SEO Guides: Should you focus your marketing on SEO or social media optimisation (SMO)?

Some people are questioning whether SEO is worth all the effort

SEO Guides: Should you focus your marketing on SEO or social media optimisation

SEO Guides: Should you focus your marketing on SEO or social media optimisation

Should you be focusing on SEO or invest in social media optimisation instead?

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Recently some website owners I work with have questioned whether they would be better focusing their marketing efforts on social media advertising rather than traditional SEO.

Obvious social media audience

There is a compelling logic for this. The simple fact there are so many people actively engaged in using social media identifies an obvious audience. So it makes sense that spending time getting in front of this audience could bring worthwhile exposure.

What resources are needed to see a benefit

But most website owners are busy people and the time they have to spend on marketing a website is limited. The real question is: what resources are going to be needed to see benefit from social media optimisation, compared to conventional search engine optimisation?

Here at we have focused both on tradional SEO, in having fairly well optimised pages for the search engines, as well as having content optimised for social media; that is popular amonst the Twitter followers.

Useful to show the pros and cons of both

Given that this site has visitors coming from conventional SEO and from SMO, I thought it might be useful to go through the pros and cons of each. To try and get as balanced view as possible, I’ve identified four web marketing topics and then tried to outline how each type of marketing contributes to the overall success.

1. Driving qualified visitors (more likely to buy or enquire)

Qualified website visitors are those who have some prior knowledge of your products or services, or for various reasons are more aware of your company or brand thus meaning they are more likely to buy or enquire.

In my view qualified visitors are more likely to arrive via social media marketing than from SEO. I think the reason for this is because visitors from social media may have had time to develop some knowledge of your company from tweets or postings, whereas with search, they are coming fresh to the site. However visitors from the search engines, are more likely to become qualified on subsequent visits.

2. Comparison of ongoing work needed to keep each working

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Both SEO and SMO need ongoing work to prevent the benefits from declining over time. But in my experience the types of work needed are different. With SEO there tends to be quite a bit of initial work on a page and then a small amount of updating and refreshing over time.

With social media optimisation I think the ongoing work is much greater than SEO. In fact if you don’t keep up the ongoing tweeting/posting and online content, the benefits often just grind to a halt.

3. Cost of social media optimisation against SEO

The cost of effective SEO is generally going up all the time for the simple reason that it now takes more time than ever. A lot of the quick fixes that used to work, are now ineffective, meaning you need to spend a lot more time developing quality content on your webpages.

Social media optimisation seems to have much more consistent ongoing costs associated with building followers and sending the message out. These costs generally relate to the time invested in the process.

4. Social media optimisation could help with SEO

In my view the time taken to achieve success with either is actually fairly similar, maybe more challenging with social media because it is so new. However I believe search engines are taking much more notice of social media factors for ranking pages, so looking forward, time spent on social media marketing could help SEO as well.

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SEO Guides: Should you focus your marketing on SEO or social media optimisation (SMO)? — 2 Comments

  1. I think the important things to consider in marketing any business is to use every aspect that is available to you. Obviously a lot of time is needed to keep websites up to date as mentioned above, so social media is an extremely useful tool. However regular content updates on sites has shown that people are more likely to visit because they see your company as important to you. It gives it a level of professionalism that might not come across just through social media. So take the time to update your site regularly as well as ‘tweeting’ and updating your facebook status.

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