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Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing and SEO – Roadmap to SEM 2013


When you think about internet marketing methods, you often are overwhelmed with terms, methodologies, do’s and don’ts, and the steps that must be taken in order to build a brand online.  Multitude of strategies, activities and metrics causes, that promote a business in a fast and very competitive environment as Internet is, became a separate pillar responsible for business growth. Why is it so?

The tasks related to SEO, content marketing, inbound marketing, testing, and web analytics are complex and time consuming and they greatly exceed day-to-day activities associated with managing a business. As a matter of fact, they need so much of your attention that they can be successfully called a second job. Lets keep the terms crystal clear.

Inbound Marketing and SEO

Although the terms are closely related and dependent on each other, inbound marketing isn’t SEO. Inbound marketing is more about strategy or process that aims to attract visitors via numerous channels using various types of content. SEO is also a process, but it’s more technical. It focuses more on:

  • website optimization – one time optimization aimed to make a particular website more accessible for search engine crawlers
  • content optimization – used to make content relevant with keywords, it mostly focuses on making it findable on search engines
  • link building – focuses on providing traffic through referral links and achieving higher positions in search engine rankings

Like SEO, Inbound marketing is content based process. It consists of:

  • strategy – planning an informational path for the users in various stages of the conversion funnel
  • attracting visitors – providing an informative content
  • convert visitors to lead – providing useful information, getting a visitor familiar with the brand and convincing the people to leave contact information
  • convert leads to sales – building trust and confidence around a brand and finalizing a purchase
  • conversion rate optimization – improving the landing page elements to achieve higher conversion rates

Inbound Marketing differs from SEO. It not only focuses on search engines, but also other traffic sources. Still, they’re using the same methods to gain higher traffic volume, like blogging or social media:

  • Inbound Marketing– to communicate with audience and distribute content
  • SEO – acquire new backlinks and build up search engine ranking based on social factors

Content Marketing and SEO

There’s a point in calling content marketing the new SEO, but guess again – content marketing isn’t SEO and neither is inbound marketing. Like stated above, SEO is focused mostly on technical issues, to lastly convince the search engine that your site is the most appropriate to display in SERP for the keyword relevant query. Inbound marketing is the overall strategy of attracting traffic to a particular website.

Content marketing is a foundation of both of these terms, but genuinely, it’s the process of creating and improving the content to make it solving problems, attractive and engaging. It consists of:

  • headline creation – creating a headline that catches user’s attention
  • providing a value – writing about a topic that provides valuable information to users and backing it up with data to gain credibility
  • user experience – creating content, which is easy to read, has actionable items and is published in various forms; for example – videos or infographics
  • engagement – attracting users to share the content

Content marketing in terms of SEO:

  • making the content keyword-optimized – to make it findable in search engines
  • making the content social media optimized – to make it shareable and achieve social ranking factors
  • a link building element – used to acquire backlinks to your website

Content marketing in relation to inbound marketing:

  • Inbound Marketing – focuses on attracting traffic to a website but also converting visitors to leads and customers
  • Content Marketing – is used only to attract the traffic and often is used outside a particular website to attract visitors as well

Final thoughts

Creating and managing strategy having in mind effectiveness is not an easy task. To make this addition, every process described should be data-driven. In order to achieve the best results, the analytical process is crucial. To sum things up, you should look at content marketing, inbound marketing and seo like communicating vessels. Inbound marketing is about the strategy, content marketing is about user interaction and SEO is about optimization.
The ultimate goal of all of them is: more traffic volume and more conversions.