Inbound Marketing: Content Marketing, Renamed

Every year it seems as though the terminology for online marketing changes. It was SEO, then SEM, then content marketing, and now inbound marketing. Every time the terminology changes, businesses look for experts to help them with their online marketing needs, and the new marketer does whatever it is they do to help your business grow.

What’s interesting though is that, in reality, the terminology still refers to the same thing – helping your website rank well in search engines. “Optimizing” it, if you will. Companies can change the terminology all they want, but they are still referring to the same basic principle, which is developing a website that ranks well in search engines.

The “Similarities” Run Deep

Perhaps even more interesting is that the evolution of the terminology is based on subtraction, not addition. When “SEO” was the term of the day, it involved all sorts of backlinking, meta tags, on-site content, off-site content, coding, and more. Than some (notably meta tags, coding, and many forms of backlinking) became obsolete, so it became content marketing – because on-site content and off-site content were all that was left. Now, even off-site content is closer to becoming obsolete, and on-site content is all that remains – hence, “inbound marketing.”

Nothing has really been added since the good old days of “SEO.” Instead, SEO companies simply need to do fewer different tasks. SEO, content marketing, and inbound marketing are all the same – but the term changed because the focus of the work changed. No longer do meta tags, coding, and backlinking matter. It is now about on-site content only (“inbound marketing”) and what that can do for your business.