Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM) are both very powerful digital marketing tools. Most often both, SEO and social media are used in tandem to produce great inbound marketing results. For any company to have a wide, strong and dedicated community, it is important to have returning customer visits. For this purpose, excellent content which is both, search engine optimized and also shareable is needed.
SEO deals with quality content optimized with the right keywords for search engines. Google has an excellent algorithm to rank great content higher in the search engine result pages. Social media on the other hand requires excellent content which can be re-purposed for different social media platforms and has the potential of being re-shared or made viral, thereby, increasing its potential reach. Social media can actually strengthen the SEO results through back-links and several shares.
Thus, for a professional to choose one of these two digital marketing courses is difficult. In an ideal scenario, it is advisable for a professional to go for a wider course choice with a digital marketing course that offers exposure to both these skills. Specialisation in either SEO or SMM alone may restrict the future growth of the professional. Since digital marketing methods are mostly interdependent, having knowledge of different skills is beneficial for rising to higher positions. A person with only specialisation in SEO may see growth in a larger organization, like Amazon, where he/she can manage a large team; however, such opportunities may not be available to everyone.
But, if someone really has to choose between the two, then doing a digital marketing course with a specialization in SEO is extremely advisable. SEO produces verifiable results which make a difference and it also:
- Capitalizes on intent to buy: People who search are usually looking for specific need-based products or services, and hence, are more likely to buy and become actual customers for a brand.
- Targets the niche: A brand utilizes long-tail keywords to target specific audience. For example, a keyword like “digital marketing courses” informs that a person is looking for courses in marketing, digital marketing to be specific. Hence, such search terms produce better and very specific results.
- Higher rates of conversion: This is because visitors who search usually have an intent to purchase and hence, conversion rates for SEO are higher than those for social media. Social media audience is likely to share and increase reach of content, but they may not actually become customers.
- Predictable spends: With more historical data and analysis reports and better conversion rates, SEO provides better forecasts. Thus, brands find it easier and more plausible to invest in SEO. There is no predictability for social media campaigns till they are launched.
Hence, even though it is advisable to go for both SEO and social media as a bundled offering in a digital marketing course, if one has the resources or bandwidth for just one, then SEO comes up tops.