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What is SEO? SEO Definition and Examples

November 15, 2022 Jeremy Flick

SEO Definition and Examples

SEO or Search Engine Optimization, is one of the most powerful strategies available to organizations looking to expand their reach and win new business. We’re living in an era where virtually any information or service is a mere Google search away, so it’s increasingly difficult to imagine a modern company, no matter how niche, without a website.

Companies use SEO and content optimization strategies to increase their chances of being seen when potential customers are searching for the type of product or service they offer. There’s an infamous statistic among marketers, that 90% of websites get zero web traffic at all.

That’s because if you’re not  in the first handful or so of the search results, most people won’t see your content.

Can you imagine? All that effort, creativity, and persistence…just…falling flat? It happens all too often, unfortunately. But fortunately, it’s an avoidable fate!

Once you understand how SEO works for business, you lessen the chance that you’re just spinning your wheels, writing a boatload of content that’s not going to perform well. At DemandJump, we want to help you reach Page One (or Bust!)—it’s exactly what our platform was built for. But SEO success takes more than just the right tools; it also requires an understanding of, for lack of better phrasing, why what works works.

Keep reading for a brief overview of what SEO marketing is, the most important SEO tasks, and how DemandJump’s one-of-a-kind platform can help you develop and implement a winning strategy.

What is SEO in Digital Marketing?

Simply put, SEO is the process of increasing the number of organic visits to a certain website by making sure that it appears highly on the list of results generated by a search engine. Part of the SEO process is optimizing your website and content for search engines to find and process, which ranks them on how valuable they are to the searcher.

How Exactly Does SEO Work?

From the marketer’s perspective, SEO works by tailoring website content to the actual searches their potential customers are running when looking for a particular product or service. Through the use of effective SEO keyword research—paired with content optimization strategies like internal and external linking, meta descriptions, and more—marketers increase the chances of their content not only reaching their customers, but influencing their buying decisions.

There are several different types of SEO in digital marketing, including off-page and on-page SEO, as well as local, technical, and even mobile SEO.

When SEO marketing tactics are well-utilized—especially in tandem with the proven strategies of Pillar-Based Marketing (PBM)—an organization’s website and content are much more likely to show up in the top few Google search results, increasing traffic.

What is an Example of an SEO Strategy?

Businesses want to reach their target audience with the digital content they produce, like blogs in particular. By using SEO to their advantage, businesses can rank higher in searches and drive higher conversion rates. But how do businesses use SEO in their content marketing online?

Back in the day, many writers used to stuff the same keyword in a piece of content over and over again in hopes that they would rank higher on Google. The problem with this method is that it produces low-value content—and search engines have caught on to this issue. Now Google can see when content doesn’t provide much value to the conversation and does not reward it with high rankings.

One of the best ways to have content rank higher on Google is to answer questions with informative content. By that we mean content that actually answers questions with valuable information. Search engines reward blogs that avoid keyword stuffing and instead use several high-ranking keywords, because people want to avoid repetitive content that doesn’t help them. So when it comes to good SEO vs bad SEO, It’s all about value!

Answer questions with informative content

How SEO Works: Step-by-Step

Search engine optimization is more than following a formula, and the techniques you use will determine how your website performs. You need to be deliberate about what keywords you choose, how you use those keywords, and how you answer questions within the content you produce. One avenue for SEO that many businesses have success with involves following these five steps:

  1. Setting Clear Objectives
  2. Performing Keyword Research
  3. Creating a Pillar Strategy
  4. Writing Compelling Content
  5. Optimizing Content Performance

Be deliberate about keywords and questions

Let’s look at an example. Imagine there’s a book publisher, RedViolet Books, a small publisher that wants to expand their business by appealing to local, independent authors. From their experience, they know that there are at least two things holding new writers back from publishing their work:

  1. People don’t feel confident that they have anything to write about, or a story worth telling; and
  2. Would-be authors don’t know where to start when it comes to finding a publisher for their work.

So, what happens next? The first step toward SEO success is to set well-defined goals for the strategy. Let’s see what that looks like for RedViolet Books.

Step 1: Setting Clear Objectives

There’s no SEO strategy without one or more clear objectives to work toward. As we noted above, the challenge for RedViolet Books is empowering ordinary people to believe they can successfully write a book and have it published. On a related note, they also need to increase their brand awareness—or increase general awareness of small, local publishers and their advantages.

  • RedViolet Books’ objective: Publish content that performs well with search engines, and inspires authors to not only write a book but explore having it published by RedViolet Books. More specifically, they want to increase organic traffic by 20%.

Now that’s a great objective, RedViolet Books! It’s specific in its aim and impact, and it’s something they can clearly measure. Now, with their objective in tow, the content creation process can begin.

Step 2: Performing Keyword Research

Keyword research is the foundation of any good SEO strategy. When an organization knows exactly what their target audience is searching for, including their exact language, they can tailor their content accordingly.

DemandJump makes keyword research easy. With just a few clicks, marketers can see exactly what people are searching for, including the highest-priority questions they are asking.

Step 3: Creating a Pillar Strategy

Marketers are increasingly leveraging Pillar-Based Marketing (PBM) as a component of their digital marketing strategy. PBM combines keyword research with proven tactics for creating an interconnected and interlinked web of content—one that search engines will notice.

A single PBM strategy consists of three major types of content:

[1] Pillar Page: A comprehensive guide to a broad topic in a 3,000-word piece of content using ~20 high-value keywords

[3] Sub-Pillars: A shorter, more focused piece of the Pillar strategy that explains a topic further in a 2,000-word piece of content using ~15 high-value keywords. Each sub-pillar contains a link to the Pillar Page.

[12] Supporting Blogs: The most specific piece of content answering questions in 750 words with 7-8 high value keywords. Of the 12 Supporting Blogs, 3 will contain links to a Sub-Pillar as well as the Pillar Page and 3 will link solely back to the Pillar Page.

In this case, RedViolet Books decides to write their Pillar about “book publishing.” Of course, this lends itself to many topics focused on publishing books and gives them the space to answer the most important questions throughout their content.

Next they decide on their Sub-Pillar topics. A content pillar strategy should contain one Pillar and three Sub-Pillars. The first Pillar Page RedViolet Books creates will address the search volume they see around “cheapest ways to publish a book.” Again, this is more specific than the Pillar, but there is still a lot of space for them to explore in these pieces.

Finally, they decide on different blog topics within their Sub-Pillar. RedViolet Books decides on three blog titles:

  • “How much does it usually cost to publish a book?”
  • “Is there a free way to publish a book?”
  • “How do I self-publish a book with no money?”

The first blog they want to write is “Is there a free way to publish a book?” They need to find 7-8 keywords and questions to use throughout their piece. Using DemandJump, they uncover an entire network of keywords and questions. Here some examples of SEO keywords and questions they could build their strategy around:

  • How to publish a book for free
  • How do I publish a book and sell it for free?
  • Cheapest way to publish a book
  • Make a printable book online free
  • Best free book publishing software
  • Free publishing sites
  • Do you need money to publish a book?

Step 4: Writing Compelling Content

Having set their strategy objectives and performed keyword research, RedViolet is ready to write!

Of course, the writing itself isn’t always easy—especially if a company is writing several in-depth pieces of content around a highly specific or technical topic. Some repetition is natural, though—when using PBM, the expectation isn’t that someone is going to read every blog post on a topic.

Priorities when writing content for SEO include writing for humans, not search engines, which means:

  • Keeping the tone and language consistent
  • Being accurate and informative
  • Finding the right “middle ground” between being too casual or too academic
  • Building value into each piece of content
  • Using online tools like Grammarly or HemingwayApp to ensure readability

Over the course of a couple weeks, the staff at RedViolet Books writes and publishes their 3,000 word Pillar Page, as well as 3 Sub-Pillars and 12 Supporting Blogs.

Step 5: Optimizing Content Performance

Once RedViolet’s content has been published to the web, the work of SEO doesn’t stop. It’s important to monitor how specific pieces of content perform over time. That way, they can gain insights into the types of content that are performing best, and fine-tune any pieces that aren’t performing well.

DemandJump provides the tools and insights marketers need to optimize their content and increase its ROI. The best SEO optimization tools—like DemandJump—provide real-time insights into content performance as well as competitive positioning and trends over time.

Is SEO Still Relevant in 2024?

Definitely! But the tactics and definition of success are always changing. That underscores the importance of using modern SEO techniques and tools to inform your content strategies for 2024 and beyond—techniques like PBM and tools like DemandJump.

Even basic keyword research can be difficult to do without the proper tools, let alone more advanced search engine optimization techniques. Searching for keywords online can take hours or even days to complete, and even then it’s not assured you select the right ones. DemandJump gives you insights on what keywords and questions are ranking higher on search engines, so you can be sure you reach the right audience at the right time…like right now!

Ready to Boost Your Content? You’re Ready for DemandJump!

DemandJump provides more than just keyword research for new content, though—our platform also includes SEO optimization tools you can use to get the most out of your existing content and reach Page One.

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