diberry - 4:06 pm on Jul 11, 2013 (gmt 0)
I have changed focus from link building to digital footprints. Maintaining a high level of control over a clients digital presence and encouraging interaction.
^^^This is the answer to pretty much everything (and the steps you laid out are awesome, and everyone should print them out and stick them on a wall they look at frequently).
What you call a "digital footprint" is not only what Google is looking for (which may change in a year or so anyway). It's also how you become a brand, and you don't just become a brand to rank better in Google - you do it because that's how you'll survive outside of and beyond Google. Getting "branded" was a marketing concept before the internet even existed, and there are reasons for that.
I know a lot of people hate to hear it, but *some* level of social media participation is becoming a requirement for many sites. Even if you're selling plumbing supplies, it's on your FB page or Yelp that people will expect to find bargains and deals, like they once might have found in your Yellow Pages ad.