What is better to do? SEO or SMO? What if you could only do one? Which would you choose?

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What is better to do? SEO or SMO? What if you could only do one? Which would you choose?

SEO = Search Engine Optimization.

SEO is the process of optimizing your website for the Search Engines so that it ranks higher and is displayed at the top of Search Results. SEO can either be on-page SEO (the process of optimizing your site and content) and off-page SEO (the process of building links to your site, mentions, citations etc). By doing SEO on your site, you can increase the ranking positions of it and get more organic traffic from the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

SMO = Social Media Optimization.

SMO is the process of optimizing your Social Media pages so that they get more exposure, get more followers and have better response and engagement rate. Basically it means finding and using ways that make people engage in your posts and visit your site and do the things you're using in your Call-To-Actions. By doing SMO on your Social Media pages and profiles, you can get more followers and increase the engagement and response rate from your posts that you create and publish.

But if you could only do one thing for the rest of your life again, either SEO or SMO, which would you choose and why?

What would be more effective in the long run? Doing SEO or SMO?

I'm interested to see what people will say and why! What is better to do? SEO or SMO? What if you could only do one? Which would you choose?


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Well I started my online journey not having a clue what I was doing. I managed to figure out social media marketing and although I had a website I could not figure out how to get people onto my website to make any sales.

I managed to get my Facebook page quite active and that is how I started making sales. I would post links on my Facebook page and nobody would click on them, but they would place an order via Facebook or email instead. It was quite disheartening and sad that I had this beautiful website that nobody cared about.

Over a period of a year I learned a lot and did loads of sales from Facebook posts and I slowly started adding more content and learning how to market. Facebook and social media can be really cool.

Now that website has most of its traffic from Facebook still since I have 40 000 fans on my page.

Then I started 2 new websites last year. One is a slow hobby, but the other one I have put a huge amount of work into and my focus there has been SEO.

I think overall SEO is best because with social media I find bounce rates quite high and conversions quite how. With organic traffic I find the traffic is really good quality, plus if I stop sharing on social media and take a week's break from anything nothing much will change. With social media I still have to keep working at it all the time.

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Awesome Lynne. Thanks for your answer that's a great insight into how you've got where you are today and is one that I think many people including myself can relate to. In fact like most things, you learn by doing. And when it comes to doing SEO or SMO you learn it by doing it yourself which you have. And again with regards to the conversion rate of social media traffic compared to that of organic traffic. Something you only learn in time yourself by doing yourself. What is better to do? SEO or SMO? What if you could only do one? Which would you choose?

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It is a pleasure Mike. I don't have all the answers, not by a long shot but I do learn something new every day which is quite cool.

I remember something my sister said to me when I was wanting to start working online, she said "A website is never finished".

She said that in response to something I said and I didn't quite understand what she meant at the time. Now I understand perfectly. With working online there is always a way to improve your website, a new way to market, new information to add and update your website with.

I find it an amazing industry to be in.

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I stopped believing in Social Media Optimization a long time ago. When it comes to social media there is no classic "optimization" only the presence or lack of social media campaigns. And for social media campaigns, you need a budget and a professional strategy.
I said this to myself time and time again, when it comes to social media, in 2016, it's not enough to have a simple active "presence", you need a lot more than this if you plan to get traffic and conversions.

So yeah, I'm going with the Search Engine Optimization. On-page optimization is free to implement, you don't need a budget, but you do need a good research and long-term strategy.

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Yeah well indeed, to reach good numbers, numbers that actually are worth reaching for the small percentage of them that actually convert. And all the work that goes into doing SMO and coming up with different marketing campaigns, it only works for as long as you're doing it doesn't it. It's not enough to just get people to follow you, it's a whole new ball park actually grabbing their attention and and making them engage and convert. But with SEO once you've got the ranking you don't have to focus so much on trying to get it as focusing on what to do with it once it reaches your site. That said, SMO isn't something I would abandon and you don't need to spend a fortune on doing SMO. The whole ideal of SMO is letting it do it for you by getting stuff to go viral. But how do you get something to go viral? What makes something go viral on social media?

SMO is like playing poker. It's all 1% skill, 99% luck!

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I would choose SEO. Once your content has been properly optimized for search engines, you are likely to get organic traffic. However, SMO demands continuous work. After doing SMO, you just cannot expect traffic to pick up. If you are doing SMO, you will have to check your social media pages and share your work every day, you can automate the process by using bot, but even when you are using a bot, you will still have to do something manually. On the other hand once SEO is done, search engines begin to pick up your content.

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For sure SEO is the best choice because it is already proven that SEO methods have good results even if the timeline cannot be predicted. And although social media is more dynamic than your website, getting traffic from your social media pages cannot compete with SEO simply because SEO is the standard for search engine results. And when your website has a good ranking for the SEO chores you are doing then that’s it.

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