What’s the difference between SEO and SMM? This post breaks down the differences and explains how each of these marketing techniques can benefit your business.

There’s a lot of talk these days about SEO and SMM – but what do they actually mean, and more importantly, why should you care? In this post, we’ll break down the differences between these two methods, and explain how optimizing your website for search engines and engaging in social media marketing can benefit your business. So, if you’re ready to learn more about how SEO and SMM can help your business grow, keep reading!

What Is the Difference Between SEO and SMM?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website within search engines like Google and Bing. It involves using specific techniques to increase the number of visitors to your site from organic searches. On the other hand, social media marketing (SMM) focuses on building relationships with people who will share your content through social networks.

What is SEO Search Engine Optimization?

SEO is the process of improving your site so that it appears higher in search engine results than competitors. The goal? To increase traffic, which leads to increased sales – all thanks to some cleverly crafted web pages!

The Core Elements of SEO

A website’s content is what it offers its visitors. It’s important to understand that search engines don’t just look at words; they also look at images, videos, and other elements of a page. They also take into consideration the way that pages interact with each other.

On-Page SEO

The most important thing to remember when optimizing your site for search engines Like Google and Bing is to write content that people will want to read. This means focusing on topics that interest your audience and avoiding those that don’t.

Tip: The title tag is important because it will appear in search engine results. Make sure you include keywords related to your topic and don’t forget about capitalization!

Off-Page SEO

The most important part of any website is its content. If it doesn’t attract visitors, then it’s not going to convert them into customers. This is where off-page SEO comes into play. Search engines like Google and Bing reward websites that attract quality links from other websites as they view them as votes for that website’s authority on a specific topic. Creating high-quality content on your website attracts links from other websites which in turn increases your authority in the eyes of search engines.

This increase in authority means an increase in your overall ranking potential and position in search results pages. The higher up you are, the more likely someone searching for something relevant to your business is to find you.

You can take it one step further by optimizing pages that already have external links, and creating links from that page to other pages on your websites. This is called internal linking and it’s one of the most effective ways to maximize the return on link-building campaigns. Internal links not only help visitors to your website find related content they might be interested in, but it also passes authority or link equity to other pages on your website.

Local SEO

Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online presence to attract more business from local customers. It involves making sure your website is visible in local search results and maps, creating listings on directories and review sites, and using local keywords throughout your content.

With Local SEO, you can target customers in a specific city, state, or even neighborhood, which is perfect for businesses that serve a localized area. This type of SEO can be especially beneficial for small businesses, as it allows them to compete against larger businesses that may have a national reach.

Technical SEO

The goal of technical SEO is to ensure that search engines can find and index your site properly. This includes things like ensuring that your page titles and meta descriptions are optimized, using Schema markup, and making sure that your site has the right number of pages.

Some of this terminology can be confusing for most, but never fear, the important takeaway here is that technical SEO ensures that search engines can properly find and index your site. This is important because if they can’t, then all of your other optimization efforts will be for naught.

If you’re interested in learning what technical issues your website might be experiencing, we can provide a free technical SEO audit. Simply fill out the information below and we will send you a detailed report filled with actionable steps you can take to improve your website’s crawlability.

Is SEO an Effective Strategy?

SEO is an effective marketing strategy for many businesses, but it’s not right for everyone. If you’re thinking about implementing a campaign, it’s important to consider your goals and objectives. You also need to be aware of the potential and challenges that can come with any marketing campaign.

When done correctly, SEO can be a very effective marketing strategy. However, it’s important to remember that there are no guarantees in SEO. While there are steps you can take to improve your chances of success, ultimately it comes down to how well you execute your campaign and how lucky you get with the search algorithms.

What is SMM Social Media Marketing?

SMM is a type of digital marketing that uses social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to promote businesses. The goal is to increase brand awareness, engagement, and conversions.

The Core Elements of SMM

In this section, we’re going to take a look at the core elements of social media marketing and how you can use them to reach your marketing goals.

Before we dive in, it’s important to note that social media marketing is a bit different than other types of marketing. In general, marketing campaigns are designed to generate leads or sales. However, social media marketing is more about building relationships and engaging with your audience.

With that said, let’s take a look at the core elements of social media marketing.

Identify and Define Your Business Goals

Before you can start creating content or engaging with your audience, you need to know what you’re trying to achieve with your social media marketing campaign.

Are you trying to increase brand awareness? Drive traffic to your website? Generate leads or sales?

It’s important to define your goals early on, as this will dictate the type of content you create and the strategies you use.

For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, you’ll want to create content that is shareable and promotes your business. On the other hand, if your goal is to generate leads or sales, you’ll want to create content that is more targeted and includes a call-to-action.

Create a List of Marketing Objectives

Now that you know what you’re trying to achieve with your social media marketing campaign, it’s time to start creating a list of objectives.

These objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Some examples of objectives include:

    • Increase brand awareness by X% in the next 6 months
    • Drive traffic to the website from social media by X% in the next 6 months
    • Generate X leads from social media in the next 6 months
    • Increase sales by X% from social media in the next 6 months

As you can see, each objective is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This will help you track your progress and determine whether or not your campaign is successful.

Define Your KPI’s and Benchmarks

Now that you have your objectives, it’s time to start thinking about your key performance indicators (KPI’s) and benchmarks.

Your KPI’s are the metrics you’ll use to track your progress and determine whether or not you’re meeting your objectives.

Some examples of KPI’s include:

    • Engagement rate
    • Reach
    • Impressions
    • Website traffic
    • Sales
    • Lead generated

Your benchmarks are the standards against which you’ll measure your KPI’s.

For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness by X% in the next 6 months, your benchmark would be the amount of brand awareness you have now.

To determine your benchmarks, you’ll need to look at your historical data. If you don’t have any past data to reference, you can use industry averages.

Once you have your KPI’s and benchmarks, you’re ready to start creating content.

Deciding Which Social Channels to Focus On

One of the most vital parts of any SMM strategy is to decide which social platforms to focus on.

The reality is, that you can’t be everywhere at once. You need to focus your efforts on the social channels that will give you the most Return On Investment (ROI).

To help you decide which social channels to focus on, ask yourself the following questions:

    • Where is my target audience most active?
    • Which channels are most relevant to my business?
    • What type of content performs best on each channel?
    • What are my resources (time, money, etc)?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you should have a good idea of which social channels to focus on.

If you’re still unsure, you can always start with the two most popular social media platforms: Facebook and Twitter.

Build Your Overall Content Strategy

Putting all of the core elements of SMM together will give you a solid foundation for building your overall content strategy.

The best way to build your overall content strategy is by looking at what people want to read about. If you’re not sure where to start, try asking yourself some questions like: What topics interest me most? Which ones don’t I care about? And which one would I love to see covered?

Once you know what you’d like to write about, it will be easier to find ideas and sources to provide information. After that, you can start thinking about how often you’ll need to post and what kind of content you’ll be sharing.

There are three main types of content you should focus on creating:

    1. Educational
    2. Promotional
    3. Engaging

Your educational content should help your target audience learn more about your industry and business. This type of content can include blog posts, infographics, e-books, etc.

Your promotional content should promote your products or services. This type of content can include sales pages, coupons, discounts, etc.

Your engaging content should be shareable and promotes your business. On the other hand, if your goal is to generate leads or sales, you’ll need to create content that’s more targeted.

This type of content can include how-to videos, tips and tricks, etc.

No matter what type of content you create, make sure it’s high quality and relevant to your target audience.

Creating a content calendar will also be beneficial. This will help you plan and publish your content in an organized manner.

Is SMM an Effective Strategy?

The answer to this question comes down to your business goals and how well you execute your SMM campaigns.

Identifying your target audience plays a critical role in determining the overall success of your SMM strategy.

Creating content that’s relevant and engaging will also be key in driving traffic and conversions.

Building a strong social media presence takes time and effort. But, if done correctly, SMM can be an extremely effective way to reach your target audience and achieve your business goals.


Is it Important to Focus on Both SEO and SMM Strategies?

The answer to this question will largely depend on what type of business you run, your marketing goals, and the audience you are trying to reach.

I’ve heard the case made that SEO is mandatory for all businesses that have a presence online, but the truth is, not all businesses need to focus on SEO, or will even benefit for ranking at the top of organic search.

For instance, if there is no measurable search volume for the keywords related to the products or services you sell, professional SEO services will not be worth the investment.

Another example is If you are a small business with a limited budget, focus your SEO efforts on local listings such as Google Business Profile.

On the other hand, you could have a business in a highly competitive industry where ranking in organic search is essential for driving traffic and generating leads or sales. An example of this would be a law firm that specializes in personal injury cases. In this case, you would want to focus on both SEO and SMM strategies to ensure you are reaching the widest audience possible.

The important thing to remember is that there is no one size fits all answer. The most important thing is to focus on the marketing channels that will reach your target audience and help you achieve your business goals.

Does Social Media Affect SEO and Vice Versa?

The short answer is yes, but it’s important to note that social signals are not a ranking factor for any of the major search engines such as Google or Bing.

What is important to consider is that social media relies entirely on content. The more high-quality, relevant content you create, the more likely it is to be shared by your followers, which can lead to increased traffic to your website.

While increased traffic, in and of itself is not a ranking factor, how that traffic responds at higher-ranking positions in Google is.

For example, if Google’s algorithm moves you up to one of the top 10 positions and finds that users click through to your website more regularly than the websites in the higher page ranking positions, Google will more often than not, move your website higher on the page to one of the more coveted ranking positions as it has determined that your website better serves the search intent being target by your page or post.

Therefore, while social media does not have a direct effect on SEO, it can indirectly impact your rankings by promoting your content and driving traffic to your website.

What is SEM and How Does it Relate to SEO?

SEM or search engine marketing is a form of online marketing that combines both SEO and PPC or pay-per-click advertising such as Google AdWords or Bing Ads

The main difference between the two is that with SEO, businesses focus on optimizing their website and content to rank organically in the search engines. With SEM, businesses also bid on keywords to place ads in the paid listing section of the search engine results pages or SERPS.

The benefit of SEM is that it can help you to reach your target audience more quickly than SEO alone. The downside is that it can be costly, and if not managed correctly, can become very expensive very quickly.

Paid vs Organic Traffic

Quite a bit of research has been done in determining the quality of paid search traffic compared to organic traffic as far as helping businesses achieve specific marketing objectives.

The general consensus seems to be that organic traffic is more valuable than paid traffic as it is more targeted and has a higher conversion rate. But why is this?

The difference between the two is essentially a matter of search intent. Paid traffic more often than not will focus entirely on commercial intent keywords and phrases. Commercial intent for those that are wondering is defined as a query where the user’s end goal is to make a purchase.

The issue here is that it leaves a lot of queries out of the mix for consideration as potential customers may not be ready to purchase immediately.

Organic traffic, on the other hand, is not focused solely on commercial intent keywords and phrases but also includes what are called informational and navigational queries.

Informational queries are defined as a query where the user is looking for information on a given topic with no immediate intent to make a purchase.

Navigational queries are defined as a query where the user is looking to find a specific website or web page.

The inclusion of these types of queries opens up the possibility for businesses to reach users at all stages of the buying cycle from awareness, consideration, and decision stages.

This is important as it allows businesses to nurture potential customers until they are ready to make a purchase which can lead to a higher conversion rate.

While organic traffic may not always result in immediate sales, over time it has been proven to be more valuable as it allows businesses to reach users at all stages of the buying cycle.

Tip: Successful businesses with an actual marketing budget should create strategies that take advantage of both SEM and SEO. This will help to ensure that businesses are reaching their target audience through the most effective channels and strategically reaching more customers.

What is SMO and How Does it Differ from SMM?

Social media optimization (SMO) is the process of increasing the visibility and reach of a website or web page on social media, as well as developing an audience engagement strategy. SMO can include optimizing a website or web page itself, as well as marketing content on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and others

While SMO and SMM are similar, there are some key differences. SMO is more focused on optimizing a website or web page for social media channels, while SMM is more focused on marketing content on social media platforms. Additionally, SMO can be seen as a subset of SMM, since it includes some of the same activities, like creating engaging content and building an audience.

Tips on Combining SEO and SMM

As we’ve seen, SEO and SMM are both important for getting traffic to your website or web page. But what if you want to combine the two? Here are a few tips:

    1. Brand Mentions – Following hashtags and brand mentions can be a great way to engage directly with your audience, as well as get some insights into what they’re talking about. It can also be a great way to address negative publicity regarding your brand at its source.
    2. Shares are opportunities for Backlinks – Make sure your content is share-worthy, as this can help it get shared more, and increase the chance of getting backlinks.
    3. Brand Awareness – Increasing your brand awareness can have a direct effect on click-through rates, as well as organic reach.
    4. Drive Interest to your Blog – Having a social sharing option on your blog posts allows your marketing efforts to reach new audiences without any additional investment. This increase in traffic can lead to email capture, newsletter signup, and more opportunities for conversions.

Crafting the Right Strategy for Your Business

There are many factors to consider when evaluating the right mix of SEO, SMM, SEM, and SMO for your business. Budget, audience, goals, and business objectives need to be considered when crafting a digital marketing strategy.

Your Budget Can Define Strategy

Most likely the biggest factor that will determine which digital marketing channels you use is your budget. If you are a small business with a limited budget, you may want to focus on Local SEO and SMM as they are typically the most cost-effective.

Local SEO can be done for free if you are willing to put in the time and effort to do it yourself. SMM can also be done for free but will require a significant amount of time to see results.

If you are a larger business with a bigger budget, you may want to consider a more comprehensive digital marketing strategy that includes SEM, SMO, and SEO. If you have an in-house department that handles SEO, it might be a good strategic decision to outsource to a digital marketing agency for SEO consulting as they will most likely have more experience and knowledge of the latest trends and algorithm changes.

How Timing Can Inform your Strategy

When solidifying your overall marketing goals as part of developing your digital marketing strategy, careful consideration needs to be paid to developing your plan of action both in the short-term and the long-term.

SEO is a long-term strategy as it can take months to see results from your efforts. This is why a lot of businesses that are looking for immediate results will turn to SEM as it can provide quick results.

SMM and SMO are strategies that can provide both short and long-term results. SMM can provide quick results in the form of increased engagement and reach but will require continuous effort to maintain these results. SMO can provide both short and long-term results depending on the goals that you are looking to achieve.

For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, SMO might be a better option as the results from your efforts will have a more lasting effect.

The Quality of Traffic

As I mentioned earlier in the article, each channel can have varying levels of quality in terms of the likelihood to help you achieve your overall business goals.

SEO traffic is typically high-quality as the users that click on your website from the SERPs are actively searching for the goods or services that you offer.

SEM traffic can be riskier as typically these users tend to be the proverbial “tire kickers” and are searching for the best deal rather than being further along in the buying cycle. It will definitely result in a supercharged injection of traffic to your website, but the quality is less consistent than that of SEO.

The quality of traffic from SMM and SMO can depend on the social media networks that you are using as well as the type of content that you are putting out.

For example, if you run a B2B company and are using LinkedIn to post content, the quality of traffic will be higher as LinkedIn is a platform that is geared towards business professionals.

In contrast, if you are using Facebook, the quality of traffic will be lower as Facebook is a social network that is geared towards a more general audience.

Researching Your Competitor’s Strategies

Finally, another important factor that you need to consider when determining which digital marketing channels to use is what your competition is doing.

Understanding the methods your competition is using to drive their overall digital marketing strategy can inform your own decisions and help you to make more informed choices about the channels that you use.

If your competition is using paid search ads, it would be beneficial to dig into the numbers and estimate what their total ad spend might be. Determine what pages on their website they are targeting, what kind of messaging they are focusing on, and what kind of results they are seeing.

This information can help you to make decisions about your own digital marketing strategy and whether paid search ads would be a beneficial channel for your business.

If you are looking to use SMM or SMO to drive your digital marketing strategy, take a look at the platforms your competition is using and the type of content they are putting out.

Determine what is working well for them and what you could do differently to help you stand out from the crowd.

As you can see, there are a lot of factors that need to be considered when determining which digital marketing channels to use.

The most important thing is to understand your overall business goals and what you are looking to achieve with your digital marketing strategy.

From there, you can research the different channels and decide which ones will be the best fit for your business.

The debate over SEO vs SMM or SEO vs SEM is one that has been around for quite some time. And, it’s one that likely won’t be going away anytime soon.

When taking a holistic view of each strategy as a driver for your business objectives, it’s entirely possible that the most effective strategy for your business is to have a mix of each as part of your overall digital marketing strategy.

Determining the right mix for your business will be the product of creative thinking, careful research, and understanding the needs of the customers in your target audience. There will always be some trial and error, but once you nail down an effective strategy, the rewards will be well worth the effort.

If you would like to discuss your digital marketing options with a professional who can offer insights and recommendations based on your specific business goals, reach out to us today. Fill out the short contact form below for a free, no-obligation discovery call. We look forward to connecting with you.