Inbound marketing and search engine optimization are not the same thing, but neither are they unrelated. Inbound marketing is an important part of any viable search engine optimization endeavor; it’s fair to say that, without inbound marketing mechanisms in play, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to achieve solid search engine rankings.
For the uninitiated, here’s a bird-eye view of inbound marketing. Traditional advertising—as with billboard and TV commercials—finds the advertiser going to the consumer directly; with these ads, you’re approaching them. In inbound marketing, you’re producing content (videos, blog posts, etc.) that have intrinsic value to them—and thus you are enticing the consumer to come to you. This is a close cousin to content marketing, where the focus is on offering something of value as a way of attracting customers into the fold, as opposed to courting them with hard sales pitches.
This does not answer the question of how inbound marketing and SEO relate to one another and feed into one another, though—nor why inbound marketing must be included in any effective approach to SEO.
How Inbound Marketing and SEO Improve One Another
SEO, of course, is essentially about getting website traffic from Google. Google increasingly wants to provide its customers (search engine users) with a quality product (relevant search engine results), and its algorithms reward content that is value-adding, actionable, and enriching. As luck would have it, inbound marketing is effectively all about creating this type of content, albeit with one eye ultimately cast toward establishing the credibility of your brand and nurturing leads through the sales funnel.
In other words, inbound marketing helps you do what Google really wants you to do—but how do you lead your company down the path to effective inbound marketing? This is a big topic, but we might summarize it by saying that the thing that makes inbound marketing distinct is how it doesn’t focus on sales pitches; instead, it tries to answer consumer questions, provide consumer education, or address consumer problems—perhaps positing your brand or your product as the solution.
Digital Advertiser, a digital marketing firm had to say this about great inbound marketing content:
Good inbound marketing content is created with the customer in mind, and created to actually give away meaningful information—not hiding it behind a paywall or telling customers they have to buy the product to receive any value. Good inbound marketing content meets clients where they are and shows them why they should trust your brand for their ongoing needs.
Of course, it also has to be distributed effectively, which is the only way it will help with SEO. One of the most effective content distribution channels is YouTube, which we recommend for the dispatch of informative video content. Of course blogs and social media channels are also key.
Get Started with Inbound Marketing
To learn more about how to integrate inbound marketing into your overall SEO strategy, we invite you to contact the team at Sefati Consulting Group at your next convenience.