Search vs Social Media – the clash of the century!
One of the hardest things to do as a marketer is decide where to spend your valuable time and money.
Especially when it comes to content marketing and blogs.
Search engine optimization and social media are two of the most popular traffic generating techniques available to marketers – but which one should you focus on?
We all want to have our cake and eat it too… but there comes a time when you must put a majority of your time into one or the other.
The one you will choose comes down to a matter of content and audience.
What are you delivering to your audience? Are you trying to sell a product or service? How about boosting your blog traffic? This is the first question you need to ask yourself.
Let’s go into more detail, and find out who’s really King of the Blog!
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is the art of appearing in search results pages inside search engines. This is how companies achieve high rankings in Google & other search engines.
Moz definies SEO as: “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”
Proper SEO is a long-form investment type and takes a considerable amount of time before you see any results (depending on your industry & competition, of course).
However, once you achieve a high rank you will start to see a consistent amount of traffic come to your site every month.
Afterall, 70-80% of search engine users only focus on organic search results. This is a huge audience that completely disregards pay per click (PPC) advertisements.
So even if you have a strong PPC campaign – you could still be missing out on a vast majority of traffic coming through search engines.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO is a complex monster… but basically, it works through the creation of quality content and building backlinks with highly reputable websites.
Search engine bots/crawlers will crawl content and backlinks and analyze them to determine the website’s position in search engines.
Here is a list of the basics you need to take care of:
- Meta titles & descriptions
- Header tag layout
- Images & alt tags
- File & image names
Each of these factors are important when developing your initial SEO strategy.
If you would like to learn more – check out our in-depth SEO guide to get ranked on Google & other search engines.
The Benefits of SEO:
1. Search Intent Qualifies Prospects
The great thing about search engines is search intent – when someone searches for your website or product, they are typically looking for more information or to make a transaction. People rarely search for companies and go to their website for no reason.
2. Longer The Better!
Search does better with long-form content typically over 1500 words. This works well for guides and review websites as the average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.
3. Durable & Long Lasting… o’lala!
SEO may take awhile to get off the ground… but with proper content and a good strategy – you will see more steady results than social media.
4. Search Is Easier On The Wallet
Organic SEO is a much cheaper avenue to go down than social media, as the audience is always for sale on social sites.
Search engine optimization is an incredible marketing avenue to invest in. It may require some time and patience… but with enough hard work you will start seeing major traffic changes over the course of about 12 months.
Now that’s enough about SEO… let’s get into what makes the world of social media go around.
In December of 2018, Facebook had 1.52 billion daily active users and 2.32 billion monthly active users. Even for the largest social media platform, this number is truly astounding.
For marketers, that audience of 2.32 billion people is up for grabs. This is Facebook’s supply, and we are here to create the demand.
Facebook is a free service after all, and makes all of their income off of advertisements inside the website.
Through the creation of targeted ads, marketers can reach a broad audience around the world for a low cost compared to other forms of advertising (like TV or radio).
This doesn’t just hold true for Facebook either.
Other social media websites like Twitter and LinkedIn give the opportunity to delve deeper into the ad potential of their audiences providing a variety of free services in return.
How Does Social Media Work?
Social media works a lot different than SEO. Results are quick (if there are any), and posts do not tend to last nearly as long as organic search results.
The world of social media revolves around quick and informative posts that serve a definitive purpose, and appeal to specific audiences.
You can gauge your success based off of the level of engagement you acquire throughout your journey.
This can be anything from the likes on your Facebook posts, to your followers on Instagram.
One of the hardest metrics to gauge with SEO is engagement, but for social media it is as easy as ever.
Using likes, comments, and follows you can see which posts are doing well, and attracting your audience in. You can start to build a following of individuals that trust your business.
When the trust has been built up between the company and the consumer – they will share your content even more with their friends and family.
The Benefits of Social Media
1. Social Media Enacts Emotional Responses
Social media allows for consumers to convey their emotions about certain subjects and companies. Use this to your advantage by creating passionate topics that evoke emotion.
2. Engagement Metrics Are Easy To Gauge
Metrics like follows, comments, & likes make it easier for marketers to track how their efforts are doing on social media.
3. It Is Easier To Manage Your Reputation On Social Media
With social media, you can see in whenever someone mentions your brand and has something to say about it. Utilize these features to stay ahead of the game, and respond to unimpressed clients in real-time to minimize damages.
4. Go Viral!
We’ve all seen a viral video at one point in our lives. How great would it be to have a video of your business go viral across millions of social media accounts? AMAZING is what it would be. This takes some smart thinking and a little bit of luck to pull off, but ultimately isn’t impossible and can bring BIG returns.
Social Media Conclusion
Social media allows for a wide range of engagement with your customers and potential prospects. Evoke passion within your audience through emotionally impactful content.
Social media posts can give quick results but tend to not last long, and require constant attention (posting several times a week, replying to comments, etc.).
As beneficial as social media can be – it can be a tough journey to the top trying to acquire followers, likes or comments.
That is why if you are going to mainly focus on social media, put away a budget strictly for PAID ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, and whatever other social channels you want. And even then, this requires constant monitoring and testing.
Interdependence: SEO vs Social Media
No matter how much we argue about which marketing stream is better – SEO & social media are intricately connected and help each other out all the time.
Social media is fantastic at creating awareness and inspiring discovery of new companies, products or services.
SEO is more proficient in raising awareness while creating more conversions for products and services.
Are we seeing the connection now?
If we use social media and SEO properly, we should be able to create a strategy that encompasses everything into one. More customers discover the company on social media, directly search for the company later on, and make a qualified purchase.
Once we combine our marketing streams into a powerhouse of traffic generation – we can begin to truly see the benefits of SEO & social media.
SEO, Social Media, & Blogs
Did you know that 55% of marketers stated that blog creation is their #1 inbound marketing priority? Blogs account for billions of pages on the internet and carry an infinite amount of knowledge along with them.
Blogs are a great inbound marketing source because of their ability to do well on both social media and search results.
Articles with emotional headlines tend to do really well on social media networks, and get more shares and clicks than generic article titles.
On the flip-side – research based blog articles with a focus on information and knowledge work better in search results pages. This could include guides or how-to articles.
So who is the real King of the Blog? The answer is both!
It really comes down to the overall topic of your articles, the messages you are trying to convey, and where the user should end up. Carefully layout your strategy for search or social media, and begin to start your journey.
Some key points we covered in this article were:
- SEO Basics
- The Benefits of SEO
- Social Media Intro
- The Benefits of Social Media
If you are having trouble getting started with your SEO/social media strategy – give us a call or shoot us an email. Top Shelf Media has a ton of experience helping business owners just like yourself get off the ground with their digital marketing strategies.