The Difference Between Inbound Marketing and SEO

If you are a small business owner in this day and age then you are probably familiar with at least two things. 1) you need a website and 2) SEO. Search Engine Optimization is one of those phrases that are thrown around with reckless disregard. Not only has this given internet marketing a bad name, it has caused a lot of confusion as to what internet marketing actually is and the benefits it can provide for your small business.

There are many facets to internet marketing, and SEO is just one of them. When you hear most people refer to SEO, they are actually referring to something else. The phrase has been usurped and mutated into a blanket word that covers all aspects of internet marketing, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Knowing the difference between the facets and identifying what your strengths and weaknesses are is paramount to assessing your internet marketing needs.

Search Engine Optimization really has two parts, there is “on-site” SEO or technical SEO, and there is “off-site” SEO which most people call outreach or linkbuilding. Both of these are important parts of a successful SEO campaign, but they are just small pieces of what  inbound marketing actually is. Inbound marketing is more than making your site more visible to search engines, it is about making your site visible to people. The scope of inbound marketing doesn’t end there, either; it also covers audience building and engagement, as well as conversion optimization.

Most SEO professionals are very skilled within their scope, but if you ask them to make you some graphics or build a community on Reddit, they are lost. This is where you include a social media specialist, a graphic designer, etc. These individuals will be skilled within their scope, but just like SEO they suffer when their scope widens; inbound marketing is an amalgamation of all of these disciplines.

Most inbound marketing professionals have years of experience in multiple facets which gives them a very good understanding of every moving part involved in a successful internet marketing strategy. This is also where the primary differences between the two disciplines reside; search engine optimization is just that, optimizing your page for search engines. Inbound marketing is about more than optimizing your page for search engines, it is about optimizing your page for humans and ensuring that they find the information they need as quickly and efficiently as possible.

So now that you know the difference, do you know what you need for your internet marketing campaign? LocalDirective can help with all aspects of inbound marketing, from web design to social media. Give us a call at 813-341-3800 to see how we can help you. You won’t regret it!

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Author: Larry Lembcke

Larry has 10 years of internet marketing experience and specializes in inbound marketing. Over the years, he has had the opportunity to do nearly everything in the internet marketing space, including paid and organic search marketing, web design, graphic design, strategy, and management. Larry fills a diverse role at LocalDirective and goes wherever, whenever, to get the job done!