One of my Principles of SEO is that organic search is a traffic channel, not a marketing channel. Whenever I say this, some industry veterans look incredulous or challenge my statement. Of course SEO is a marketing channel; how can an entire industry evolve around SEO without it being a marketing channel?
I stand my ground.
Search engine optimization is a set of best practices to apply to your marketing channels, online and, to some extent, offline. What is a marketing channel? It’s a conduit of communication between a business and its stakeholders. Marketing channels deliver messages. They create awareness, engagement, demand, and sales. They influence perception and reputation. You don’t put messages in SEO; you apply SEO to your messages. SEO creates traffic from organic search by making online marketing channels more visible.