Monday, August 3, 2015

Small Business Marketing: SEO or SMM?

Small businesses with limited marketing budgets often ask me what's the best marketing avenue to take: search engine optimization or social media marketing? Due to their small budget, they feel they can only invest in one of the two options. Unfortunately, it's not an either or question. SEO and SMM go hand-in-hand. If you want to see real results, you need to invest in both-- not just one or the other.

Small Business Marketing

Many small businesses only choose SEO because they want a good ranking with high traffic to their site. So they spend time optimizing their site and develop a strong keyword strategy to support their blogging and content marketing. But, then they need a distribution outlet for their content marketing or they aren't going to see large results. The most popular and effective form of content distribution is social media, which is why you must invest in both. If you just stop at SEO, you're cutting your potential success in half.

On the other hand, many think social media is enough because they are able to engage with customers and drive traffic to their website with referrals, but what are customers going to see when they get there? They are going to see the exact same thing every time. Why will they have a reason to return?

You need a content marketing strategy to give customers a reason to return to your site other than just for purchases. They need a reason to head back to your site with a blog and additional content to add value to their experience. Plus, the more you blog, the more pages you'll have indexed to increase your Google ranking. The more pages you have to share on social media, the higher the potential for referral traffic from social shares. Not to mention, content distribution on social media will help build engagement across all platforms because there's always something new to discuss.

Combining SEO and SMM

The majority of leads that result in a customer walking through your door are generated from SMM with 7 out of 10 customers preferring a business that's active on social media.  Not to mention, 1 out of 3 customers prefer to contact a business through social media instead of phone calls.

The combination of both SEO and SMM leads to more emails, contact form responses, and an overall increase in organic and referral traffic. Combined, this will build your business's brand, which is largely driven by SEO from blogging and content marketing.

To make sure the most accurate audience possible is reading your content and to generate more leads, social media is the place to be. Sure, a high ranking on Google comes from SEO, but you won't be able to target as specific as with SMM.

Social media is also a ranking factor, so if you really want that high ranking, you need to have both  SEO and SMM strategies. It's not a one or the other deal. If you really want to make the most of  your marketing, even on a limited budget, you can't just choose one. Even if you end up going over your budget, the return will more than cover the added upfront expenses.

If you only choose one, it's like only wearing one shoe. Sure, you'll get to where you need to go, but you're going to limp along and it will take you longer to reach your ultimate goal. 
If you need help developing a higher ranking with SEO and SMM, contact me today to learn more. No matter your budget, there's always a way to make the most of both worlds. 

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