SEO and social media marketing are two marketing methods that have changed the traditional way of advertising products and services. These two make use of the Internet to gain traffic so that a business not only generates leads but also increases the chances of them getting sales.
There are businesses that focus on only one of these – either SEO or social media marketing. Several companies outsource their SEO so that their website appears on the first few slots in the search engine results page (SERP). On the other hand, there are businesses that want to focus on having a strong social media presence so that they can get connected with their target consumers.
But while both offer their own pros and cons, it’s important to know which gives a higher return on investment (ROI). ROI is one of the ways a company measures how efficient and effective their investments are. In this case, it’s important for the business to know which of the two are able to give the higher ROI so they can decide how much to spend on both.
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Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, commonly known as SEO, is a process in which a website is fixed or improved in order for the site to get more organic traffic. Organic traffic refers to the number of visits a website receives. This is heavily dependent on where the website ranks in the SERP.
If you would notice, the higher the website in the SERP, the more people are expected to click it. This is because higher rankings mean more credibility for other people because according to them, Google has a way of organizing the more relevant and credible websites on the SERP. However, these two criteria are not the only ones involved in ranking websites. Instead, search engines look at how friendly a website is to its customers. It also considers the content, structure, and other factors.
Social Media Marketing
Unlike SEO, Social Media Marketing or SMM refers to using social networks to increase brand visibility and in the long run, increase sales. SMM starts when a business creates its own page on a social media website and generates a following. A following, or a group of followers, is generated by engaging with people through posts, online games, and discounts. A strong customer service through social media sites also helps in getting your brand out there.
A solid SMM campaign involves well-thought-out posts. It is not enough to post about your business because overposting can flood the people that follow your page. Instead, marketing teams create a timeline that has their posts scheduled. Usually, social media content becomes effective when the brand’s content not only focuses on the brand itself, but also current events that its followers can relate to.
Which Gives Higher ROI?
There is no one answer to this question. The ROI differs depending on the kind of company and the effort they put in doing either SEO or SMM. However, online markteter urges you to consider these factors in judging which one gives the highest ROI.
Not all companies have enough budget for marketing strategies. If this is the case, then you want to use the small budget you have to yield results. Usually, SEO is more affordable because there are techniques that help increase your search ranking even without spending. Simply use keywords and churn out relevant content, and you can bet that you will be able to go up the ranks.
On the other hand, if you have a big enough budget for online marketing, then the right thing to do to yield higher ROI is to invest in both SEO and SMM. Investing in SEO can help you gain more organic traffic while SMM can help you be more visible.
Aside from the budget, you have to ask your team, “What do I hope to achieve?” This is because SEO and SMM have different results and focusing on one might not give you the results you want.
If you want more organic traffic, credibility, and long-term results, then you have to go to SEO. It lasts relatively longer than SMM because ranking high in the SERP gives a long-lasting effect on consumers. If they see that your website is on the first page of the SERP, then it will create brand recall and it will start to become a go-to for their concerns.
But if you want brand awareness, buzz, and online visibility, then your biggest hope is in SMM. A lot of people linger in social media sites and instead of being an answer to a search, you can be proactive in reaching out to target customers. You can make use of online targeting where you are the one who shows up to those people who seem to be the right fit for your brand.
You should also consider the amount of effort and time you put in determining the ROI. Because time and labor can be costly, ideally, you want a marketing strategy that does not have to require so much effort and labor. For this factor alone, SEO wins because it’s more difficult to create relevant content over the course of time that will constantly appeal to social media users. This also includes creating the branding and other tactics so that people will be encouraged to click on your page.
On the other hand, SEO can be more cost-efficient because you don’t need a group of people to create content, branding, and other social media strategies. There are some that employ a content writer and that turns out to be enough.
Why You Need Both
In spite of some strategies yielding a higher ROI over the other in certain aspects, it is still much better to invest in both SEO and SMM.
Simply put, if you focus only on SEO, you are missing out on a large market to be found on social media sites. If you focus only on SMM, then some people will not be able to find you right away on Google. So the best way to get the highest ROI is to use both strategies and maximize them to meet two goals.
April is a SEO specialist at Infinite Ace, an Australian-based digital marketing agency. She has been in the digital marketing for 5 years and has helped several clients build and grow their business online. To know about digital marketing website their website.