The burst of social media has meant that companies are now pouring substantial advertising dollars into targeted promotional campaigns aimed at lead generation. But how effective are these social media campaigns? The return on investment for social marketing can sometimes be slow – especially if you’re trying to grow an organic following – and allocating large portions of your marketing budget to social might not be in your best interest.

Here are three places to evaluate putting your marketing dollars toward before you go the social media route.

Website Updates

Sure, it’s easy to pay for a flow of traffic to your site – but what happens to visitors once they get there? Are your landing page bounce rates ridiculously high? Do your calls-to-action yield less than a 1% conversion rate in visitor traffic? If so, you need to look at updating your webpages before you spend much money on social media. Start by evaluating your top traffic webpages found in your Google Analytics account.

Top Webpages - Google Analytics

Google Analytics Behavior Overview

Your Analytics Audience Behavior view can help you determine which pages need to be looked at first. Click on each of your top 5-10 webpages and evaluate what needs to be corrected. Make sure you have a clear call-to-action on each of your top pages. Answering the question, “what exactly do you want visitors to do next?” will make it easy to prioritize changes. Your calls-to-action need to be clear and concise and should ‘jump out’ to web visitors.

SEO and Local Searches

Is your business a local entity with a specific and targeted demographic? If so, you definitely need to be looking at the benefits of local search and SEO. Search engine optimization is one those things that, if done correctly, can yield highly positive results for long periods of time. If you have a local business, do some keyword research to see if there are terms you want to rank for.

Even if your business has a broader audience, not tailored to location, you should still look into what optimizing your site for search can do. Look at the amount of organic traffic you are currently driving to your site in relation to other sources. You want your traffic sources to be pretty balanced across direct, referral, paid, organic and social – around 20% each. If paid or referral traffic numbers are low, look into both off and on page SEO techniques to help drive traffic.

Web Traffic Sources Pie Chart - Google Analytics

Google Analytics traffic sources example

Content Marketing

Low-pressure, educational marketing is the direction every smart company is going. By creating content pieces that speak directly to every major stage in your sales and marketing funnel, you have ammunition to create truly powerful campaigns. After all, you don’t just want to talk to those who are ready to buy – you also want to convince those who aren’t quite there yet that they should continue a digital conversation with you. It’s good practice to complete a content audit and assess where there are gaps to ensure you have all bases covered. Once you have your list of missing content you can prioritize accordingly.

There you have it. By evaluating whether or not your site needs updates, new content marketing or some SEO, you can make high-value changes and drive quality leads. Social media should never be overlooked, but by looking at these areas first you will be in the prime position to add it when it will be most beneficial.