Comparing the return on investment in social media to conversion optimization (or landing page optimization):
I would want an effective landing page, far more than I would want a great SEO strategy. Why?
1. Its a quicker process (15 to 30 days vs. 9+ months)
2. Its a bigger multiplier (if you’re getting a conversion rate of 1% now and you move that to 15 to 20%–thats HUGE).
3. Landing pages can be used in sales campaigns too, whereas search optimization only has value on the web.
4. The feedback loop for landing page optimization is better than for SEO.
5. SEO is still a black box, despite all the help from SEO Moz and various Software as Service providers in the SEO space.
6. SEO is competing with gray & black hat tactics–landing page optimization does not.
7. Google can shift its algorithm over night. Human psychology changes–but not that dramatically.
8. Landing page optimization can help copy in external communication campaigns.
Basically landing page optimization is science and can be A/B tested–SEO isn’t–it would be low on my priority list–except for getting coverage with large blogs.
I think e-commerce is the only web business which requires more SEO driven strategies. Even then, the large lift at the begining is likely to come from a combination of online one to one PR AND following SEO best practices.
Also, if you are a social strategist or online marketer this is how I would price my strategy services:
Gear your social media packages based on what you determine to be the clients goals.
1. Price by modules
2. Provide bronze, silver, & gold options
3. Provide packages which include training & those which include training & execution. Be specific about the ways you add value to framing their message, strategy, and saving them time.
You haven’t included anything about creating a landing page or an email campaign. Increasingly thats critical to creating a closed loop model of marketing for social media. Without getting user emails you are letting huge holes in your funnel leak. This is why Gary Vanerchuck is able to lob huge criticism at the social media community with some degree of truth.
As a caveat–I’m either going to do an external project OR re-brand here at Creative Fusion–given my understanding of this strategic orientation.