When it comes to making websites popular, there are two main methods used: the first is SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimization, and the second is SMO or Social Media Optimization. The first is focusing on enhancing your website to appear near the top of search engine results pages while the latter aims to spread your site’s name on social media websites. We always hear on the news about how social media is becoming more important as time goes on but is it really where you should be focusing your resources? Here are a few things which you should consider when deciding whether you want to put your website’s resources into search engines or social media – come to the article with an open mind and you will end up with the best result for your website.
The conversion rates
A conversion rate is how often people click on your advert compared to how often it is displayed. The conversion rate for social media, however, is staggeringly low; search engines, on the other hand, have a much higher conversion rate because the people who searched for your website will get to view your website.
If you want to know how low the conversion rate of social media adverts is, bear in mind that the most successful conversion rate ever was less than quarter on social media. The record holder is a marketing company which used Facebook to advertise their website and got just 24 out of every 100 viewers to click on their advert. When you consider the time that it takes to build a social media page, the turnout was not good.
Why is the conversion rate so low?
The simple answer is that when you use your social media profile to advertise, you are targeting a much wider market that doesn’t necessarily want to view your website. People use social media sites to interact with other people and play games; they don’t go there to be advertised to, and therefore you have a much more reluctant pool of people you are targeting.
In fact, the only reason the marketing company was so successful was because they were clever about how they approached the social media market. They created a page that people wanted to see, and so they searched for it – much like you would on a search engine. This led to them targeting a keen audience and therefore having a much higher conversion rate.
However, they are both free
It’s hard to complain about a 2% conversion rate when you have received those visitors for free. Once you have created a good social networking profile, you may find that a steady stream of visitors click through to your website – 2% might not be great, but over the course of a year you are getting hundreds of free visitors who may then go on to become repeat visitors. It’s foolish to underestimate the power of social media in today’s world, where everyone has a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn account.
More traffic from SEO
It’s doubtless that SEO is going to pull you in more website visitors because the people who search for websites are looking for websites to view. This is the key difference between SEO and SMO: the visitor that SEO provides you with is far less apathetic to your cause than SMO visitors. You do, however, have to put in more work to beat your competitors – it’s easy to get stuck at the bottom of the results page behind all of the other websites that are competing for exactly the same customer.
SMO isn’t all bad
While it’s easy to dismiss SMO as being only a supplementary form of traffic to SEO, you should remember that if your SEO is poor you are likely to get no visitors. While you might think that ranking on Google is good, if you are stuck on the twelfth page you’re unlikely to get anyone viewing your website.
If you use social media, however, you are almost guaranteed to get people viewing your website. The numbers may be significantly smaller, but any visitors are better than no visitors at all.
What it comes down to is whether you want to spend more time on SEO, which is likely to give you better results over a longer period, or SMO, which gives you fewer visitors over a shorter time span. If you are willing to wait, SEO is the way to go; you will get so many more visitors and you will work to beat your competitors. For smaller websites, however, it might be a good idea using SMO to target a wider range of people and hoping that they are interested in clicking through to your website. Of course, the right idea is to use both in a balanced way if you have the time and patience to do just that.