SEO and SMM are the different sides of the same coin, which is digital marketing. These are the two most commonly used digital marketing strategies if your business is online and has a presence in the digital marketing world. But what exactly are SEO and SMM, and how do they work to help your business grow? In layman’s terms, SEO is nothing but search engine optimisation, and SMM is social media marketing. Is this enough to know about it? Definitely not!
Let us dive into the world of digital marketing and learn more about SEO and SMM. In this blog, we are going to present the difference between SEO and SMM collectively.
What is SEO?
SEO is the practice of increasing the web traffic to your website organically and making your website rank higher in search engine results like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. It optimises your website, web pages, and content. If your website stands at the top of searches, then there is only a possibility that people will visit it. The ranking of websites depends on the algorithms these search engines use, and these algorithms are constantly changing. So, it is always important to use the best SEO practices and strategies. At the same time, you need to know how search engines and SEO work.
There are basically four processes that happen when any search is performed on a search engine.
Search engines use software like web crawlers to scan or analyze the website’s content. Mostly, they start from the known web pages and go down from the links and site map on the web page. It is just like how we browse the website. All kinds of content are crawled, whether it is images, text, videos, etc. After collecting all the information, it sends all the data to the search engine.
Whatever data was collected during the crawling process gets stored in the search engine’s database. Basically, it creates a library of organised web pages, which can be used for similar searches next time.
After crawling and indexing, the last process is ranking. There are hundreds of elements that the search engine’s algorithm checks and ranks as per those criteria. The web pages are ranked as per their relevancy; the most relevant is the top ranker, and the later in a serial manner. Algorithms keep changing as they look for more quality and new content, and hence the SEO strategies should also change.
As we have gone through the process that takes place in search engines, let us see the types of SEO that are used to make a successful SEO campaign. Also, ensure that all this is done under the supervision of the best digital marketing company or SEO agency in Jaipur.
Generally, there are three types of SEO that are used to optimise your website.
1. On-page SEO
In this type of SEO, all the optimization happens on the website. A website should have good-quality, unique, relevant, accurate, and easily readable content to get a high ranking. Targeted keywords and images should be used in such a way that the search engine and the users find them relevant. As long as your website is optimized, it has more chances of getting a higher ranking.
There are certain elements of on-page SEO, including:
- Title tags: Title tags give an introduction or brief about your web page. It should have the targeted keyword; the more relevant your title tag, the more you get clicks or customer attention.
- Meta description: Meta descriptions give more information about your web page, including the exact summary of the content. This is one of the most important elements of your web page, as, by looking at the meta description, users mostly visit the page. This should use accurate keywords, be precise, and not be very long.
- Header tags: Basically Header tags are the longest word on the web page, and they separate the headings and subheadings. Header tags are used with the main keywords so that the search engine can crawl the web page easily.
- Image alt text: This gives name tags to the image on your web page. It helps visually impaired people to know about the image as the image is described in text format. You can also use some keywords, which will help in image searches.
- Internal Linking: Interlinking is done by linking your website’s other web page to the current page in a meaningful way. This way, search engines will know more about your website, and it will also help in crawling and indexing.
- Off-Page SEO:
Off-page is all about optimisation happening outside of your website to increase the authority and trustworthiness of your website. The agenda of off-page SEO is to increase your website’s popularity, that is, how often your website is referred to by other positive links. The more popular your website will be, the better rank it will get.
Here are some factors that help with off-page SEO:
- Backlinks: The links that refer to your website from some other 3rd party websites are backlinks. It is one of the best ways to improve your website's ranking. The backlinks should be from quality websites; if they are not, then they will go the other way. It should be quality, not quantity. Backlinks from authoritative websites add trust to your web page or site, which is one of the factors search engines look for.
- Social Media: Social media helps a lot in bringing traffic to your webpage. To do that, content is the key because people like and share content that is good and relevant to them. It is not necessary that you only post for sales; it can also be an informative post that brings the user to your webpage.
- Website reviews: Using local or regional SEO is very important to get reviews for your business on websites like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. This is also one of the factors that search engines look for. Positive reviews take users to the websites and increase their ranking.
- Technical SEO:
As the name suggests, it is more like doing optimisation on the technical part of your web site. The basic element that search engines find in a website is that it should be able to crawl and index it. No matter how good the content is, a website will have a very poor ranking or even drop off the list if a search engine does not crawl and index it.
Let's check out a few elements of technical SEO.
- Website architecture: website architecture is all about how the website is structured and organized. It should have proper hierarchy in web pages and their content. Like through the home page, a user or crawler software can access all your pages with just a few links.
- Page speed: Page speed refers to how quickly a website or page loads. Everyone wants a smooth experience while browsing; if the website takes a lot of time to open or load, the user will not wait and move to some other website. Even search engines place a lot of weight on page speed, as it is one of their top ranking factors.
- Broken Links: Broken links are those that are dead links or that connect to a link that is terminated or not available. Broken links indicate bad-quality content for search engines and ultimately lower the ranking.
- Structured Data: Structured data is how you present data to search engines. It is actually adding code to the web page and defining the data on it. Structured data helps get more traffic to your website, which users find easy to navigate.
- Mobile optimisation: Now that most of the users browse through mobile devices, the website should be mobile-friendly. When the website is designed, mobile friendliness should be kept as a priority, as Google also gives high ranking to this kind of website.
- Security: Security is one of the most ranked factors for any search engine. As most of the transactions happen online, and with the increasing vulnerability, it is very important that websites use HTTPS for data transfer.
Let’s flip the coin and explore SMM (Social Media Marketing)
It is pretty obvious from the name that digital marketing happens over social media. Social media is a big market for marketers because that is where you have your prospects and customers. Today, every brand or business entity has a business page on social media, which creates brand awareness.
There are so many social media platforms out there, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and so on, where you can reach millions of users to introduce your brand by providing quality content. SMM increases your business’s visibility and boosts its ranking as well.
Types of SMM:
Social networking means creating a social network over social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. These platforms have billions of users, and they are all within your reach. You can make your own business page and promote it in various groups and communities. You can target the audience as per your strategies, like a particular age group, gender, community, and demographics. It is more of an informal way of marketing where you can show your creativity and do promotion in an entertaining way. People like your page, share your content, or comment on it. You can practically interact with them. Paid social media ads are also a very fruitful and effective way of marketing through social networks.
Through media sharing, you can share photos, videos, and other kinds of media with users through media sharing platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Today, you have to be innovative to promote your business. With this kind of SMM, you can post product images and videos on Facebook and YouTube, and your followers will like and share them. With just a single post about your product, service, or promotion, it can reach future prospects and customers. Just like one trending hashtag on Twitter can create a social media storm,.
Blogging is different from the previous two; it is a way of providing quality and specific content with respect to your line of business, your followers, and your communities. There are many publishing platforms, like Medium and Tumblr, where you can write blogs about any topic and bring traffic to your website. Sometimes you will write not only to promote your business but also to make people interested in your content. This creates credibility for you and, indirectly, for your campaign.
There are some aspects you need to consider while designing an SMM plan. We call them the five pillars of social media marketing.
Before starting any social media campaign, it is very important to have a thoughtful strategy. There are so many platforms available; you should only use those that are relevant to you and align with your goals. You should be clear about your expectations for your campaign. For example, what kind of audience do you want to target? What content do you want to provide to the audience? Where do you want to share? Which vicinity do you want to target? Etc...
- Planning and publishing:
Once you have laid down the strategy of your campaign, it is time to execute it. You can create business pages on social media platforms and start sharing your content. Content can be anything like product promotions, seasonal discounts, live product demonstrations, and brand information. You can share the content in the form of images, videos, or blogs that suit the platform. The whole idea is to connect with as many users as possible. It is very necessary to keep posting new content regularly to keep users and followers connected.
- Analytics and reporting:
After certain publications, it is a good time to analyse the performance of your campaigns, as nothing comes free of charge. You can measure it by, like, where they stand. Is it meeting your goals? What kinds of posts are most liked and shared by the users and followers? What do they like or dislike about your products and services? Once you analyze, you will have a clear picture of the hits and misses. As per the analytical reports, you can make some tweaks to your campaigns.
Till now, whatever campaigns were done were free of charge. Then comes the advertising, or paid ads, where you pay the social media platform to target ads as per your requirements, like demographics, age groups, behaviour, etc. This helps create brand awareness very quickly when your brand is new and you want to introduce it to the world. Apart from free campaigns, you can keep separate budgets for paid ads as well.
Fundamentally, the aim of SEO and SMM is to make your business grow, but they work on different aspects of digital marketing. SEO is all about your web site, which is increasing the web traffic to it organically. However, SMM works in the social media world to increase your brand awareness by engaging with your audience, building relationships, and bringing users to your website.
In one way, SMM is part of SEO, as it also helps increase web traffic through social media. Both SEO and SMM complement each other, and they can do wonders for your business if used in conjunction. Also, if you are looking for a digital marketing agency to uplift your business value and traffic, then connect with us to change the game in the digital realm.