I guess you might have heard that SEO is dead. Actually, I have been hearing this for a couple of years and I must admit I can’t stop laughing. SEO is still alive and kicking and it peacefully co-exists with its alleged murderer – social media.
SEO OR Social – This Is the Question
There isn’t reliable statistics to quote about the return on investment in SEO and in social media but my observations show that SEO still brings more money for every dollar you invest. Of course, there is no denial that social media can drive huge traffic to your site and that they are a very powerful tool to promote your small business. What I am saying is that you can’t rely solely on social without SEO and vice versa.
SEO is more targeted and this is its main advantage. When people go to a search engine, they search for specific terms and the users who find you on search engines tend to convert better than users from social media. When people visit a social link to your site, this shows they are interested in it but their interest is more like when you are on a walk and find an interesting store on the way – you enter and even if you purchase something, it is usually something that costs cents or a few bucks only.
It is this better targeting of SEO traffic that converts and brings you money. What’s the point of having millions of visitors who just put strain on your servers and bring you no money? Actually, many of the voices who claim SEO is dead are individuals who would benefit if this were so because they are involved in promotion on social media. Just don’t believe them but think with your own heads.
SEO AND Social – This Is the Solution
On the other hand, you can’t deny the power of social media. If you have hundreds or thousands of followers on sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, every post you make is read not only by them but also by their networks of friends, their friends’ networks of friends, and so on and so on. This becomes a huge network you can’t afford to miss.
I have already mentioned that all equal, traffic from social media is less targeted than traffic from search engines. Of course, this all depends on what kind of contacts you have in your lists on social media. For instance, if your main audience is the target group you are after, then your message will hit the nail on the head but if it is just friends, relatives, and random acquaintances, then your message gets lost.
As a rule, social is good for local causes and for raising awareness. You can geotarget your efforts on search engines, too but when you have a cluster of friends in a particular area, this definitely helps to spread your message. If your business is new and you need to popularize it, social media are the first place to try.
Another benefit of social media is that links from social networks and social bookmarking sites help for SEO rankings. This is the best example why you need to keep both SEO AND social in your promotion package.
One of the cases when social beats SEO is when you are lucky to have viral content. Viral content spreads on social networks at the speed of light and you can get astonishing amounts of traffic, which in turn will help your site rank better in search engines because your site is deemed a popular one.
As you see, both social and SEO have their place under the Sun. Don’t believe claims that SEO is dead or that social is a waste of time. Instead, experiment to find the winning combination of social and SEO. This combination is unique for every site and business and you just need to find what works best for you.