SO...we do. And its a completely different animal - first off +Mark Lavoritano
is a pro at this but he's not on with us today so I'll do my best.
Traditional concepts of "what keywords do you want to rank well for" are completely thrown out of the window...well not entirely but partially. Since a lot of what we are trying to do is to increase pageviews - its not about ranking well for one keyword but helping every piece of content rank well for a LOT of keywords. It's often about architecting the "buckets" and how link equity flows to those buckets so each article / piece of content written has the highest likelihood of ranking well.
For our REALLY big publishers, we know we can't tweak every post that goes out. So its about empowering their teams to use the tools to help them write in a way that better connects with what people are seeking (from a theme standpoint) and the keywords they type in from a what words to use in the piece standpoint.
Linkbuilding really happens in the buckets, trying to build links to the big "buckets" helps that link juice to flow down to the individual pages. Does that make sense?
#4 Success metrics
Again this isn't about rankings, its about driving pageviews from search engines, so if a client knows value per pageview, of lack of inventory sold (used for in house ads) they can create a value to that, and then determine an ROI for the cost of involving us.
GREAT FREAKING QUESTION! Thanks for asking.