SEO Digital Marketing Versus Social Media: Which Platform Works Best?

SEO Digital Marketing Versus Social Media: Which Platform Works Best?

There is a debate that’s been talked about by a lot of digital content marketers between search engine optimization or SEO and social media marketing or SMM, but nobody ever comes up with a winner. These two are both parts of digital marketing, and their end goal is to promote your content to a wider audience.

They have their respective weaknesses and strengths, but before we dive into those let’s first define SEO and SMM:

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is a technique used by marketers to rank in search engine results pages. You should know that search engines use crawlers or bots to inspect a website. These crawlers don’t read like humans. They literally crawl web pages until they find what they are looking for which is the keyword.

When you optimize a website you do the following:

  • Use keywords your audience might be looking for.
  • Configure your website code so search engines can comprehend what your site is saying.
  • Create content that adds value to users.

The more you optimize for the keywords your audience is looking for, the more chances of you have of getting organic traffic. You can visit this marketing site for more information on SEO.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is all about employing the power of an extensive social network to increase awareness of your product or services. Social media isn’t just used to post selfies and cute cat videos. It’s a place where marketers can learn more about their audience and promote their brands.

Through SMM you can generate followers of your brands who are more than willing to engage and share your content with their network. Most social media networks will also provide the capability to let marketers accurately target their audience. Take, for example, Facebook Ads. It lets marketers and even amateur business owners target their audience by using their interests and demographics. It’s a powerful tool when used correctly and can help you push for sales.


In order to accurately compare both marketing techniques, it’s important to have a look at their advantages and disadvantages:

SEO Advantages

  1. Strong audience intent – SEO audiences have a stronger intent because they know what they are looking for. They use search engines to help them make a decision which usually leads to a sale. As a marketer, SEO audiences are the ideal website visitor because they are more likely to buy.
  1. Low maintenance – When you’ve successfully ranked a page you can expect passive audiences. You can edit the article on a regular basis to make any information relevant. However, your ranking can last up to months if done right. Additionally, you can focus on creating several evergreen content or topics that are always being searched for by your audiences to remain relevant in your niche.
  1. Increased user experience – The more effort you put into optimizing your site for search engines, you simultaneously help improve usability.

SEO Disadvantages

  1. Keyword research is needed – Content for SEO needs to have specific words for it to rank better in search engine results pages, which requires keyword research.
  1. Longer content – Lengthy articles work best with SEO, and if you look at Google results, most top search results will have over 1,000 word count. This would mean that more than doing the research you need to able to write lengthy content. Lengthy doesn’t mean boring though, and you have to make sure it’s still engaging and easy to understand.
  1. No guaranteed results – Even if you use the right keywords, there is no guarantee that you will have good ranking in search results pages. You have no full control over your rankings, and you can only hope that over time you can reap good results.

SMM Advantages

  1. Contents are easier to make – Visual formats like photos don’t require any research and can be done in a matter of minutes. Audience coming from social media will most likely not have the time to read lengthy text posts. Use formats that are easy to digest like 15-second videos. Visual formats also get shared easier on social media which means increased brand awareness.
  1. A chance to go viral – Having your content go viral will do wonders for your website traffic. Posting on social media will give you a higher chance of going viral as long as you know how to evoke emotion.
  1. Immediate Visibility – Your visibility is instant to your followers, and you don’t need to worry about ranking. This would also mean that heavy website traffic can be expected in the first few hours after posting a content.

SMM Disadvantages

  1. Weak audience intent – The audiences you get from this channel are casually browsing through social media. They don’t have an intent to buy anything, but if they happen to see your content, they might visit your website or share your content. It’s an excellent place to raise awareness, but audiences coming from this channel are less likely to make a purchase.
  1. Immediate exposure to competitors – Since social media networks are a public space, all your strategy and style can be seen by competitors. This puts your SMM strategy at risk of being outdone.
  1. Requires constant updates – You need to keep posting fresh content every day or your audience will forget about you. You also have to make sure that you mix it up every once in a while, posting the same type of content can make your social media pages look dull and boring.ConclusionSearch engine optimization compliments your social media marketing efforts and vice versa. It’s an inbound marketing ecosystem, and just sticking to one platform will do you more harm than good. Work on creating content to target your audience organically while increasing audience awareness on social media through posts and shares. While each method has its own strengths and weaknesses, using them together would create the best digital content marketing campaign.