SEO or Social Media: Where Should You Focus Your Efforts?
Business owners everywhere feel overwhelmed with the constant onslaught of marketing opinions; should they hire an SEO agency to help rank their website, or should they hire a social media manager and focus their marketing efforts on social platforms?
There’s plenty of data out there that could sway us in either direction, making it difficult to really know what the best choice is. In an effort to clear up the confusion and get to the bottom of this dilemma, we’ll break down each strategy and unveil which one really benefits business owners more.
There are multiple ways to drive traffic to your website, with SEO and social media being the two biggest players in the game. Here are the factors that should play a role in your decision of which strategy to choose for your business:
1. Efforts and Results
The first thing you need to consider is how much effort it takes to see results. Let’s start with social media.
Social media marketing requires a lot of planning and commitment. The life of a social media post is short-lived, making it crucial that you post consistently and are as active and engaging as possible.
Managing social media accounts for businesses is a full-time job, hence why you now see so many social media managers out there. Business owners typically don’t have time to spend their whole day engaging on Facebook and Instagram.
In short, social media can give you results fast, but they’re short-lived and it takes a lot of consistency and time to maintain it.
Organic SEO, on the other hand, can take months to rank. While it certainly requires its own version of continuous efforts, there is much less day-to-day stress and dedication involved when compared to social media.
Although SEO is more of a long-term strategy that takes some time, once your site is ranked on page one, you’ll see consistent results that run on auto-pilot.
In the case of both of these marketing techniques, they’re only successful if you are able to effectively identify and target a specific audience. Attracting your target audience is how you get traffic, engagement, and sales.
It’s definitely easier to target an audience on social media than with SEO, because social media platforms have built-in tools that allow you to easily reach your target customers. With social media you are targeting customers based on who they are.
SEO targets people based on what they are thinking and searching for. With this strategy you are required to know what people are searching for, including the specific keywords and key phrases that they are typing into Google.
Connecting on a social media platforms and connecting on a search engine are two very different things. When someone is typing a search phrase into Google, they are looking for the answer to their question or problem.
SEO is very buyer-intent. Customers know what they are looking for and if your page shows up on page one of the SERP, there’s a good chance their going to land on your site and be ready to buy.
Social media is a bit different. The connections you make there are used more to spread awareness and share. Just because someone likes your post on Instagram certainly doesn’t mean they’re going to head to your site and buy.
The next factor you should consider is the conversations you’re having with each strategy, and which ones are more effective for your business.
Social media posts tend to be on the shorter side, utilizing condensed thoughts that are emotional and communicative in nature. And of course, there’s the use of hashtags, which is one of the most important techniques you can use to ensure your social content reaches the right people.
There are plenty of tools out there that you can use to help you figure out which hashtags you should be using to ensure that your content gets in front of the right people. You can also research what the best subjects are to cover in your posts and get ideas for themes and styling to make your posts more appealing.
With organic SEO, the subjects and topics you cover in your content is more research-based and relies on you having a deep knowledge of your target keywords.
You can choose from a number of keyword research tools that will give you insight into what kinds of things your target customers are talking about, what they want more of, and all the related terms and phrases they’re searching to get answers to their questions and solutions to their problems.
By arming yourself with keyword knowledge, you can start meaningful conversations that encourages engaging content creation geared directly at your target customers.
5. Type of Content
Speaking of content, content plays a huge role both on social media and for SEO purposes. The content found on social media typically looks a bit different than the content used for SEO.
Google ranks long-form content higher than short-form. Social posts are examples of short-form content. These posts are usually optimized for one certain platform and are much less technical than the content you’ll find on webpages and blogs.
This is where social media and SEO really combine and join forces. You can use short-form social media posts, like an infographic, and then link to a long-form post on your website.
This is why having the long-form content associated with SEO on your website really pays off, because once you drive traffic to your website, your chances at converting them to paying customers increase ten-fold.
The more people engage with your social media posts, the more traffic you will drive to your website or page. That’s the key, use social media to drive more traffic to your website and then optimize it for search engines.
SEO and social media marketing are both very important marketing disciplines that you should learn in order to achieve maximum results in the business landscape of today. The best approach is to utilize both strategies to maximize your marketing plan.
That being said, if we had to choose one strategy over the other, it would most definitely be SEO.
Why? Because social media isn’t permanent, it can all go away any second. If your only source of attracting customers is through social media and it goes down, or the algorithm changes and you see your engagement plummet, or you all the sudden lose all your followers; where does that leave you?
SEO, when done correctly, is a continuous traffic source that can passively drive tons of targeted traffic to your site.
SEO is the best strategy for attracting customers who are looking to buy. It allows you to get in front of the exact people who are looking for your product or service, basically with their credit card in hand.
Social media is amazing and an absolutely necessary strategy for today. If you can master the art of using social media to boost your SEO, you’re going to set yourself up for maximum marketing ROI and business growth.
While these two channels work hand in hand, people who come to your site will start engaging with your social channels, and since Google is starting to rank for engagement, this will boost your SEO efforts.
So, do both, if you can!
Want to learn more about how implementing a successful digital marketing strategy can help give your business the boost it deserves? Get in touch today to schedule your discovery call!
Looking to jumpstart SEO on your own, check out these SEO basics that will help get your website ranked more quickly!