Naysayers love to discuss the demise of SEO; it continues to disappoint, though, by staying alive. The reason for its survival is its evolution. SEO is not a static activity; if it were, it would have died with the first round of Google algorithm changes ever made. It is elastic; when done properly, SEO adapts to the needs of businesses and of searchers. This has prompted some to start using the term “inbound marketing,” instead of SEO because it’s more inclusive. What exactly is inbound marketing? What’s the difference between it and SEO?
One inbound marketer compared SEO to packaged, assembly-line cookies and inbound marketing to fresh, homemade cookies. The latter provides excellent taste, but also a whole sensory experience. We can smell them; we can feel their warmth; we can feel our salivary glands start to work. Inbound marketing is meant to encompass the broader Internet experience.
What SEOs do is not just drive traffic to websites from search engines: that is an important part, of course, but an “SEO’s” job is also to work on converting that traffic, on incorporating social media campaigns, on optimising apps, on content marketing, on content curation, on getting traffic from non-search engine sources. As an article on Business Insider reminds us, “We need to expand beyond search engine optimization because search engines aren’t the only way people discover or consume content anymore.”
Today, you are as likely to work on keyword optimisation as you are on creating a YouTube channel or building your Pinterest profile. You are worrying more about building your brand and engaging with a community that you are about making Google happy. This is a very, very good change, and whether you call it SEO or inbound marketing, it is something that benefits businesses and end-users.