Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, and SEO

This post clears up confusion about the differences between Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing, and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

What is Search Engine Optimization?

I’m defining SEO first as it’s the easiest to explain and it is an aspect of both Inbound Marketing and Content Marketing.

Simply put, SEO is the technical aspects of ensuring your website and the individual webpages on your website are easy for the search engines to find and index well.

I am going to use some specialized terminology here, but when you use WordPress what’s important is your install the proper plugins and set the proper settings so WordPress takes care of these technical details on your behalf.

Website Sitemap File

When the search engine robots first come to index your site, they attempt to load a file named sitemap.xml. For that reason your website should have one. It is a list of every URL on your website and it’s sole purpose is to make your website easy to crawl.

When you install a good Sitemap plugin, the needed file gets created and is then subsequently updated every time your website is updated.

Website Title, Tagline, and Categories

You create a “golden thread” between the website title, tagline, and categories, as well as the titles and contents of your individual posts. This helps the search engine robots “know” what your website is about.

These are standard WordPress settings and it’s important you set these well, but once you’ve set them, you don’t think about them any more. They’re simple set.

Per Post SEO

In addition to the importance of the topic keywords appearing in the post title and the body of the post, there are SEO specific fields you provide access to via an SEO plugin.

The specific fields are, title tag and meta description. You need to set these for every post. The plugin simply makes that easier.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a term used to describe a means of promoting products and services by publishing useful and informative articles which are relevant and interesting to your desired audience. These articles are published in a variety of locations: your websites, other relevant websites, social media updates, etc. Native ads in newspapers or magazines are also forms of content marketing.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound marketing differs from content marketing only in that the intention of inbound marketing is to attract visitors to YOUR website via organic search.  Inbound and content marketing is similar in that you publish articles of interest. They differ mostly in where you publish them and why.

With inbound marketing, the focus is on YOUR website and everything you do is focused on increasing the visibility of your website.

Specific tactics to this end are:

  • Publish on your website daily. Preferably more than once a day.
  • Solicit comments on your blog posts.
  • Ask people to link to your posts.
  • Write articles on other website with the express intention of obtaining a link back to your website.

Content Marketing vs Inbound Marketing

In one way it’s almost silly to consider them to be different as they overlap A LOT. However it is possible to do content marketing without even having a website (stupid, but possible).

As my focus is on teaching people to attract their audience to their website via organic search, and as publishing to places other than your website helps achieve this goal, I generally consider them to be synonymous.

Learn More…

SEO Needs Link Building


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