SEO or SMM: Which Is More Effective For Your Business?
While many businesses rely on both search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing (SMM) to reach customers, it is important to understand that each form of marketing has its own distinct function. An often-heard sentiment is “if you do one, you must do the other!” Now, this statement isn’t entirely wrong — as there is no doubt that SEO and SMM are inextricably linked. But by knowing which channel is the most effective for your company based on your business goals and objectives, you will separate yourself from the competition who simply uses one or the other without understanding why. Let’s take a look at each option and compare how they can help improve your business.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
There are a key number of differences between SEO and SMM, but the biggest difference is that SEO is an organic method while SMM involves paid advertising. SEO uses what’s known as white hat techniques, which adhere to Google’s guidelines and policies and require consistent content-creation and optimization efforts in order to improve rankings. While it takes longer to see results through SEO, it’s generally more effective and cost-efficient than paid advertising.
SEO is all about optimizing your website so that it will appear higher on search engine results pages (SERP). This process can involve developing both on-page and off-page elements of your site in order to draw in traffic.
Because of this process, you may not see immediate results from an SEO campaign. However, an effective SEO strategy can be very effective in building the visibility of your website over time as long as you continue to put effort into improving your website’s user experience. By providing useful information to users who visit your website through search queries related to certain keywords or phrases, you’ll naturally build up authority for those keywords over time due to the increased number of visitors on these pages.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO works as a result of a three-step process:
- Crawlers collect data from the web.
- Search engines index this data by subject and keywords.
- Ranking algorithms prioritize the most relevant results for a query based on their index of that data.
Why Is SEO Important?
Here are some reasons why you should consider using SEO for your business:
- It helps with brand awareness. Being on the first page of search engine results will create trust and credibility for your website among your target audience.
- It’s a cost-effective marketing strategy. Search engine optimization is a long-term strategy that doesn’t require you to pay advertising fees. If you want to speed up the process, then hiring an SEO agency is recommended.
- It’s a long-term marketing strategy. Inbound marketing strategies like SEO take time to build but will continue to deliver traffic, leads, and conversions for months or even years to come.
- You’ll get quality traffic from organic search results. The best thing about attracting traffic from Google is that this traffic will be highly relevant to the keywords included in your website’s content (including blogs and case studies). This is because you are providing the exact information that users are searching for.
- It’s measurable through analytics tools. In addition to observing rankings improve over time, there are other metrics such as bounce rate (how many visitors leave your site) or average session duration (how long someone stays on your site) that can identify whether users are finding value in your website’s content or not! Any issues are highlighted and can be improved upon.
SMM (Social Media Marketing)
Social media marketing is the use of social media networks to promote your business’s products or services. SMM can increase website traffic and user engagement, as well as increase brand awareness through exposure. SMM is one of the most powerful digital marketing strategies out there. It can help you build relationships with customers and prospects, while also improving brand loyalty.
Why Does Your Business Need SMM?
While there are many reasons why businesses should invest in SMM, here are the top five:
- Reach a wide audience at the click of a button
- Build customer loyalty by building relationships
- Increase brand awareness
- Understand how people react to your products or services by analyzing their behavior on social media (how often they share/like it)
- You can also use social media for SEO benefits by including hyperlinks to your website in your posts, as well as using relevant keywords in them. These will create valuable backlinks to your website and improve social signals.
It’s important to keep up with the newest marketing strategies.
As a business owner, you probably already understand the importance of keeping up with the latest marketing strategies. However, it can be confusing to figure out which method is the best for your business. Before we delve into whether SEO or SMM is the better choice for your business, let’s take a look at some important marketing principles in general:
- Know Your Target Audience
- Adapt to Shifting Demographics
- Make Sure You’re Promoting Something People Want
- Make Sure You’re Reaching the Right People
So which option should you use? SEO or SMM?
The answer is: it depends. But as a general rule of thumb, SEO is often more effective for building brand awareness and reaching new customers, while SMM is better for maintaining long-term relationships with existing customers.
Social media marketing can be very expensive to execute. Similar to pay-per-click ads, they require payment regardless of how many conversions are generated. However, unlike PPC, SMM can be difficult to measure. Users on social media are browsing for different reasons than people who are actively searching for an answer on search engines. SMM can be an effective strategy for large brands who are looking to develop brand omnipresence but for a new business, we recommend SEO as the most cost-effective digital marketing method.