Difference Between SEO and Digital Marketing (With Table)

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a method to easily access web pages and categorize them. SEO is a very important strategy used by any digital marketing platform. It is basically a way to drive customers towards the business through online platforms.

Digital marketing is used by businesses to reach their customers through the internet. This is a very wide field including social media, content marketing, etc.

SEO vs Digital Marketing

The difference between SEO and Digital Marketing is that SEO is concerned with getting customers toward different websites and Digital Marketing is concerned with getting customers to their businesses. Another major difference between SEO and Digital Marketing is that SEO is a tool used by Digital Marketing.

While SEO has to only care about the customer reaching a website that they have promoted, Digital marketing has a major role as it has to take care of the companies’ online business which goes beyond SEO.

Comparison Between SEO and Digital Marketing

Parameters of ComparisonSEODigital Marketing
WorkRanks web sites on search engines.Promotes businesses on social media platforms.
ScopeIt is used for campaigns of digital marketingCovers all aspects of customer outreach programs.
Main target  Targets search enginesTargets people (customers)
Main concernIncreasing visits to a websiteIncreasing the company’s online presence
RelationshipSEO is a subset of digital MarketingDigital marketing is a broad term used for multi-channel marketing and is a superset of SEO

What is SEO?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a process that Progresses the quality of Website Traffic On web pages. SEO optimizes your content in such a way that the search engine shows it as a top result for answers to searches with some certain keyword.

Around the 1990s, Webmasters began optimizing all websites for search engines. At first, all webmasters had to submit only their address link to various engines. These engines would send the information to a web crawler to look for that page, extract links from other pages and then let it be indexed.

Various search engines (like Google and Microsoft Bing) use “bots” to go through pages and collecting their information in order to place them in the index. After this, the algorithms go through all pages in the index, keeping in mind different factors in order to determine the ranking of each page to be put in a particular order so that search results for a given query appear. Every web page has its own SEO that optimizes their site with factors, like surface relevant content and providing users with an effective search experience, that help their pages rank higher in the search results.

SEO mostly targets the organic results (also known as the unpaid traffic) rather than direct traffic. The unpaid traffic mostly comes from searches that include image search or video search, etc.

Basically, SEO has to determine the basic keywords used in every search in order to get a higher rank for their website.

What is Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is a part of marketing that uses internet-based technologies to promote their products and services to people.

As people started using technologies like mobile phones and other devices rather than visiting shops themselves, different businesses started promoting their products online as that got more attention from customers.

Search Engine Optimization is one of the ways through which digital marketing campaigns for his product. This marketing now even extends to non-internet channels like television, SMS, and the on-hold mobile ringtones.

Digital marketing is interrelated with technology development. In the 2000s the use of the internet and technology increased a lot. People started surfing about products online rather than consulting from a salesperson. This was when digital marketing became the only useful option for the onset of products online. This helped in market development.

One of the key features of digital marketing is to raise awareness of brands among people.

For digital marketing to work in a more effective manner, various ways were used among which SEO (to improve the visibility of business websites), Search Engine Marketing (SEM to purchase ad space), content marketing (to improve brand recall), was used to make it attractive for the customers and to boom their own businesses.

Main Differences Between SEO and Digital Marketing

  1. The main difference between SEO and digital marketing is that SEO gets customers towards different web pages and Digital Marketing will get customers towards their business.
  2. SEO is a subset of digital marketing and it helps promote businesses by ranking them high on search engines. SEO uses a strategy of planning, outlining, and implementing steps in order to get the required results.
  3. Digital marketing tries to increase the company’s online presence by using search engine optimization, search engine marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, etc. whereas SEO’s main concern is to get keep the rank maintained for a web page that it is responsible for.
  4. SEO attempts to get a higher rank on search engine results. The higher the page is displayed the greater the unpaid or organic traffic is. On the other hand, digital marketing looks mostly upon paid traffic and also other marketing tools that marketing requires.
  5. The other main difference between search engine optimization and digital marketing is the finance of the two. The work that SEO has is to get the highest rank to a website. In order to have it for a longer time, the company has to pay an SEO professional on a monthly basis. As for digital marketing, the payment does not only stop for expert solutions, everything is on a payment basis including regular ads on Facebook accounts or any other social media accounts.


SEO and Digital marketing are two very different things yet require each other for their work. Digital marketing needs SEO for giving a high rank to its websites and to promote their business.

SEO learns the factors used by bots and use it to get their desired result. Digital marketing uses its strategy to display their ads on search engines as well as social media accounts. Digital marketing is also concerned with a company’s overall presence online (on the internet). This increases the visibility of customers.

The SEO specialists also take a keen interest in optimizing a site to increases traffic and revenue. SEO is a tool used by digital marketing. SEO is an integral part of digital marketing which is concerned with a holistic move to get customers to their business through online platforms


  1. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1086/466512/meta
  2. http://symphonya.unicusano.it/article/download/9136/8713
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