SEO vs Digital Marketing: What is the Difference?

By 15th February 2019 January 5th, 2021 Digital Marketing & SEO
WEBENITO SEO Tips Ireland - What is The Difference Between SEO & Digital Marketing

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Digital Marketing are considered by many to be synonymous or misleading. The reality is they are not synonymous, nor the same, although there are similarities. What do you think? Do you know the difference between these two most powerful marketing tactics?

If your answer is no, or if you are unsure, read on. In this article, we explain the difference between SEO & Digital Marketing.
SEO (Organic Search Results) vs Digital Marketing (Paid Search Results)

The Meaning of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO is part of digital marketing, and it’s actually a set of tools and best practices that help websites reach higher search engine rankings. The goal of SEO is to increase the number of organic visits (not paid) from search engines like Google because organic traffic is a key source of visitors and potential customers. SEO strategy focuses on getting the page on selected keywords and phrases at the highest search position possible.

In order for the website to be properly optimized and to make the SEO strategy successful, On-page and Off-page optimization need to be taken care of. First of all, you need to do On-page optimization, edit and customize the web pages itself, both on the technical side and the content side. We recommend reading our post 8 Tips To Make Google Love Your Website.

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The website must be easily readable and structured for the Googlebot (Google’s web crawling bot, sometimes called a “spider”). Website pages must have original, quality, and relevant content for targeted keywords.

On-page Optimization

The On-page Optimizations focus is on:

  • Quality and genuine content,
  • Internal Links structure,
  • External Links structure,
  • Site performance,
  • Keyword Density,
  • Relevant Titles & Meta Descriptions,
  • Images optimization,
  • Canonical URL’s,
  • Structured page Roborts.txt and Sitemap.xml and Error pages 301/404

Off-page Optimization

The Off-page optimization focus is on:

  • Social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.),
  • Blog posting, Articles, Guest post,
  • Backlinks Management (it is important that the backlinks look natural and are from trusted and well-rated websites)

If the website is properly optimized, then you can expect your website will appear on certain keywords in search engine results in the top positions. And search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing love rightly optimized websites.

The Meaning of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is just marketing using digital tools and marketing is nothing more than communicating value to your customers. So digital marketing is there for communicating value to your customers using digital tools. So now that we’ve got that covered the real question is what digital tools are available and how do they differ from traditional marketing tools.

Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

The first thing to do is to understand the difference between traditional and digital marketing.

Traditional marketing relies on tools and mediums like:

  • The newspaper,
  • Radio,
  • TV,
  • Magazines,
  • Billboards,
  • Direct mail
  • and any form of print

Digital marketing, on the other hand, is made up of tools like:

  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing),
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization),
  • SMM (Social Media Marketing),
  • Content marketing like blogging, articles or video creation,
  • Email marketing,
  • Online PPC advertising (Pay-per-click),
  • Mobile Marketing (ads targeting mobile devices)
  • and Affiliate marketing
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Main Difference between SEO and Digital Marketing

If we already know what SEO and Digital Marketing are, let’s find out what the difference between them is.

1 SEO is one of the tools of Digital Marketing

The first major difference between SEO and Digital Marketing is that SEO is one of the tools used in Digital Marketing. And if you want to start marketing for your website, you should first start with SEO. A site that is properly optimized for search engines will provide a good foundation for all other marketing activities.

2 Free Organic Traffic = SEO vs Digital Marketing = Paid Traffic

The second difference is how your website gets traffic. SEO tries to make the site appear on the highest positions in crawlers like Google for certain keywords. The higher the page is shown in the search engine results; the higher free organic traffic is, while Digital Marketing focuses mostly on paid traffic and uses PPC advertising (Google Ads or Facebook Ads) and other marketing tools dependent on the company’s budget.

3 SEO Cost vs Digital Marketing Cost

Another difference between SEO and Digital Marketing is in terms of finance. In this regard, let’s take a look at SEO first.

SEO Cost: If the website is properly optimized, it will start appearing in the top positions in search engine results, and of course, organic unpaid traffic will increase. The only other expense is having to pay an SEO Specialist on a monthly basis.

Digital Marketing Cost: However, digital marketing does not stop at paying for specialist services. The cost of digital marketing can reach as high as a few thousand a month. For example, if a website appears on the first page of Google, or if a company’s ad appears on Facebook, that’s all paid ads and the ad campaigns strongly relying on the company‘s budget. Once the company’s budget is fully depleted, advertising stops and the company loses online traffic and the benefits from being positioned on the first page of Google.

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SEO and Digital Marketing are not synonymous. Although similar, they are not the same. SEO specialists focus on optimizing a site in order to get the highest rankings in search engine results (SERP) and thereby increase free organic traffic. Digital marketing specialists focus on enhancing overall online presentation and visibility for consumers using their corporate budgets, using various digital tools including paid advertising to achieve their marketing goals. So now you know the difference between SEO and Digital Marketing.

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