Howdy, my fellow SEOers! 2012 is winding down, and what a year! Search Engine Academy has had its hands full, keeping up with all the SEO happenings, just like you.

2013 promises to be even more dynamic; nay, can we say “semper gumby?” (Always flexible). That’s my motto, because SEO changes all the time, and it won’t stop anytime soon.

At any rate, I want to share my thoughts with you on what I figured out about SEO. I’m not going to try to say where search engine optimization is going. Some folks say it’s going to hell in a hand basket or otherwise, but I don’t believe that.

Well, I learned here in 2012 in that no matter if you are a one-person business or a large, international corporation, it’s all about enterprise SEO. What the heck is enterprise SEO, you ask? Well, let’s just define it for you, SEO podna!

Enterprise SEO is broadly, creating, implementing and managing search engine optimization as an ongoing program or project for large websites. It doesn’t always relate directly to the size of the company, although Fortune 500 companies certainly do have enterprise SEO programs, but I know small businesses that have web sites with pages numbering in the hundreds, so technically, they do enterprise SEO. Hey, when I did the five day SEO Master Comprehensive class with John Alexander in Las Vegas, we¬† had two brothers in the class from Indiana who ran a health supplement site with pages in the high hundreds. Just the two of them. Boy, were they gobsmacked at all the stuff they needed to do to their site to get it ranked. Let’s just say “lifetime project.” But I digress…

Enterprise SEO is managing on-page and off-page SEO, as well as social media and inbound marketing efforts.

No matter the size of your site, you can just no longer do a few SEO things a couple times a year and rank decently. Those days are long gone.

What else have I learned, teaching and doing SEO in 2012? Equally as big as viewing your SEO efforts as an enterprise, I learned how critical it is to a web site’s visibility if the owner decides to pin all of her hopes on strictly doing page sculpting and submitting her site to directories, but not creating new content.

2012 really emphasized the need to create fresh, unique, useful content consistently. If you don’t upload new content, doing other SEO strategies will only take you so far up the SERPs and no more. After dealing with a couple clients who absolutely stayed in a 2005 mindset, we mutually parted ways because they would not create new content and wondered why they weren’t ranking high for their chosen keywords.

So now, when I take on clients, before anything else is discussed, I tell them that I am not their best SEO consultant to hire if they don’t take responsibility for creating new content a few times per week. Whether I do it, they do it, or they have another writer, I no longer take on a client who doesn’t make the commitment in my SEO services contract to do new content.

I also learned, like everyone else in 2012, that link building just got about 1000 times tougher with Google Penguin. Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s a great improvement, but it just destroyed link building efforts overnight.

I now tell prospective clients that if I can get them two good links per month, they should count themselves lucky. Directory submissions are largely out; article directories are the kiss of death and commenting on blog posts for link love is out the window.

So what is left is roll up your sleeves and work hard and patiently for a few links here and there. Get used to it.

What else, what else in 2012? Mobile, that’s what. You may sell project management software or run a Korean taco truck. Whatever, look at your web analytics, and if you are seeing a signficant number of mobile searches, and you look at the device type, get yourself a good mobile web dev creature and make a mobile site! But not only that, you also need to look at the keyword terms THEY use, because those might be different phrases from the desktop searchers, umkay?

There’s more, but I think you get the picture. SEO always changes. Fresh new content that is interesting must always be created and uploaded regularly. Social media and mobile are here to stay.

Share your thoughts with us in the comments about what you learned in doing SEO this year.

Until next time, keep it between the ditches and let’s connect in 2013!

All the very best to you,