When it comes to marketing a brand or business, one of the most debated topics is what kind of strategy would work to meet organizational goals. In digital marketing, website traffic is among the top priorities of any company, and a lot of research goes for identifying the best strategy that can significantly boost traffic.
Two of these strategies are Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM). Because both of them are capable of directing audiences to a website to increase its visitors’ count, they are the most common methods to employ. It is important to fully understand where each strategy is used, and which can bring you the best results.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a process of optimizing a website for search engine results. By optimizing we mean making those configurations on the website code, view, content, and structure so that search engines can ‘read’ (crawl) the website easily. The more they can understand a website, the greater are the chances of achieving higher rankings of that website.
Search engines use a number of rules to decide which websites are to be shown on the top positions and SEO is all about satisfying those rules. An SEO friendly website is also more user-friendly so the benefits of SEO are not limited to rankings. SEO can improve your search engine rankings and that means more traffic and sales because people using the Google search box are highly targeted with SEO. They either have a problem and need a related solution, or have a question and looking for an appropriate answer.
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Social Media Marketing or SMM is the process of utilizing social networks for the purpose of promoting your products or services. This may be a surprise for some of the people but social networks are not used only for networking and talking with your friends, they are also very important selling tools for marketers and companies.
What does the social media marketing process involve? In short, SMM has to build your brand reputation in social networks by creating a group of followers who are interested and want to interact with your brand. For doing this, you need to identify your target audience and try to connect with them using a good design content marketing plan and social media campaign. This involves posting relevant and interesting content on your social media pages and also engaging with your followers.
In the past, many traders had doubts about the effectiveness of social media for selling but in the last couple of years, things have changed dramatically. Recent studies proved that customers who are engaged with a brand on social media are likely to make more purchases from a particular company. Other studies proved that more than 70% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after they saw a posting on social media.
Nowadays SEO cannot be effective without well-executed content creation. And that’s where social media kicks in — it helps you unlock your potential. Compared to other marketing channels, social media benefits SEO in really unexpected ways. There is nothing surprising about SEO and SMM that they have slowly become closely interrelated activities that all businesses want to take advantage of. But how exactly can both SEO and SMM work together? Do social media signals really affect your site’s visibility on Google? We have been investigating this topic for a long time and here’s what we have learned so far:
Social media signals don’t affect site rankings
SEO isn’t effective without using social media channels
In this post, we want to highlight the following idea: When you share content on SMM channels you’re not only getting connections, but also bringing visitors to your site. This, in turn, helps to boost your site’s visibility: SMM corresponds to SEO and indirectly affects website performance in Google. Our analysis shows that SMM impacts SEO much more than you might think. The truth is that organic channels bring more traffic to SMM-focused blogs than to SEO-focused ones.
When and Why SEO is Better than Social
Now let’s talk about when and why Search Engine Optimization is better than Social Media Marketing to bring more relevant traffic in 2019.
The number of people looking for your business on search engines is more than that of social media. It is obvious that if your target audiences search for your business on search engines and not social media you will certainly use search and not social. Let’s say for example you are a consumer looking for something, I mean some product or some service. So, where would you prefer to go first? Certainly, the search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, Duck Duck Go, or one of the many other options available.
A recent study by Econsultancy disclosed that almost 61% of consumers use search engines to research any product or service before they actually buy it. This proves that you need to rank well for your targeted keywords if you want your business to get discovered by the users. For this, you need to work on SEO and not on social media.
Do you know what people are looking for? One of the best advantages of SEO is that there are some great tools through which you can easily find out what people are looking for and extend your offer accordingly. Google AdWords Keyword Tool is one of such tools.
When and Why Social is Better than SEO
Now, let’s have a look when and why Social Media Marketing beats Search Engine Optimization.
The same study by Econsultancy that we discussed earlier also disclosed that 75% of people among 18 – 26 age group use suggestions from social sites in product research before making a purchase. The best thing about social media is that once you have a presence on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+, related events start happening with various actions that users take on these sites such as someone liking your page on Facebook, mentioning your Twitter handle, or tagging your brand name as these activities can be seen by their connections making your business to get discovered by others and that with a perceived seal of approval.
The worst thing about Search Engine Optimization is that sometimes something negative comes up and on top of that you can’t deal with it. It could be anything from a bad review, stealing of report or a damaging article about your business that can spoil your online reputation and unfortunately there is nothing you can do to respond to such negative things in search engine results themselves.
However, when it comes to social media you cannot only deal with bad things in real time but can turn brand opponents to brand supporters and can turn complaints into compliments and votes. All you need to do is to act smart and understanding and respond to negativity with patience and rationalism. Let your consumers know that you care for them.
Generating traffic through paid and targeted advertising
Paid advertising on social media such as Facebook Advertising, Promoted Tweets and so on is a great way to generate traffic to your website, increase the number of fans on the Facebook page, and also the visibility for the messages you have on various social media platforms.
When and Why the Merger of the Two is Required
Even if you talk about Search Engine Optimization, things have changed drastically from what it used to be a few years ago. More value is being given to the content and user experience has become a matter of utmost importance for search engines as well. That is why even the search engines are becoming social in order to provide users with the best ever experience they could have. In the real-time results on Google, more feeds and blogging sites are included. Even search engines are displaying social media mentions displaying that if you really want to enhance your visibility you must pay attention to social media as well.
Not only you can monitor what people are saying about your business and brand through social media but can also target and reach out to those who are interested in your brand more easily. You can use social media data to gather knowledge about keywords that you can use while carrying out various SEO campaigns.
So, whatever is your line of business, if you want some really good results you must use both Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. The idea is that both of them are almost free of cost and if you don’t want to invest money apart from investing it on the manpower, you won’t have to pay money and you can make use of their freely available services and gain results that you had expected.