The Showdown: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) vs Social Media Marketing (SMM)

by Archana Nair on Tuesday Jul 18

Digital Marketing is a great way to establish your presence in the market. With the world moving towards being fully digital, it is only fair to say that digital marketing is the next big thing.

But there is always a curiosity which lingers and that is, which strategy would best suit your business. Should you choose to invest your time and money in Search Engine or Social Media?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) utilizes website optimization techniques to promote web traffic. It helps your website get more visibility and improve the chances of your business being found online. Organic search engine optimization techniques improve your sites ability to appear on the first page of the search results. It focuses primarily on link building.

On the other hand, Social Media Marketing (SMM) focuses more on creating content that attracts the attention of the readers and encourages them to share or mention it in their social media networks.

Let’s find out how these two digital marketing tools fair in terms of

1. Time

2. Range

3. Audience


How long does it take for any campaign to start working?  That is the basic question.

SEO results depend on various factors such as website, the content on the website, how long has the website been around, the kind of keywords used for the campaign and much more. There is no specific time or range in obtaining results in SEO. It is a long process and requires constant monitoring. Whereas when it comes to SMM, the results can be obtained quickly. Facebook, for example, enables you to set a budget for the week or month, set how long you want the campaign to run for, and it gives you a comprehensive report for the same. Since the targeting on social media is very specific and clear, it is comparatively easy and quick to get the results.


Social Media platforms are now being used widely. Does this mean that the journey of Search Engines has come to an end? Read on to find out-

When it comes to the number of people your campaign would reach to, I would say it depends on what the audience wants and what your organization has to offer.

If the audience wants to search something, they would prefer going to one of the search engines rather than looking it up on any social media site. Even today, a majority of the people rely on Google, Yahoo and Bing to get answers for their queries.

Whereas if your objective is to make your business visible, Social Media is the best platform for it. Like I said earlier, millions of people are active on social media and the chances of your business getting noticed are way higher than that of search engines, for the resources you apply.


Targeting plays a very important role in digital marketing. It is extremely important to reach out to the right audience with the right message.

Targeting on Social Media is well-defined and straightforward. You can choose a set of audience depending on their interests and demographic which best suits your business. The data available is in real time and you do not have to depend on your intuitions.

Whereas when it comes to SEO or the search engine platform, the data available may or may not be in real time. You cannot define your audience in terms of interests because there are fewer data available on this. This is why individuals and business depend on SEO keywords to attract an audience to their website.

These two marketing tools may have a lot of differences but to be a successful and recognized entity on the digital marketing front, individuals and businesses need to invest in both of these. According to me, SEO and SMM go hand in hand. If you invest in SMM to spread brand awareness, I think it is important to work on the SEO side as well because the audience would definitely head over to search engines to find out more about your business and vice versa.

Still not sure about the best digital marketing strategy for your business? Also, find out Top Social Media Marketing Agencies

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