Which is Most Cost Effective: SEO, Social, or Paid Advertising?

By October 15, 2014 No Comments

As a business owner, you need to be able to reach your specific target audience, you want to reach as many people as possible, and you want good conversion rates. If you have thought about using the web to market your business, then you have probably considered doing so through SEO, Social, or Paid Advertising.  For you, I will break down each form of marketing, its benefits and ultimately discuss the most cost effective marketing option for your company.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization encompasses efforts both on, and off of your website.  Good SEO is primarily about producing quality content that your audience wants to view.  Depending on your industry, producing content that your target audience wants to view can be difficult, time consuming, and expensive.  On the other hand, good content can bring you website traffic, engage your site visitors in a genuine manner, and convert visitors into leads.

Social – If you choose social media to promote your business, you can share your message, and reach a lot of people with more simplicity. If you are into instant gratification, you will LOVE social media. Many forms of social media collect and record instant data. You can put up big numbers, like 20,000 people looked at your Facebook post.  Though, this can be deceiving.  The people who are seeing your posts may not really be interested in what you have to say. The content posted by you, that appears in front of them, may not be what they were searching for, or want to view. For example, when someone uses a search engine and keys in: “Hire a Divorce Attorney,” they probably aren’t as good of a lead as someone who decidedly clicks on your article “10 Things You Need to Know About Divorce Attorneys.”  Social media, though, is good for building recognition of your brand, and reaching a large audience over an extended period of time.  Incorporating social media into your marketing strategy requires patience, and a plan to truly engage with your customers.  You can’t just cough up marketing material about your company, what you post must be appealing and interesting on Social Media. You are not running ads, you are sharing content.

Paid – You can pay to have your banner ads displayed all over the web, and you can pay to have your website come up in search results next to organic results.  The great thing about paid search is you can reach potential customers while they are looking to perform an action.  They may be looking for a local store or service provider that offers what they want, so they can go buy it now. Or, they may want to find someone across the country that does exactly what they need.  Keep in mind, because people are performing searches ready to perform an action that makes the competition pretty heavy, and expensive.  If you are going to compete by paying for banner ad displays and ad placement next to search engine results, you need to have very specific marketing messages that drive customers to very specific landing pages.  Otherwise, it is highly likely that you will overspend on paid advertising, and not receive a return on investment.

So what is the most cost effective method for developing leads?  The reality is selecting one being SEO, Social, or Paid marketing as the most cost effective option is a false choice.  The most cost effective option between the three is to use all three, instead of just one or two.  They work together in synergy.  The likelihood of selling a website visitor your product or service goes up each time you reach that same visitor.

Only connecting with a website visitor through SEO and having that visitor read one of your articles probably won’t make that visitor a new customer.  At least the odds are low.  It is more likely that a visitor will become a customer through your SEO efforts after reading an interesting article you wrote. Then you used paid marketing to continue to market to that visitor, so they came back to your website, followed your social media page, and eventually decided to hire you, because they consider you to be an expert in your industry. This long, multi-channel path, using SEO, Paid Marketing, and Social

Marketing, to convert a website visitor into a customer is a far more likely scenario than simply using only one form of marketing.

So as you decide how to market your website, I highly suggest you take a balanced approach between SEO, Social, and Paid marketing.  Each has their own benefits and difficulties.  Though when you use each of them appropriately and cooperatively you are bound to get solid results.  Being able to test your performance, make rapid changes, and improve your end results is truly the key to success.  For more information on promoting your business and taking a full spectrum approach to your digital marketing, contact Sipep Design, and we can start working on a plan that is tailored to meet your business’ specific needs.