Although they are frequently mentioned together, Internet marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) are not the same things. To help you make the most of this pair of business-boosting methods, we will explain how they differ so you can create a balanced approach that crushes your competitors.
What is Internet Marketing?
You will find various definitions that describe Internet marketing, but here it is in a nutshell: a collection of methods used to market services and products online. In other words, if you are trying to sell something or make it more visible via the Internet, then you are doing Internet marketing.
What are the Elements of Internet Marketing?
There are several methods used in Internet marketing. Some businesses focus on one method, while others use several to expand their reach. Here are some of the most common elements of Internet marketing:
- Content marketing – Producing blog posts, articles, and other helpful content that informs or entertains your visitors, improves your site’s SEO, establishes you as an authority in your field, and generates traffic.
- Email marketing – Connecting to current and prospective customers via email messages that inform, entertain, and promote products and services.
- Social media marketing – Using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to distribute new content, engage with followers, get feedback, and more.
- Paid online advertising – Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns in search engines, targeted social media ads, sidebar ads in other people’s emails and on their websites, etc.
- Videos and podcasts – Establishing expertise, connecting with audiences, entertaining, and generating interest via video and audio formats.
- Affiliate marketing – Leveraging the reach of other sites and Internet marketers to promote your products and services in exchange for a commission.
- Paid promotions and sponsorships – Paying influencers who attract a similar target audience to promote your products or services.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization – or SEO – involves implementing strategies to help your website rank near the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). Some SEO practices that many use to achieve that goal include:
- Using keywords throughout sites and in content.
Avoiding duplicate content.
- Publishing unique content that aligns with search intent and keeps the audience coming back for more.
- Updating outdated content.
- Ensuring sites load quickly, are easy to navigate, and are user-friendly.
- Using internal linking.
- Building backlinks.
- Optimizing images by using descriptive filenames and adding alt text in case they do not load.
SEO vs. Internet Marketing
Now that we have defined what SEO and Internet marketing are, it is time to compare them and see how they differ. For starters, SEO is seen as a subset of Internet marketing. While Internet marketing encompasses several methods, such as content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, videos, paid ads, and so on, SEO can be applied to most of those methods to improve them. For example, using the right keywords in your content can help get more eyes on your posts and pages.
The second biggest difference between SEO and Internet marketing is that their costs can sit on opposite ends of the expense spectrum. SEO tends to be less costly than Internet marketing since it involves writing content, using the right keywords, etc. On the other hand, Internet marketing can drive up your costs if you employ paid advertising to improve your visibility and sales.
Lastly, SEO aims to impress search engines to improve your rankings. It can be seen as more technical, as you look to appeal to algorithms via the right keywords, meta information, and the like. On the flip side, Internet marketing aims to appeal to people. When creating content, ads, social media posts, etc., you need to craft everything to inform, entertain, or connect to people. As such, Internet marketing may seem like more of an art versus a science.
What is Digital Marketing?
Internet marketing and digital marketing are sometimes used interchangeably. While very similar, they are slightly different.
Digital marketing describes strategies that employ all digital channels for promoting products or services. Like Internet marketing, digital marketing has an online presence via:
- Mobile marketing
- Banner ads
- Search engine optimization
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Video marketing
- Affiliate marketing
But digital marketing also has an offline presence via TV, indoor and outdoor billboards, SMS texts, and radio spots to help a business greatly expand its reach across all avenues.
To simplify things, you can think of Internet marketing as a more precise subset of digital marketing. While Internet marketing requires you to be online, digital marketing, in some cases, does not.
What is Social Media Marketing?
As its name suggests, this form of marketing uses various social media platforms to connect with your audience, expand your brand, promote your products and services, drive traffic to your website, and increase sales. It is a subset of Internet and digital marketing and is quite popular nowadays since the use of social media has skyrocketed to become part of everyday life.
You can implement social media marketing via several platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and more. But you can also implement it via various forms, such as photo ads, video ads, stories ads, and messenger ads.
Internet Marketing Tools
Tackling Internet marketing on your own can be quite a daunting task since it has so many moving parts. To make life easier, try these Internet marketing tools that can serve a variety of purposes:
- Ahrefs – An SEO tool that helps you pinpoint the top keywords to boost your ranking and visibility.
- Audiense – Use it to segment your social media audience so you can tweak your marketing to fit their specific needs.
- Canva – Filled with templates and tools to create eye-catching graphics.
- Clearscope – Useful for ensuring any new content is SEO-friendly.
- Creatopy – Like Canva, it lets you create graphics, but specifically with marketing in mind.
- Google Analytics – Helps you gain insight into site traffic, engagement, customer demographics, etc.
- Google My Business – A must for anyone who relies on local customers.
- HootSuite – An all-in-one social media tool.
- Hotjar – Provides instant insight into how visitors are acting on your site.
- HubSpot – A trusty tool for optimizing your online marketing efforts.
- Lemlist – Helps you optimize your email campaigns to get more opens and clicks.
- Loomly – Helps social media teams collaborate to build their brand.
- MailChimp – An excellent place to get acquainted with email marketing.
- Moosend – Makes email marketing easy for beginners who are just starting to develop a list.
- Optimizely – Shows how tiny edits to your site’s pages can make a huge difference in conversions.
- SEMrush – Makes it easy to identify top keywords, understand search intent, and find new content ideas.
- SendGrid – An email marketing service for both beginners and advanced users.
- Sprout Social – Makes it easy to manage several social media accounts in one place.
- Unbounce – Use it to fine-tune your landing pages to get those desired conversions.
- Venngage – Ideal for creating infographics that allow visitors to digest info with ease.
- Yoast – A popular tool for fine-tuning your SEO efforts.