Which SEO methods are inbound marketing, and which are outbound marketing?

Proactive linkbuilding (blogger outreach and link negotiation etc) is the main form of outbound marketing in SEO. Meanwhile, all on-site work is a form of inbound marketing.

Which SEO methods are a form of inbound marketing?

Pretty much all on-site SEO work is a form of inbound marketing. Let’s look at some key examples.

Landing page creation & optimisation is a major form of inbound marketing within the discipline of SEO. The purpose of this activity is to draw targeted traffic in from search engine, to land on your site through keyword-targeted, well optimised content.

In SEO, inbound marketing work can also include passive, organic linkbuilding strategies, meaning those which do not involve outreach to third-parties, such as publishing linkbait on your site for organic link acquisition, or building satellite sites as part of a monopolistic owned media strategy.

User experience (UX) design work can also count as a form of inbound marketing, as UX factors all influence bounce rates, which in turn is a major factor in determining rankings.

Which SEO methods are a form of outbound marketing?

Linkbuilding strategies that involve outreaching to relevant publishers, to negotiate them linking to your site or working with you to help attract links from other parties, is a key method of outbound marketing within the discipline of SEO. Link negotiation can involve anything from offering free merchandise to social media influencers in order to encourage them to review your products and link to you in the process so, through to creating articles specifically for bloggers to publish on their blogs, with ready-made links built into those pre-written articles (as in common in guestposting).

Link exchanging, which entails publishing a link on your site pointing to a partner’s site, in exchange for them publishing a link on their site pointing to your site (a reciprocal link exchange deal), is another popular method of outbound marketing strategy. Caution: this is a very dated, risky method of linkbuilding, discouraged by and easily detected by search engines, thus link exchange deals a better constructed in a non-circular (linear) 3-way manner and even then you should question your ethics else risk the wrath of Google penalties in case your scheme is somehow detected!