Many people do not really know the difference between SEO and inbound marketing. However, knowing is vital when you are selecting a type of agency to do your business’ marketing. Therefore, we have assembled a list of the biggest differences between SEO and inbound marketing agencies:


It is essential to get your business at the top of search engine results, which is a promise made by most SEO companies. SEO is important when it comes to determining the ability to draw visitors to your site, but it will only be beneficial if you are able to increase your conversions. Ranking is vital, but traffic from SERPs is perhaps even more important. SEO companies tend to over focus on ranking at the expense of traffic. Inbound marketing agencies focus more on creating sustainable traffic sources based on solid content that will withstand changes in search algorithm.


SEO agencies are very good at optimizing content for search engines, but creating content is not always their forte.  Inbound marketing agencies practically specialize in creating content. With quality content quickly becoming a main factor in obtaining traffic from search engines, the value of optimization-only approaches used by SEO agencies are diminishing.

Link Building

A component of SEO focuses on building links from relevant, high authority sites, since search engines use links in order to determine a website’s authority.  However, according to Google their focus is on providing the most valuable answer, which is not always indicated by links alone. Search engines look at the quality of links, which means that content must be worthy of producing natural inbound links.


SEO agencies often promise that their clients will rank at the top of SERPs. With PPC, SEO agencies will make a similar argument by promising traffic through paid search campaigns. Inbound agencies however, like in organic search, tend to focus focus on PPC campaigns that are converting high quality leads. Inbound agencies guarantee that you achieve ROI on all your PPC efforts.

Graphics & Visual Content

The Internet is overrun with copy, making it important to quickly grab users’ attention with graphics and visual content. Unlike several SEO agencies that focus on the mechanics of optimization, inbound marketing agencies can help create visual content assets that has the ability to drive engagement and sharing – all the while building valuable links.

Social Media

Google is placing great emphasis on the importance of social media for ranking. SEO agencies typically would not offer social media management among their services, while inbound marketing agencies make this an integral part of their services. When selecting a marketing agency, be sure to choose one that offers social media services along with SEO and PPC.