Why You Need both SEO AND Inbound Marketing
by Andrew Millar
If Internet marketing terms had a popularity contest, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) would win as quickly as the blond cheerleader has throughout history. Hands down, it is the most popular phrase. People use with such reckless disregard for its actual meaning that you need to almost determine the context of the speaker and their SEO education level to be sure what the true meaning is behind their use of the term.
Lets clear the air. What are we, right now, right here, talking about when we use SEO optimization? We’re talking about SEO optimization at its most basic form:
SEO optimization makes your website become search engine friendly.
While a lot of SEO writers and how-to-marketers would like to convince you that SEO and inbound marketing are the same thing, they are not.
Is SEO a part of inbound marketing? Yes. Is it vital to inbound marketing? Definitely. Will only focusing on SEO make your inbound marketing campaign a success? Maybe. You also might win your life savings at the black jack tables in Vegas. The odds are not great. But, there’s a chance.
How does inbound marketing differ from SEO optimization? Inbound marketing encompasses not only all the things that attract visitors to your website, but also all the things which lead them to making the ultimate move – buying in.
Depending on your inbound marketing campaign goals, this might mean subscribing to an e-mail list, asking for a white paper, contacting you for a quote or making a purchase. These goals are an important distinction because of one major factor: They all relate to your consumer.
SEO is about creating a site that relates well to search engines. Inbound marketing is about creating a site that relates well to people.
We feel like we should stand on top of a mountain and shout about it. So many people are pushing SEO optimization when search engines aren’t the target audience. If they were, search engines would be the folks forking over Benjamin’s for your products and services. Ask yourself: Are they? If you answered yes, the rest of this post is not for you.
If you answered no, then lets dig deeper into how SEO optimization helps you achieve your inbound marketing goals.
It’s important to realize that anything which drives traffic to your site is inbound marketing. This means both your online and offline business presence are a part of your inbound marketing. This can include (but is not limited to) your:
- Blogging Presence
- Email Campaigns
- White Papers
- Social Media Presence
- News and Media Presence or Mentions
- Organic Search
SEO optimization, at its prime, goes beyond the basic page presence of making your website search engine friendly. When you successfully integrate SEO into your inbound marketing, you streamline your entire brand presence, creating a cohesive look and feel for your customers and prospects.
No matter where they discover you, whether it’s through word-of-mouth, a news broadcast, a social media mention or a Google search, they’ll find the same message on your website.
Why is this important? Because it does you little good to attract tons of visitors who are only interested in pictures of cute and cuddly puppies when you sell bananas. Puppies don’t eat bananas. You can’t cuddle with a banana. And while some people will like both puppies and bananas who visit, chances are they won’t stick around long enough to even begin to buy your bananas because they’re there for puppies.
Good SEO optimization avoids all this puppy-banana nonsense. It doesn’t hinder your inbound marketing with high bounce rates from dissatisfied visitors. Done right, it makes your business top banana!