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Inbound Marketing vs SEO

When you’re considering what digital marketing strategy to take for your business, it’s tempting to focus all your energy on one area. 

If you’re going with that strategy – what area should you focus on? Two of the more valuable areas to focus on are SEO and inbound marketing. But what exactly are the two areas, what are the advantages of each and which one should you choose to focus on?

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. Essentially, this is any activity taken on your website which will help to increase your search engine rankings. This can include activities such as writing original, keyword-rich content. It can also include more technical tasks such as ensuring your website is user friendly and has navigation and URLs which are appropriately optimised. 

The better your SEO, the better your chances are of ranking higher on search engines. Think about it – when is the last time you clicked through to page two of Google? Never? It is easy to see why SEO is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. 

What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing focuses on how customers find a business online and what marketing activities are involved. Inbound marketing activities include social media, email marketing, blogging, videos and content marketing. 

While traditional marketing will focus on making the broader market aware of your company, inbound marketing will make existing customers want to purchase a product through a call to action. 

An inbound marketing strategy will focus on three components – attraction, engagement and delight. 

  • Attraction: First, you must attract customers with a properly optimised website, an informative blog post or engaging social media content. 
  • Engagement: Once the customer has been attracted to your brand, you need to make sure they are engaged. After all, getting a customer attracted to your site does not guarantee they will make a purchase. This is where email marketing or automation campaigns will come in. 
  • Delight: So your customer has made a purchase – that’s the end goal, right? No. Now you want to make sure your customer has a positive post-purchase experience in order to have a good brand association. Make sure you offer good support or deliver the customers new content such as blogs or videos. 

What are the differences between inbound marketing and SEO?

Inbound marketing and SEO can sound very similar – so what exactly are the differences? 

Well, they’re not complete opposites. In fact, SEO is one factor of an inbound marketing strategy. You can’t have an effective inbound marketing campaign without using SEO. After all, SEO involves optimising your website in order for it to be seen by more potential customers. Inbound marketing then focuses on converting those customers.

In short, the difference between SEO and inbound marketing is the state of the sales funnel the customer is at. SEO is at the start of the funnel, where customers still need to be attracted to the brand. Meanwhile, inbound marketing then convinces those customers to make a purchase. Using SEO and inbound marketing together will ensure you have the best possible sales strategy. 

What one should you use?

What is better for your website – inbound marketing or SEO? 

Unfortunately, there is not one clear winner in this battle – to have the best website, you should use both strategies together. If you neglect SEO, you will find your rankings will suffer, and your potential customers won’t have a good on-site experience. If you focus on SEO and don’t undertake any inbound marketing, your SEO efforts may not be worth it, and you’ll find people visiting your website will not convert. 

Instead of pitting the two against each other, your best option is to create a digital marketing strategy that involves both SEO and inbound marketing. This way people will have the best experience on your website, be more likely to purchase your products or services, and will be more likely to consume your content. 

Are you interested in inbound marketing or SEO but are not quite sure where to start? Contact Patch Agency today to start meeting your digital marketing goals.

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