you want is “genuine” because real content gets read and referred. Readers who are impressed with your content will post on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others because they like what you have to say and they perceive it as genuine. This is not a conscious awareness necessarily because truth and honesty can be more subtle. Sites with articles intended only to “sell” or “advertise” are obvious. There is enough selling in our wired world: People seek learning, knowledge, information. Offer that and you will gain in the long term.

SEO Trend #1: Follow the crowd and be ahead of the crowd.

Google appears to be the authority in setting the standards and the rules by which SEO is played. Web designers and SEO experts, breath baited, wait for the latest search optimization rule from Google. Then they follow it and make sure their clients do which ultimately leads to everyone becoming generic. Sure, the trend is to follow the crowd, to read up on the latest Google formulas and to code accordingly. Keep in mind that the sites that are ahead of the crowd get noticed. A search engine is limited to listing sites. Clicking on a link from a search is beyond the search engine’s control. The site content and reputation bring clients and sales. Visitors find sites by referrals as often as they do by searching. By understanding that it takes more than a search to land a client, the power is in your hands to set the trends. Use it.