What’s the difference between inbound marketing and SEO?

Inbound

If you’ve been looking to generate more sales and have been reading up on effective digital marketing strategies that you want to implement, you will probably have come across the terms inbound marketing and SEO. For those who are not in the “digital marketing game”, these terms can get quite confusing! They both help you get more traffic to your website and generate leads… so what’s the difference?

There is definitely an overlap with inbound marketing and SEO, as there is with various forms of digital marketing, but hopefully this article clears up the difference between inbound marketing and SEO.

 

What is inbound marketing?

Generally, when people talk about inbound marketing strategies, they mean activities that target your ideal customer. These are people who are actively looking for your services or products or have perhaps shown an interest from their browsing history. Inbound marketing strategies aim to engage with these customers and answer any questions they may have. This may be in the form of posting relevant things on social media to try and attract your followers to your product or services, or perhaps creating blog posts to answer some important questions they may have.

Inbound marketing is all about producing helpful content to your target audience. We’ve also discussed various effective inbound marketing strategies in a previous blog post.

 

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation and refers to anything you to do help your website rank better in the likes of Google and Bing. The visitors who find you via search terms they type into Google are often referred to as “organic traffic” and these are found to be the most valuable type of visitors you can have to your website.

There are a huge number of ways you can optimise your website for search engines. These can often be categorised in on-page and off-page SEO techniques.

Typical on-page SEO activities include adding keywords to the meta title and meta description of your website, writing good quality content filled with relevant keywords and organising your website hierarchy correctly with good permalinks.

Off-page SEO mainly refers to backlinks, which are links to your website from other sources. These are often thought to be the most important part of SEO. However, site authority is also a key factor in off-page SEO.

 

Similarities and differences between inbound marketing and SEO?

So, there’s clearly a crossover between inbound marketing and SEO, but there is a clear distinction between the two activities and what you want to achieve.

The key component that overlaps the two is good quality content. Without good quality content, you cannot rank highly in search engines and so this is a huge factor in search engine optimisation. Effective inbound marketing strategies almost always include SEO, so they go hand-in-hand.

So, what’s the difference? Well, SEO is what drives organic traffic to your website. You need to do this first to attract your target audience to your website. However, once the traffic is there, the inbound marketing is what convinces them to buy your products or services, because the content you’ve provided answers their questions, proves your authority in the industry and generally just keeps them engaged. However, all this content also helps with the SEO and drives traffic to your site.

Therefore, if you have a great content marketing strategy in place, this will help you create really effective inbound marketing campaigns and help boost your SEO at the same time.

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