In today’s market there are very few secrets regarding SEO. Hard work and constant updating is the key to success. Of course there are always going to be those companies that will tell you there is this huge secret behind SEO. I myself will not tell exactly what my company does because it could later be used against me.
Part of my companies success is exclusivity. If you use all your resources to get your client in a particular industy to the front page of his market then you should have success. If you work with a couple of clients in the same industry or market then you are diluting your resources among them and not giving each one their necessary attention.
Great website design including url structure, page linking and several other on page strategies will also help in getting the site to the homepage. I prefer to work with existing domains vs. client having a new domain in a competitive market or industry. It can be done but will take more time and client patience.
In closing there are no true secrets. Just hard work, a great website structure and great backlinking. Please don’t be fooled by people that tell you they have this proprietary software or ninja seo guy. They are making it up.