Digital marketing is a complex maze. You need to get into the minds of your audience and play some tricks that will convince them to fall for your offer. Moreover, you need to make strides towards getting your website featured high in the Google results page (SERP)—that’s where the convincing begins.

  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Google Adwords

These are the three main aspects of each promotional campaign. You need SEO and Adwords to funnel potential buyers easily to your website. You need social media marketing to boost awareness of your business and engage the audience.

These are not separate categories of marketing, and you shouldn’t treat them as such. Of course, you can choose one single method for the promotion of your business, but you won’t be reaching the full potential of the Internet within your grasp. As we said, digital marketing is a maze—all aspects are intertwined. Each technique fills in some gaps that another can’t cover by itself.

Let’s get into the details. How can you combine SEO, SMM and Adwords for the perfect business promotion campaign?

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Combining SEO, SMM and Adwords in marketing campaigns: a case study

Let’s make a case study on a website we find through Google search. We’ll search the keywords online fitness classes.

Here’s what we get in the results:

serp business screenshot

You’ll notice that the site from the first ad, Crunch Live, doesn’t rank in the search results. That’s how Adwords can fill in the gap of your SEO efforts. When we land at that website, we notice there’s no blog. We can assume that the team doesn’t make great efforts to optimize its website for specific keywords. They decided to gain visibility through Adwords.

Let’s analyze the SMM aspect of this project. There’s an active Facebook page with over 78K followers. Through the content they share, we can see they have developed a great link building strategy as part of their SEO campaign, so our initial assumption was wrong. Crunch Live is also present and active on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube. Their social media game is on point.

social media marketing small business

Now, let’s analyze the approach of the online fitness site that appears first in the organic search results. We’ll skip FitnessGlo, since it’s no longer online, but we have to say: their SEO strategy had to be good if they still get champion the top result. Among all the articles that rank in the SERP, we find another website that provides online fitness videos: Gym Cube.

The moment we land at the website, we see a blog section. Cool, that’s how they rank first in the SERP, and it’s what Crunch Live is missing. The blog is pretty cool. There’s no keyword stuffing—just useful content that the users of these services would love to get.

The SMM campaign for this site is also decent. The Facebook page is a tad boring and repetitive, but it features videos and motivational messages the audience likes. Their YouTube channel doesn’t get many views, but it’s still useful for users to see the free content before joining the community on the website.

small business youtube channel

There are things that both these projects do well at. However, none of them achieved perfect results. The first one lacks a strong enough SEO strategy to rank first on the SERP. Sure, the ad is served to consumers who search the keywords anyway, but many people don’t like ads and would skip straight to the organic results. The second website, on the other hand, ranks decently well on the SERP, but it’s not highly visible. It’s buried among other results at the bottom of the first page. Both projects do well with their SMM.

If there was a website that ranked in the results and showed up in the ads, it would have the kind of visibility we’re all after.
Adwords is more important than we assume. In fact, 36% of people don’t realize that those are ads (Econsultancy). Others will realize, but will still click on them. Clicking is still free, so why not? If the ad is relevant to their search, they will get exactly what they need.

Related reading: How Digital Advertising Spillover Affects your Organic SEO


Tips: how to combine SEO, SMM and Adwords

Now, let’s focus on the really important stuff: how do you combine these three aspects in a single, all-powerful business promotion campaign?

1. Start with SEO

Just decided to take your business online? Everything starts with building a website and optimizing it for social media. Some small business owners think they can avoid this step. Sure, Facebook and other social media sites give you access to a huge audience, the lack of a proper website can harm a business’s professional appearance.

When your business ranks in the organic search results, it gains not only on visibility, but on trust and credibility, too. These are the main rules to follow:

  • Make your website great!
  • Create content. Lots of it. Your articles have to be unique, relevant, and actionable. If you don’t have the time or skills to keep producing top-notch content according to a publishing schedule, you can hire writers from services like AssignmentMasters or Vendasta's Digital Agency
  • Link building is also important. Connect with influential bloggers from your niche and have your guest posts featured there. You can also ask them to review your products or services, which you’ll provide for free.
  • Promote the content. That’s where SMM kicks in.
  • Stay away from keyword stuffing.

2. Adwords helps where SEO is helpless

Let’s get real: it will take months before you see the results of the hard work you do for search engine optimization. The progress will be slow. Can your business wait that long? If you give it a push with an Adword campaign, you’ll get tons of more visits. The more popular your website gets, the better its rankings will be in the organic results.

There’s another problem with promotion based exclusively on SEO: what about the keywords that don’t fit in your content? Some popular keywords don’t make sense. For example: how to get pool cleaning Indianapolis. How do you fit that into a logical sentence? The keywords should never seem obvious in your content. They should be perfectly natural in it. As for the ones you can’t fit but you still want to rank for them—you can use Adwords.

[clickToTweet tweet="Keywords should never stick out in your content! Make them feel natural, or suffer clumsy content." quote="Keywords should never stick out in your content! Make them feel natural, or suffer clumsy content."]

The cost is a drawback. The more competitive a keyword is, the more you’ll have to pay for an ad to be displayed. As soon as you stop paying for these ads, Google will stop displaying them. The results of SEO, on the other hand, are visible on the long run.

However, Adwords is still beneficial when you want to give your website a quick boost in the results. They will contribute towards better traffic and higher popularity on social media. All that will work towards your SEO campaign, so you won’t need the ads after some time.

3. Connect the dots with SMM

Finally, social media marketing fills in the gap that both SEO and Adwords have: engagement from the audience. Whenever you produce a piece of content or launch a new landing page that you promote with Adwords, promote it on social media.

Use them all! You saw it from the examples we discussed above; those websites had active profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. All these platforms give you great opportunities to build the online reputation of your business.

  • Set goals for your SMM. The campaign has to be consistent and cohesive with the other elements of business promotion.
  • Use social media to analyze and understand the behavior of your audience. Ask them for feedback and value their opinions!
  • Don’t be boring. Share links to fun content, as well as great photos and videos. Trigger provocative discussions and always respond to the most important comments.

The campaign is never over

You probably realized that SEO, SMM and Adwords are complex matters. It takes a great deal of effort and a significant investment to make everything work. That’s why you should take the time to learn and analyze these methods before making any real steps. The good thing is that all of them work. When you combine them in a single business promotion campaign, they will lead you to success.