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Written by: Shelby Andrews, Director at Atlas Communications

Often, clients call us asking for search engine optimization (SEO) help, when really, what they need is social media marketing. Other times, they call us asking for pay-per-click campaigns when their money would be better spent in SEO resources.

When it comes to increasing traffic to your website, there are many options to choose from, and unless you specialize in digital marketing, it can be difficult to know which is best for you.

Here are a few things to consider before making a final decision:

1) How competitive is your industry? 

This is probably the biggest factor to consider when choosing between social media and SEO. It’s worth mentioning that less than 5% of searchers make it to the second page of Google search results. When it comes to your Google ranking, if you aren’t first, you might as well be last.

If you’re in a unique industry, with only two or three main competitors, chances are you’ll land on the first page of Google search results with a very basic SEO campaign. However, claiming prime real estate in Google’s rank becomes more difficult the more common your business is. For example, keywords like “Toronto Dentist” could cost you a small fortune—at which point a social media campaign might be a bigger bang for your marketing buck.

2) How big is your budget?

 Before choosing your marketing strategy, it’s important to decipher how much resource you have in terms of budget. In the digital marketing world, not all clicks are equal. They differ in quality (where they fall in terms of consumers readiness-to-purchase) and quantity.

While organic traffic is free, it can take years of SEO investments to rank yourself high enough in the search engines for organic content to show up.

Clicks usually cost less on social media, but conversion rates are typically higher through Google AdWords (since people searching on Google usually already have intent to buy, while people browsing social media do not).

3) How far along is your business?

The timeline of your business will have a huge impact on how it should be marketed. Do people know about your product or service enough to even go looking for it in the first place? We have many start-ups who come to us looking for SEO help, but if they’re launching a new idea that potential consumers don’t know exist, there’s not much point in trying to rank it in the search engines, simply because no one will be searching for it (yet).

Social media is a cost-effective marketing tool that can generate a lot of targeted traffic in an instant. SEO takes time and effort, but if it’s a viable strategy for your business, it could be one of the best digital investments you ever make. If you’re not sure which strategy is best for your website, give us a call today – we’d be happy to help you out!

About Atlas Communications:
Atlas Communications is a Toronto social media marketing company specializing in social media branding, lead-generation, and results-driven campaigns for companies of all sizes.