SEO vs Social Media: What Matters Most for a Business?

SEO chart
SEO For Businesses


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What is important, SEO or Social Media?

When it comes to Internet marketing and increasing your website's traffic, there are multiple ways to go about it. However, search engine optimization or SEO and social media marketing are usually the top choices for almost every online marketer and business owner.

However, what if you want to pick one out of the two? What if you have limited resources and time and can only focus on one strategy at the moment? 

What would you pick in such a scenario - SEO or social media? Tough choice, right?

While it is natural to want to pay equal attention to both SEO and social media, your time and budget are limited. So, choosing one over the other at some point becomes necessary. To make this decision more straightforward, we are going to talk about what matters the most in business between SEO and social media.

So, let's get started!

SEO vs. Social Media: The key differences between them

1. The purpose of SEO and social media

While both SEO and social media are integral parts of your online marketing efforts, they have different purposes. SEO helps you optimize your website for search engines. It is all about making sure your website appears at the top spots on search engine results pages (SERPs). 

SEO includes things like: 

  • researching keywords, 
  • content creation, 
  • backlinking, 
  • internal linking, 
  • and so on.

On the flip side, social media marketing is all about connecting and interacting with your target audience. 

Social media marketing  helps you: 

  • grow your social presence, 
  • build a community, 
  • engage with your target audience, 
  • and improve brand recognition.

2. Timeframe

SEO is a long-term strategy that generally requires at least a few months to generate results. It requires patience, significant resources, and consistent efforts to implement effective ideas and improve search rankings. 

If you have an eCommerce business and are unaware of how to get started with SEO, working with an eCommerce SEO expert can be the right choice.

On the other hand, social media can help you attract your target audience and generate leads more quickly. While it does require time to build a consistent following, posting the right type of content and engaging with your audience right away can lead to excellent results quicker than SEO.

3. Type of content suitable for SEO and Social Media

SEO mainly focuses on providing informative and keyword-rich long-form content. 

SEO includes:

  • blogs
  • articles, 
  • content on web pages, 
  • landing pages, 
  • and more. 

The main purpose of SEO content is to get higher rankings on SERPs, attract quality leads, and increase website visitors.

Alternatively, social media is more about short-form, visually rich, and entertaining content. 

Social media includes: 

  • short videos like Instagram Reels, 
  • infographics, 
  • pictures, 
  • and more. 
The purpose is to connect with the audience on an emotional level, generate more engagement, and improve brand image.

4. Type of audience

Search engine optimization (SEO) helps connect people who already know about their problem and are actively searching for information related to a business's products or services. 

With SEO, businesses can offer their target audience a solution to their problem and present themselves as an expert in the industry. This can be done by implementing SEO strategies or partnering with a professional digital marketing agency for eCommerce.

Alternatively, social media marketing targets individuals who are not aware of their problem yet, and may not be actively searching for a business's products or services. But these people are a part of the target audience. Social media provides a platform for businesses to reach a wider audience and build brand awareness.

5. Number of platforms to be focused

One of the best things about SEO is that you will have to focus on fewer search engine sites. Most businesses only optimize their websites for Google, as it has a share of more than 84% of the entire global search market.

On the other hand, Bing has 8.85% of the share, while Yahoo holds 2.59% of the search market shares. Thus, with fewer sites to focus on, you can use your time, money, and resources more effectively and generate better results.

Social Media
 Social Media marketing strategy

Social media, on the flip side, needs you to divide your time and pay attention to a large number of platforms. There's Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Linkedin, and whatnot! It requires much more time, creativity, and resources than SEO.

Why SEO is important for business: Advantages of SEO for modern-day digital businesses

While both SEO and social media are important for internet marketing, if you have to pick one, it's better to choose SEO.

This is because optimizing for search engines and achieving a higher rank on SERPs can offer you more quality leads, more traffic, more sales, etc., than all the social media platforms combined. 

Once you get your SEO strategy on point, you can then focus on social media.

Here are some excellent benefits of SEO:

  • SEO strategies can boost your site's visibility in search engine results, so more customers can find you. It's a great way to get your business noticed and attract quality leads.
  • Continuously achieving top spots in SERPs can help you strengthen your credibility and become an expert in your industry.
  • SEO is great for generating long-term benefits. With the right SEO strategies, you can see traffic and leads coming in for months or even years.


Both SEO and social media marketing are essential for your online marketing efforts. They are inbound marketing tools that help you grow your audience, increase visibility, boost engagement, get better rankings on SERPs, and more.

When it comes to choosing one between SEO and social media, understanding the key differences between both is crucial. Along with this, make sure to analyze your internet marketing goals, budget, and expected ROI before choosing one strategy over the other. 

Author:Jack Walis is a digital marketing content writer, he specializes in creating engaging and persuasive content that helps businesses connect with their target audience. With over five years of experience in the industry, he had developed a deep understanding of SEO, PPC, email marketing, and social media marketing. His goal is to help businesses grow their online presence and achieve their marketing objectives by producing high-quality, data-driven content that resonates with their target audience.

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