AEO — the most important, popular marketing concept that I just made up

It’s called AEO and while it may be new to you, it’s the secret marketing sauce that nobody’s talking about.

OK. Not nobody.

Google’s been talking about for years. It’s part of their core engine.

It’s called AEO and it stands for “Awesome Engine Optimization”. It’s the process of optimizing for “awesome” instead of optimizing for “search”. It means continually trying to make your content more useful, more unique, and more interesting. It means caring more about what’s on the other side of the landing page than the landing page itself. It’s about connecting with people and genuinely trying to help or entertain them. It’s about creating content that actually makes the internet — and the world — better.

Now I know it sounds silly. Who doesn’t love those snappy top ten lists stuffed with keywords and stolen pictures, or articles that are actually slideshows and you never know where to click, or really long articles where the cute little pop-up appears and prevents you from actually reading what you went there to read. These are all very clever ways to screw the reader into doing something they don’t want to do and tricking Google into thinking you had something worthwhile to offer.

But, interestingly, there seems to be a minority of content marketers who are going against the grain, buying into the concept (or at least the spirit) of AEO, and are creating and sharing genuinely useful, interesting information that people want.

Why? To be honest, I’m not sure. I’m guessing that maybe they woke up one day and looked at themselves in the mirror and said something like:

“What the fuck am I doing??? I am actually a nice person who cares about people and the work that I do. So why am I filling the internet with garbage that is optimized for a fucking robot, using stupid computer hacks to trick people into doing what they absolutely don’t want to do so I can add their email address to our spammy “drip marketing emails” that will piss them off for weeks and months into the future. What have I become?”

or something like that.

So, in the interest of helping people who haven’t had the mirror talk yet, or are looking to make a leap into a new form of marketing, I’ve outlined how to do AEO properly below.

How To Do AEO Properly

After this post goes viral there will likely be thousands of blog posts, podcasts, online courses, and eBooks written about the nuances and processes of mastering AEO, but basically it comes down to a fairly simple process. Here is a diagram you can use:

A diagram to help marketers with AEO processes

Simple right? Not always. There’s a few tools you’ll need to make this process useful including honesty, integrity, and empathy.

But that’s just the starting point for true AEO practitioners. There are other things you can do to really achieve mastery of AEO including:

  • Encouraging people to comment on your content
  • Thanking them for commenting and responding if they ask questions
  • Asking your audience if they like the content, and how it can be improved
  • Attribution: Attaching a name (instead of admin or nothing) to the content
  • Updating or removing content that is out of date

What are other steps that you’ve used or see other people use? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. (see how I did that?)

It’s new. It’s called AEO and it just might change how you do your job, help Google do theirs, and make the internet a more useful place.

Try it out.

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Disclosure: we help companies create meaningful, useful content easily and affordably on