SEO vs Social Media Ads: Which Is Better & Why

SEO vs. Social Media Ads: Which Is Right For Me?

If you’re like most business owners, you want to know how to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to online marketing. After all, with so many options available, it can be tough to decide where to spend your hard-earned money. That’s why we’re here to help! 

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at two of the most popular online marketing strategies—SEO and social media ads— and discuss and compare their similarities and differences with the pros and cons of each to determine which strategy is best for your business.

Table of Contents

SEO vs SMM - What Are These?

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the digital marketing strategy done to optimize a website in order for it to increase its search engine results page (SERP) with the aim to increase visibility and web traffic.

The higher you rank, the more visible your website will be to potential customers.

Types of SEO

On-page SEO

On-page SEO involves everything you do on web pages to increase its search engine ranking position (SERP). For example, keyword research, content creation, internal links, image optimization, etc

Off-page SEO

Involves all work done to increase the credibility of the website and its pages by link building from other sources. For example, guest posting, forum posting, social bookmarking, etc.

Technical SEO

Includes all work done to improve the technicalities of the website. For example, page speed optimization, mobile friendliness,  schema markup, sitemap, Hreflags, etc

For more information about technical SEO, check out our blog article about how to fix the common technical SEO issues.

Do You Want Your Site To Rank On Google 1st Page?

What is Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Social media marketing is the process of marketing products or services using social media platforms. It involves the use of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to promote a product or service.

Social media marketing can be a great way to connect with customers and build relationships. It can also be used to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website.

These ads can be in the form of text posts, images, videos, or even boosted/promoted posts. 

How SMM works?

Now that we’ve answered the question “what is social media marketing?” it’s time to take a look at how it actually works. Essentially, SMM works by using various social media platforms—such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram—to achieve specific business goals. 

For example, let’s say your goal is to generate leads for your new product launch. You could use SMM to create a campaign around the launch, complete with eye-catching visuals and an engaging call-to-action (CTA). You would then promote this campaign across your social media channels and use paid advertising to reach an even wider audience. 

As another example, let’s say you want to increase brand awareness for your business. You could use SMM to create informative blog posts and share them on your social media channels. You could also run giveaways and contests on your channels and use hashtags to reach even more people.

Step-by-step Guide to successful SSM campaign

  1. Define your target audience 

Before you can create a social media marketing campaign, you first need to define your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? Once you know who your audience is, you can better tailor your content and messaging to appeal to them.

  1. Choose the right social media platforms

Not all social media platforms are created equal. Some are better suited for certain types of businesses than others. You’ll need to do some research to figure out which platforms are the best fit for your business.

  1. Create engaging content

Content is key when it comes to social media marketing. If you want people to engage with your posts, you need to create content that’s both interesting and relevant to them. Be sure to vary your content types and keep it fresh, so people won’t get bored.

  1. Promote your content regularly

In order for your social media marketing campaign to be successful, you need to promote your content regularly. schedule time each day (or week) to post updates, and use tools like Hootsuite or Buffer to help you manage your posts.

Difference Between Social Media Marketing and Social Media Ads

The biggest difference between social media marketing and social media ads is that social media marketing is free. With social media marketing, you can create engaging content and share it on your social media channels to reach a wider audience.

SMM vs Social Media Ads

Social media ads, on the other hand, are paid advertisements that you run on social media platforms. They allow you to target a specific audience based on demographics, interests, and behaviours. You can also specify the budget, duration, and placement of your ad.

Popular social media platforms:

There are many different types of social media platforms out there, each with its own unique capabilities and audience. The most popular platforms are as follows:

  • Facebook: It has over 2 billion monthly active users.
  • Instagram: Acquired by Facebook in 2012, it has over 800 million monthly active users.
  • Twitter: It has almost 396.5 million users globally.
  • LinkedIn: It is a professional networking platform that has over 500 million monthly active users.
  • Snapchat: It is a messaging platform that has over 190 million daily active users
  • Pinterest: It is a visual bookmarking platform that has over 250 million monthly active users.
  • YouTube: Owned by Google, it is a video-sharing platform that has over 1 billion monthly active users.
  • TikTok: It has almost 1 billion monthly active users.

Why should I use social media?

With over 3 billion people using social media every month—that’s nearly 40% of the world’s population—there’s a huge audience to tap into with your SMM campaigns.

Social media channels ROI

And because social media is so accessible—you can access most platforms from your smartphone—it’s an incredibly cost-effective way to reach your target audience.

When done right, SMM can help you build relationships with your target audience, which in turn can lead to increased brand loyalty and conversions. Therefore, in this fast-moving world, having an SMM campaign has become a must for companies to promote their products and services.

SEO and Social Media Ads - The Pros & Cons

Pros & Cons of Search Engine Optimization


-SEO can be a very effective way to generate organic traffic to your website.

-SEO can help improve the visibility of your website in search engine results pages (SERPs), which can lead to more website visitors.

-SEO can help you attract more qualified leads, resulting in more sales or conversions for your business.

-SEO can give you an edge over your competitors by helping you rank higher in search engine results pages.

-SEO can help increase your credibility. When your website appears near the top of search engine results pages (SERPs), it sends a signal to users that your website is authoritative and trustworthy. This can help enhance your brand credibility and legitimacy among your potential customers.

– SEO brings you longer term benefits than paid ads. Once you’ve invested the time and energy into optimizing your website, your website will continue to rank high in search results for months or even years to come without keep paying for costly ads.



-SEO takes time to see results. It can take months or even years to see results. 

-It is hard to measure the ROI of SEO, as it can be difficult to attribute organic traffic to specific SEO activities. 

-SEO can be affected by changes in search engine algorithms, which can lead to sudden drops in rankings and traffic. 

-SEO requires ongoing effort and maintenance, and it’s important to keep up with the latest algorithm changes and best practices. 

-Dangers of over-optimizing your site that end up being penalized by Google resulting in a significant drop in rankings or having your site remove from its index altogether.

Pros and Cons of Social Media Ads


-Social media advertising allows you to target a specific audience with laser precision.

-You can target people based on interests, demographics, behaviors, and even locations.

-You can get your ads in front of potential customers at the right time and place.

-Social media advertising can help you build brand awareness and grow your customer base.

– You can track the results and monitor the effectiveness of your ads in real time

– It is relatively easy and quick to set up. You can create an ad campaign and start running it within minutes.



-Social media advertising can be time-consuming and requires ongoing effort.

-It can be difficult to measure the ROI of social media advertising.

-You need to have a good understanding of your target audience to create effective ads. 

-Your ads may not be seen by as many people as you’d like, and you may not get the results you’re hoping for.

-Social media advertising can be very competitive, and you may need to spend a lot of money to get results. Depending on your budget and goals, you could easily spend thousands of dollars per month on social media ads without seeing much return on investment (ROI).

-No Long-term benefits. Once you stop paying for ads, or once the trend is over, your visibility will decrease significantly. Additionally, social media platforms are constantly changing their algorithms, which means that your ad campaigns will need to be constantly tweaked in order to be effective.

SEO vs Social Media Ads: Selection Factors

Following is a list of factors to consider when selecting the right digital marketing strategy between SEO and SEM. These include:

  1. Cost: SEO is typically less expensive than social media ads.
  2. Time commitment: SEO requires more time and effort than social media ads.
  3. Reach: SEO can reach a larger audience than social media ads.
  4. Targeting: SEO allows you to target specific keywords, while social media targeting is more general.
  5. Results: It can take longer to see results with SEO, while social media ads can often produce quick results.
  6. Maintenance: Social media posts need to be regularly updated, while SEO content requires monthly maintenance.

So which strategy to select? Only you will know the answer. No one knows your brand better than you and all the elements of it. Therefore, taking into account what type of approach you’re looking for based on the factors mentioned above, select the best option for yourself.

Want To Get More Traffic To Your Website ?

If you are still not sure which is the right choice for you, give us a call and have our team of experts guide you on what is best for your brand.


When it comes down to it, there’s no clear winner in the battle of SEO vs. social media advertising. It really depends on what you’re looking for and what’s important to your business. If you want quick results that come at a hefty price, go with social media advertising. But if you’re looking for a long-term solution that will help build trust and credibility with your audience at a much lower cost, then invest in SEO.

If you want to learn more about how SEO works, click here to contact us or leave us a message below for a callback.

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