Digital Marketing vs SEO: What’s The Difference?

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Digital marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand, but they’re far from the same thing.

It’s safe to say that digital marketing requires SEO for top-notch results, but SEO doesn’t require digital marketing at all. Sound confusing? Don’t worry… This article will clear up everything you need to know about both of them. 😀

The difference between digital marketing vs SEO is that digital marketing is a career field that attempts to convert customers into buyers, whereas SEO (search engine optimization) is the practice of ranking webpages high up on search engines, including Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo.

Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following information about digital marketing vs SEO:

  • The primary differences between the two subjects
  • Various similarities between SEO and digital marketing
  • Different careers that require search engine optimization

Ready? Let’s dive right in.

What Are the Differences Between Digital Marketing and SEO?

SEO, also known as search engine optimization, is designed to get different web pages to rank as high as possible on Google and other well-known search engines.

There’s an average of 40,000 Google searches every second, making it the top search engine in the world.

Digital marketers are often tasked to take advantage of SEO strategies, but it’s not always a necessary practice. Let’s analyze a list of differences between SEO and digital marketing below.

  • Search engine optimization focuses on getting searchers to click on a page, whereas digital marketing creates ads for products and services. If you’re just trying to get someone to reach an article about something, then SEO is going to be the key ingredient for success.
  • Digital marketing is a career, whereas SEO is a topic, action, and study. One is necessary for the other, as mentioned in the intro, but they’re not the same thing at all. You can choose certain paths of digital marketing that require SEO as we’ll get into in the next section.
  • SEO only works on search engines, but digital marketing can be used in emails, social media posts, and more. That’s not to understate the importance of SEO, but it’s not always needed for people who want to try a career in digital marketing. You can’t apply the same tactics for SEO as you would for an email campaign.
  • Digital marketers have to get sales through their ads, but SEO isn’t always financially-driven. In fact, many websites like Wikipedia don’t use ads at all. Their goal is to provide free information to the public without being biased or trying to sell something. Digital marketing is only used for driving sales and new readers.
  • Keywords are one of the most important pieces of SEO, but they’re not as crucial for digital marketing. SEO is based on a variety of factors, including the words that people type into the box to find information. The words used in digital marketing are used to be enticing rather than informative, in most cases.

As you can see, search engine optimization and digital marketing have their fair share of differences. But did you know that they’re not entirely apart from one another? There are all sorts of crossovers between the two.

In the next section, you’ll figure out how SEO and digital marketing intersect quite often.

How Are Digital Marketing And SEO Similar to Each Other?

Although they’re quite different in their basic forms, SEO and digital marketing often go hand-in-hand. If you want to be a high-end digital marketer, you’ll eventually run into the importance and details of search engine optimization.

Here’s a list of five similarities between SEO and digital marketing:

  • There’s a digital marketing job called SEO analyst. The job of an SEO analyst is to research and stay updated with recent market trends. You’ll have to study different keywords and other information that search engines rank in order to bring your clients’ work to the top.
  • Digital marketing generates sales leads, and SEO can help. If you’re able to make optimized web pages, you’ll be able to make readers see the page at the top of the search results. Needless to say, more viewers create a higher chance of additional sales opportunities for the company.
  • SEO can be done without any investment, as can digital marketing. However, both topics can benefit from spending money on advertisements. For example, you can bring more attention to yourself as a digital marketer via social media ads, and you can pay search engines money to have your posts featured at the top as well.
  • As suggested by Webenito, SEO and digital marketing both require and provide substantial knowledge of the online business world. You’ll learn quite a bit while working with new partners, but you should already possess basic info about what attracts peoples’ attention, what they search when they’re in the mood to make a purchase, and the demographics of the niche.
  • Both fields are designed to make people click. Whether you’re making an ad or email campaign as a digital marketer or optimizing a web page, the purpose of both topics is to get people to further investigate. You want them to absorb the information, purchase the product, test the service, or subscribe to an email list.

Which Careers Require SEO And Digital Marketing?

There’s no doubt that digital marketing can benefit from SEO, but so can a plethora of other online jobs. Knowing the importance of search engine optimization in the online work world is as important as it gets. 

Without SEO, thousands of companies would cease to exist. There are plenty of other jobs that use SEO, so let’s review a few.

Bloggers Need SEO

To a blogger, SEO is possibly the pinnacle of everything for their website. 

The goal of every post is to rank high in the search engines. If you don’t have organic traffic, as explained by Articulate Marketing, then you won’t have an ounce of success, in most cases.

You can use SEO as a blogger to rank keywords, drive email lists, and win the snippet. 

A snippet is the small box of concise information at the top of a Google search. 

When someone optimizes the snippet of each post, they’re taking advantage of SEO.

Statistical Analyst Marketers Watch the SEO Trends

As popular search results start to rise, a stat analyst will take note of everything that changes. It’s very similar to working in stock marketing in the sense that you need to be able to notice what’s popular before it gets too mainstream.

If you’re able to inform your clients of new trends that are starting to be researched regularly, they’ll be able to make a webpage about the topic. This timing drastically decreases their chances of being drowned out by the inevitable hoards of incoming digital marketers who want to rank their clients’ ads.

Small Businesses Use SEO And Digital Marketing

Local shops that have websites need to use what’s known as ‘local SEO.’ This basically entails the use of popular local city, county, and state names to get people to shop at their place. For example, a dentist from Tucson, Arizona might try to rank for the SEO keyword, “Dentists in Tucson, Arizona.”

Conclusion: Digital Marketing vs SEO Final Thoughts

SEO and digital marketing shouldn’t be looked at as an ‘either/or’ situation. You can use them together to get the best results in almost every online business situation.

Here’s a quick recap of the post:

  • Digital marketing often uses SEO, but it doesn’t necessarily have to.
  • SEO refers to optimizing and ranking for terms in the search engines.
  • Search engine optimization is required for quite a few online jobs.
  • You don’t need SEO to rank on social media, but it can prove to be beneficial.

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