updated: July 3, 2020

difference between seo and internet marketing

So, what is the difference between SEO and Internet Marketing?

Understanding the differences between search engine optimization (SEO) and internet marketing is critical to achieving greater success in your online advertising and marketing efforts. While these two terms are sometimes used as if they were synonymous, they perform quite different functions for your business. Creating a balanced approach when managing SEO and online marketing activities will reap significant benefits for your visibility and your competitive edge in the modern business environment.

What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

SEO, as its full name indicates, is designed to improve your ranking among search engines to push your business to the top of the results. Keywords are an integral part of the SEO process for most businesses. Good SEO practices include creating mobile-friendly websites and content, geographical targeting, structuring your data properly with schemas, and creating relationships with other companies, websites, and blogs. These methods can improve your ranking with search engines like Google and Bing.

According to statistics collected by Net Marketshare between July 2019 and June 2020, Google held down 70 percent of the market share of searches for desktops and laptops and 94 percent of searches on mobile devices. These figures make it evident that achieving first-page status on Google can significantly increase your company’s visibility in the public arena.

What Is Internet Marketing?

Also referred to as digital marketing, internet marketing includes the full range of ways in which your company reaches out to its potential customers. These may include paid online advertising, social media marketing, emails, content marketing campaigns, and affiliate marketing strategies:

• Paid online advertising typically includes pay-per-click campaigns as well as ads targeted by topic and by geographical location.
Social media marketing strategies may include customer outreach, reputation management, and other elements that can help you attract and retain customers through these venues.
• Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your current customers and to promote sales and products for your business.
Content marketing is the delivery of useful articles, blog posts, and other information for your current and potential customers to establish your company as an authority in its field.
• Affiliate marketing is not as popular as it once was. This method involves building relationships with bloggers and review sites and providing them with revenue streams for recommending and promoting your products.

Five Primary Differences Between SEO and Internet Marketing

While SEO is generally considered to be a subset of internet marketing, the two processes have some significant differences. Keeping these distinctions in mind will ensure the best and most positive results from both of these activities.

1. Internet Marketing Encompasses SEO Practices

The first and most important difference between internet marketing and SEO is the scope of each of these activities. Digital internet marketing covers all aspects of your online customer outreach programs, which include SEO, paid advertising and social media marketing. SEO is a subset of these activities that can be applied to each element in your digital marketing campaigns. For instance, the right keywords can boost the visibility of your blog posts, your content marketing materials, and your paid and unpaid advertising efforts.

This indicates that internet or digital marketing is general and that SEO is pervasive. Thinking about these activities in these terms can help you achieve the right balance between SEO and internet marketing for your own company.

2. SEO Targets Search Engines While Internet Marketing Targets People

The technical aspects of SEO are directed toward making your website, content, and advertising more visible to search engines. Using the right keywords and providing your audience with the right meta information to ensure that your SEO content can be properly identified and categorized is the primary purpose of SEO.

By contrast, internet marketing is designed to appeal to people and not solely to algorithms. Your advertising, content creation, and social media strategies should be designed to provide useful information and practical help for real people. Rather than packing your internet marketing materials with extraneous keywords, you should drill down to the most important messages and information for your prospective customers.

3. SEO Is a Tool While Internet Marketing Is a Process

SEO techniques are designed for one basic purpose. They are intended to make your webpage more visible to search engine algorithms. To this end, you may include targeted keywords, metadata information and other SEO techniques in all aspects of your online activities. In general, SEO is a tool used to make all of your internet marketing activities more effective.

Internet marketing, by contrast, is the process of making your products and your company more visible and attractive to potential customers. This can be accomplished by writing relevant and SEO-aware blogs, by advertising your products with pay-per-click or email campaigns and by making your presence felt on social media. SEO should be integrated into these activities but should not be the point of them.

4. The Costs of SEO and Digital Marketing Are Different

Depending on whether you do your writing in-house or outsource it, SEO services are either relatively low-cost or free to your company. Researching and integrating keywords into your online content and your website is part of the normal process of creating this content.

Digital marketing, by contrast, may cost a significant amount depending on the scope and range of these activities. Geo-targeted advertising offers local reach at a fraction of the price of large-scale advertising campaigns. For national advertising on major search engines and certain pay-per-click campaigns, you may end up spending a healthy chunk of change to boost your company’s overall visibility and sales.

5. SEO Takes Second Place to Quality Content Marketing

While it may be tempting to stuff keywords into your content and website, Google’s algorithm has changed significantly over the last decade. Well-written and high-quality content for your website and content marketing efforts will typically rank higher than old-school keyword stuffing and the forcing of long-tail keywords to create awkward phrasing and less valuable content. With Internet Live Stats reporting in July 2020 that nearly 84,000 searches take place on Google’s engine every second, it is clear that optimizing your content for Google is a step in the right direction for your marketing campaigns.

SEO and Internet Marketing Go Hand-in-Hand

By placing equal focus on SEO and on your digital marketing efforts, your business can boost your visibility and increase your customer base. This can add up to improved profitability and added reach in the consumer marketplace.


2018_CoastalMarketingGroup_Phil_0868-webFor more information on developing a proper SEO and/or an Internet Marketing Campaign, contact Phil Fisk with Coastline Marketing Group, Inc – 831-789-9320