Inbound Marketing vs SEO: What is Best for Your Website?

SEO and Inbound Marketing are crucial for both small and large scale businesses that are looking to grow online traffic and generate maximum numbers of leads. Both forms of marketing are essential as they can bring a lot of value to your website and business. Often site owners ask what’s more essential and valuable for website “SEO practices” or “Inbound Marketing”? 

If you are among them surfing the internet with a goal to find the right answer then you have landed on the right article where we are going to highlight some of the basic differences between inbound marketing and SEO. And the value each can bring for your website.

Table of Content: 

An overview of the SEO and Inbound Marketing

Search engine optimization has been around for a long time, it is as old as the world wide web and considered one of the essential parts of digital marketing. On the other hand, inbound marketing is another popular term that was introduced by the popular Martech platform HubSpot and became the core part of digital marketing.  

Most people and businesses who are into marketing might have heard of these two names as they are considered the key to online growth and success. But to identify which is better you need to understand everything from the basics and mainly the benefits and differences between them.  

Knowing these factors will help you to demystify what value each can bring to your business and among them which one is better. Well SEO and inbound marketing are somewhat related to each other but inbound marketing, in general, is a separate huge world where there are a lot of activities and practices involved. The same goes for SEO. So until you learn about each one of them individually it will be difficult to identify which is better for your business.  

In this article, we are going to give a brief introduction to what is SEO and inbound marketing? The basic difference between SEO and inbound marketing and which is best for your business.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Inbound Marketing is generally referred to as the marketing activities using which a website and business aim to attract prospects and potential customers by offering valuable content and solutions that focus on their pain points. The main idea behind inbound marketing is to attract potential customers to the website and familiarize them with your product and services. 

Websites often create inbound marketing strategies with a goal to make their potential customer know about their brand and product existence so that prospects learn more about their brand and product. Inbound marketing focuses more on building strong and lasting relationships with prospects by offering content that relates to them and their pain point. Whereas inbound marketing prospects are just bombarded with different types of content that they don’t like to consume. 

Some of the common inbound marketing methods include social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, offering SEO friendly content, and many more. Using these channels websites create more targeted messages to their prospects. The main goal is to attract new prospects, engage them, and delight them by offering a personalized experience.

So Let’s take a look at three main tools used in inbound marketing strategies: 


Every website wishes to have visitors that are actually interested in their product/services and can become their leads. Inbound marketing helps you to attract more qualified prospects that can become your happy customers. By offering the right, relevant, and quality content you can reach your customer at the right place at the right time. 

Now you might be wondering how to do that? You can start by identifying your prospects’ pain points and addressing their problems in a way that makes your brand and product a solution. Once You are aware of your prospect’s pain points, create content, and try to rank your content on top in search results. Make use of social media channels to distribute the content across different channels. Run paid ads to increase awareness and reach a wider range of audiences. 

Make sure you are analyzing your efforts because inbound marketing is something that teaches you a lot about your prospects (their likes, dislikes, and more). Mainly if you are starting new, analyze your effort and check what’s working for you and the place you need to improve.   


Once your content starts grabbing prospect’s attention, the next important part is to use conversion tools to capture their information. Using optimized and compelling CTA’s, landing pages, forms, and more you can convert prospects into qualified leads. To delight your customer and make them more familiar with your brand and product it’s important to have their content information. The contact information you generate is going to be the key element as it will help you to communicate with them. 

To engage your prospects and get their information you can start creating premium content in the form of ebooks, whitepapers, infographics, webinars, case studies, and more. In return, you can ask them for their information. You can use all the information in the CRM to offer a more personalized experience by creating and offering smart content. Not only that but you can also personalize the buying journey using emails and workflows.

Remember the engagement process is crucial when it comes to converting the site visitor or your lead into potential customers. By using various marketing tactics like email marketing, lead management, social media marketing, and different marketing automation you can encourage them to convert into paying customers.  


To make your newly converted prospects and long-time customers you need to make them familiar with your company functioning, brands, and product. Using various email marketing automation tools you can deliver the right information at the right time and build a strong connection with the customers. 

It is considered the most overlooked component of inbound marketing, if utilized properly it can help you to acquire more customers through referrals. Businesses and brands commit a mistake by forgetting about their customer after they make a successful purchase from the store. But the key is to stay in touch with the customers and update them about every new content you publish and the sales and offers your website is offering. 

You can delight your customers by offering them a seamless support experience using various tools and techniques like chatbots, using various social listening tools, and using feedback collection tools.  

When we say content then doesn’t mean we are asking you to create and produce only text content, instead you can also focus on video content as they are considered more engaging. 

Benefits of Inbound marketing

1. Help you to reach the right audience in the right place (Awareness)

No matter how effective a product and problem-solving services you are offering to users, if the prospects are not aware of them then you are probably losing lots of customers. In today’s digital world reaching out to potential customers has become easy for small businesses and brands. By offering content that solves user pain points you will start getting recognition from prospects who are looking for the content as a solution. 

Once they start searching for the solution there are chances that they may come across your web pages and if the page is optimized and written well then they may look for other pages in your website as well. So using an inbound marketing strategy you can reach your customer at the right time on the right platform when they actually need your product or service (as a solution). 

Increases Trust and Credibility 

Compared to outbound marketing, the inbound methodology helps you to offer more relatable and quality content that prospects are actually looking for. A right inbound strategy never includes pushing your content, product, and services whenever you wish to do it. Today prospects are smarter and know when they are getting marketed by a company. So unwantedly pushing sales can affect your business reputation.

Inbound marketing allows you to offer the content that the user actually wants to consume. Through this, you are making prospects believe that your brand is a more reliable resource than those who are continuously interrupting calls and emails and trying to make sales. Once the potential customer starts trusting your brand and business then they will surely come back to you when they actually need to buy the product or services. 

Generate quality traffic and leads 

Inbound marketing is not limited to just spreading awareness but it also helps brands and businesses to generate quality traffic and leads. Well, it may not give you instant sales but if the content you are creating and offering to your audience is effective and helpful then there are high chances that they may turn into potential leads. 

Inbound marketing helps you to attract the maximum number of prospects who actually need your product and services. The whole inbound marketing channels are set up in a way that helps businesses and companies attract quality leads who are likely to convert. That means you are not spending money on something that is gonna bring unqualified leads who don’t have any interest in your product. 


We don’t have to mention how costly outbound marketing is for brands and businesses. By spending hundreds and thousands of dollars if you are failing to generate quality leads then all the efforts and the spending can go in vain. As mentioned earlier outbound marketing is effective but only inters of spreading awareness, when it comes to generating quality leads very few people to convert. 

On the other hand, inbound marketing is considered cost-effective marketing that helps businesses and brands generate high-quality leads they are likely to convert as potential customers. Inbound marketing can help you to generate high ROI and if the content and product are too relevant then you will be able to generate double or triple the amount you invested in.

What is SEO? 

Search Engine Optimization or SEO refers to the practices of optimizing different web pages in the website with a goal to increase the quantity and quality of organic traffic by ranking on the top search engine result page. Optimizing the website depending on the search engine guideline helps the website to get easily discoverable by the user in the search results.  

Not only that but optimization also helps search engines identify your website, understand its purpose, and rank it for particular keywords. SO the question is how to optimize the website and get top ranking on the Search engine result page. SEO is divided into three main factors, there are: 

On-page SEO 

The ranking of your web pages is partially dependent on different on-page SEO factors. The optimization activities you perform inside your website or web pages to meet search engine guidelines and drive more organic traffic by ranking in the top in SERP.  Apart from publishing relevant and high-quality content, you need to focus on optimizing your web pages and content insides it depending on various on-page SEO factors like: 

  • Title Tag
  • Meta Description 
  • Header Tag (H1, H2. H3, H4, H5, H6)
  • Image Optimization
  • E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and trustworthiness)
  • Keyword Cannibalization 
  • Content Audit 

On-page SEO is an essential part of the optimization process that helps search engines identify the web page’s purpose and rank it for the targeted keyword. Now with google rolling out core updated every year, there is a great focus toward relevancy. To represent best results to user google index each web page smartly and determine which keyword the page should rank for. So make sure you consider the above factors while optimizing your web pages. 

If you are looking to know more about E-A-T and YMYL then make sure to check our blog on What Are E-A-T, YMYL & Beneficial Purposes? Explained With Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines

Off-page SEO 

On page is all about the optimization activities performed inside the website then there is Off-page SEO which refers to the action taken outside the website with the goal to increase your website ranking in the search engine. Off-page SEO factors generally include link building that means getting links from other websites to show the authority of the website. 

Today the authority of the website plays an important ranking factor, if your website is getting a link back from another high authority website then it indicates to the search engine that your website is right for ranking. So let’s take a look at some of the popular off-page SEO factors: 

  • Broken link building
  • Swiping your website link form inferior content 
  • Social Bookmarking 
  • Profile Building 
  • Reaching out to influencers (influencers marketing 
  • Guest Blogging 
  • And many more 

Technical SEO 

Technical SEO is another important as[ect of the optimization process that helps search engines crawl your website more intelligently and smartly.  Improving the technical aspect of your website helps you to improve your website ranking in SERP. Google is continuously rolling out new algorithms with a goal to improve user experience by offering the best web pages and content relevant to their search query. Same they expect from web pages and websites they are trying to rank in the search engine result page. 

Optimizing the technical side of the website helps you to make your web page search engine as well as user friendly. Whenever Google bot crawls the website they look for a few factors before passing the rank to the web page. Below we are going to highlight some of the crucial factors that you can consider while optimizing the technical side of your website.

  • Create a mobile-friendly website 
  • Optimize the speed of your website 
  • Fix duplicate content related issues
  • Create and upload XML sitemaps 
  • Make sure your website secured (install SSL certification) 
  • Enable AMP
  • Add structured data markup 
  • Register your website with the webmaster tool 

If you don’t think you are the right person when it comes to accessing the technical side of the website then we always recommend taking help from an experienced SEO agency that can help you to optimize your website and different web pages for search engine results. 

Benefits of SEO (Search engine optimization) 

Generate quality traffic 

Same as inbound marketing SEO also helps you to generate high-quality organic traffic on your website. Instead of paying to search engines or any other social media channel, SEO helps you to drive organic traffic for free. Most importantly it offers quality traffic on your website and they are likely to either become your lead or convert into paying customers. 

Because Google displays web pages that relate to user search queries so if you are selling online shoes and your category page is ranking on the top in SERP the people who are looking to buy shoes may probably land on your website and make a successful purchase. Placing the CTAs in the right place will also help you to site visitor information. 

Helps you to offer an optimized user experience 

To drive more traffic and sales on your website it’s always recommended to offer an optimized user experience. Easy navigation, fast load time, optimized images, text, and more are some of the common and important factors to consider when optimizing web pages for users to offer a better experience. 

When it comes to ranking, Google and other popular searches also look for the same factor. So when you optimize your website for search engines you are indirectly optimizing it for users as well. Offering an optimized user experience can lead to better traffic, more clicks, more leads, and most importantly, a higher conversion rate. 

Improves your credibility 

One of the key advantages of SEO is that it helps you to improve your website and business credibility among prospects. If your web pages are ranking on the top in SERP then it indicates to the user that google is trusting your website which influences them to trust your website as well.

Not only that but more than 75% of the searchers prefer to go with the website that is ranking on the top in SERP. Google and other search engines understand that the user goes with their preference. That is the reason why they consider factors like on-page, off-page, and other technical aspects to filter and identify the best website that can offer an optimized experience to the user.

SEO leads to 24/7 promotion 

Most of the ecommerce websites and other websites as well on the internet offer 24/7 service like anytime a user can come on the website and perform the final action (make a purchase, fill the contact form, and more. SO if you are creating a website for 24/7 then you would expect the web pages to appear in the search results for  24/7. 

By paying a search engine you can always rank your website on the top in SERP but that would cost you $9000 to $10000 per month. SEO helps you to rank on the top in SERP 24/7. so users can access your website at any time from anywhere. It also enhances the value of your website and your business. 

Increases brand value among savvy shopper 

In today’s tech drive work, it’s very common to expect various savvy shoppers to visit your website and make purchases. Before making the final purchase shoppers tend to conduct a lot of research about your brand, business, and product. If your web pages and company continue to appear in every search on the top then it increases the value of your website and business. 

Not only that but it also creates their trust in your company. With your content marketing efforts and SEO strategy, you can rank on the top and showcase that you’re more than a product or service provider. They will start recognizing your website as a valuable resource for industry-related information. 

If you are somehow creating video and investing your time and money in video marketing then you are probably building high authority among customers. So whenever a user watches your video and reads your content then it will make them realize that your business is operating in every channel. 

You don’t have to pay for traffic

Google organic ranking is totally dependent on its algorithm, if your web pages and website are meeting the google guidelines then chances of appearing at the top for a particular query increase. That means once you are making your website and web pages eligible for search engines it can continue grabbing organizing traffic for free.

However there are costs involved in creating high-quality content like hiring a writer, but if you are writing on your own then you just need to invest some time in researching for content and creating high-quality content.  

Once you make the small investment in terms of time then it will help you to drive traffic for free. But make sure after publishing the content you keep on updating the content so that your competitor does not outperform you and grab your ranking.  

What is the difference between SEO and Inbound Marketing? Are they really that different?  

From the above explanation, you could have determined the basic idea behind SEO and Inbound Marketing. Next, let’s understand the difference between SEO and Inbound Marketing. The goal behind both the marketing techniques is to drive maximum customers on the website, make the business reachable to the maximum number of audience, and most importantly, acquire more and more customers.

But the techniques and process can make both the marketing channels look different from each other. Inbound marketing practices help businesses and websites to convert their site visitors into leads and then into a paying customer which is done through offering high quality and relevant content to audiences. On the other hand, SEO focuses more on driving an abundance of organic traffic on the website by ranking on the top in search engine result pages. 

By looking at both the marketing techniques you may think that each one of them differs from the other, but in reality, SEO is not limited to just ranking a website or web pages on the top in SERP. It helps websites and businesses to showcase their product/services to site visitors, making the business reach the maximum number of potential customers and help people fund your business easily.  

Similarly, inbound marketing helps businesses and websites to solve their potential customer problems and make them trust your product and service by offering the answer or solutions they are looking for. Remember SEO can be considered as the component of inbound marketing where content is the common thread between SEO and inbound marketing.

This is how it goes, an inbound marketing strategy can never be effective without SEO and content. On the other hand, SEO is all about content, without high-quality content ranking on the top in SERP can never be accomplished. 

So concluding it in simple words SEO focuses more on attracting potential customers to the website (for free) and inbound marketing practices help the website to convert the lead or the site visitor into paying customers. Both inbound and SEO is considered a crucial part of digital marketing.

Which is better for your website? 

By now you might have a clear knowledge about what is SEO and Inbound marketing. So next we are going to give a detailed explanation of what is better for your website “SEO or inbound marketing”.

When it comes to selecting the best between inbound marketing and SEO then both forms of marketing are important for website and business. Without implementing SEO strategies you will never get the top ranking in the SERP and end up losing lots of organic traffic to your competitor. If your website is not using SEO then you’re probably going to rely either on social media or on the paid advertisement to bring potential customers to your website.

On the other hand, if you select SEO but ignore inbound marketing then all your SEO efforts can go in vain. Every user and searcher find it difficult to trust every website so they need a reason to trust you and select your web pages above your competitor. So by performing various inbound marketing activities like offering them problem-solving content, interacting with them on social media or their emails you are offering them a reason to trust you. 

Inbound marketing without SEO can make no sense as it will become difficult for prospects to find your website and even if somehow they come across your web page site will become difficult for them to trust your website. And SEO without inbound marketing can never offer you desired results because users will not stay on the website that does not meet their expectations and even if your web pages are ranking in the 2nd or 3rd position, users will find it difficult to trust your domain.  

That is the reason why we said both are important not only for driving traffic on the website but also for encouraging prospects to take the desired action on the website. So both inbound marketing and SEO are important when it comes to establishing trust, credibility with traffic, and conversion. 

If you are someone looking to rank your website on the top, drive more traffic and convert them into paying customers then you can always reach out to an award-winning SEO and marketing agency that can help you to generate maximum traffic and conversion on your website. 


Both SEO and inbound marketing are crucial for websites and businesses. The practices or the process may differentiate both the marketing techniques but the goal is ultimately the same that is driving traffic and converting them. So if you are looking for a reliable partner that can help you to create the most effective and results-driven, SEO and inbound marketing strategies then we recommend part with an experienced online marketing agency for your website and business. 

SFWP experts is an experienced online marketing agency based in Los Angeles is operating with highly experienced SEO and inbound marketing experts. Our experts have helped thousands of businesses over the last 12 years in building conversion-centric and revenue-generating strategies for their websites and businesses. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

1. Is SEO really worth it? 

Undoubtedly today SEO is considered one of the key aspects of driving organic traffic on the website. Yes, there are other ways to drive traffic on the website but compared to all the other techniques SEO is considered the most cost-effective practice that can last for long. So the longer you delay in investing the time in SEO the more chances is that your competitor will continue to drive more organic traffic and potential customers on their website. 

If you need any help related to SEO then you can always reach out to an experienced SEO expert that can help you to create result-driven strategies for your website. 

2. What are the key advantages of inbound marketing? 

Inbound marketing is one of the most effective ways to improve your online presence and acquire the maximum number of audiences. So let’s take a look at some of the advantages of inbound marketing: 

  • Inbound marketing help website generate more quality leads 
  • Help you to converts site visitors and leads to potential customers 
  • Using inbound marketing strategies website and business and boost their sales and revenue growth 
  • Allows you to reach the maximum number of audience 
  • Build trust and strong relationships with customers  
  • Help you to generate higher ROI 

If you are looking to grow your ROI by 743% using various inbound marketing strategies then you can always reach out to our online marketing experts.  

3. What is inbound marketing in SEO? 

Inbound marketing in SEO is all about identifying potential customers’ pain points and creating a solution in the form of content to help them and engage them. The key to inbound SEO is all about identifying the term potential customers are using and creating high-quality content to rank on the top for particular keywords with a goal to engage them and tell them more about your brand and services. 

4. How to create quality content for blogs? 

Below we are listing some tips that you can consider while creating high-quality content for your website: 

  • Make sure the headline of your intent deliver a strong message 
  • Try adding elements that make you content actionable 
  • Create content that solves a user problem 
  • Focus on creating engine paragraphs 
  • Structure the content with proper header tags 
  • Don’t forget to write a conclusion 
  • Write a minimum of  1700+ content 
  • Focus on producing original content

5. How important is SEO content? 

Producing high-quality content not only helps you to rank on the top in SERP and drive traffic but if your content is unique and can add value then it will also help you to generate backlinks. That is the reason why publishing high-quality content is considered one of the important factors for getting backlinks from high authority website. So producing quality content for your website can help you in many ways.