Should I focus on SEO or social media?

SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website on search engines. There are many aspects to SEO, including keyword research, content optimisation, and technical backend work. But what is often overlooked by small business owners is that social media also impacts your SEO rankings. The more people who like or share your posts or pages on Facebook, LinkedIn or Google My Business, the better you rank for high volume keywords in Google’s search results. Blogging can be another way to improve your ranking if done correctly because it increases links back to your site from other sites which will help with both crawling and indexing factors.

The reality is that they are mutually dependent parts of an online marketing strategy as evidenced by this chart:

SEO Infographic
You can reach a wider audience, generate more traffic and increase your conversion rates by focusing on both aspects of SEO and social media. This is why these strategies should not be seen as competitors but rather as complementary parts of an integrated marketing campaign aimed at improving business results online.

What is SEO and what does it do?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and it is the process of improving the visibility of a website on search engines. There are many aspects to SEO, including keyword research, link building and content optimisation. When most small business owners think about SEO, they only focus on optimising their content for ranking in Google’s SERPs (search engine results pages).
What they don’t realise is that social media can also affect your SEO rankings. The more people who like or share your posts or pages on Facebook, LinkedIn or Google My Business, the better you rank for high volume keywords in Google’s SERPs. Blogging can be another way to improve your ranking if done correctly because it increases links back to your site from other sites which will help with both crawling and indexing factors.

What is social media marketing and what does it do?

Social media marketing, on the other hand, focuses on boosting web traffic from social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. In fact, according to Backlinko.com, out of 7.87 billion people in the world, 56.8% of the population use social networks, regardless of age or internet access.
Marketing with social media can come in many different forms, including content promotion through social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon and Reddit, writing catchy blog titles for social media sharing and even asking people to share your web pages on their own social media profiles.

What the experts say about the connection between SEO and social media marketing

“Many companies focus only on SEO to drive traffic but they forget about social media. And it’s a big mistake because when you have a good product, people are going to talk about it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or wherever they communicate. So you need to monitor what’s being said about your brand and reply immediately to resolve issues before they become negative publicity. Also, monitor how customers interact with your company online – do they retweet your content? Do they share your pages on their own social media profiles? – and build on that trust when you send them information. In fact, people are nine times more likely to buy from a company they have previously been able to interact with.”
Adam Hildreth, CEO of Crisp

How to use social media for SEO

Some of the ways in which you can use social media for SEO are the following:
  • create a link to your site on your social media page using “website” or “link in bio”
  • post announcements about discounts, contests, new products etc.
  • promote blog posts by sharing them with friends and followers
  • share content that you think is relevant or interesting to engage followers
  • engage in discussions with your social media followers
  • post comments on other similar sites to build backlinks or share your opinion
  • use hashtags related to topics you are interested in, the products you offer etc. to engage potential customers
  • make sure that you choose images and profile pictures which reflect your brand identity
  • create tailor made ads to promote your social media page
  • use local trends, updates and news to engage potential customers

What are others saying about your business?

Social media is also a great tool for monitoring your online reputation. You can find out who is talking about you on social media by using search engines like Google or Bing that are integrated with social media sites. It is important to monitor what people are saying about you so that if there’s a problem you can sort it out straight away.
With social media there are great opportunities to engage potential customers and increase brand awareness but in order to be successful, businesses have to invest time and resources into social media just as they do with SEO. By focusing on both aspects you can reach a wider audience, generate more traffic and increase your conversion rates.

The importance of both SEO and social media

A lot of business owners are still debating on whether to focus on SEO or social media. Social media can be a distraction for some people, but it isn’t always. If you have the time and resources to manage both SEO and social media then it will be worth your while. You can reach a wider audience, generate more traffic, and increase your conversion rates.

Time - there's only so much time in one day

One of the main reasons why some small business owners choose to focus on one online marketing strategy is because they don’t have enough time to manage both. If you think this could be something for you, then read on. There are tools out there that can help you automatically schedule tweets and Facebook posts so that you only have to do it once.
If you are unable to dedicate some of your time every day then you could always outsource this task. There are plenty of services that can help you manage your social media presence for a reasonable price. For example, our friends at Abundant Life Studio can be of great benefit. Tell Mel that Phil sent you 😉

Do you have the resources?

The other reason why some small business owners choose to manage only one online marketing strategy is because they don’t think they have enough resources. This is where findability can be of great help to you – we’ve broken down our services into small bite sized chunks to be more affordable.

What makes social media important?

Social media has been around for quite some time now, but it has evolved into something else, much more than just a way to stay connected with your friends. Social media is now used by businesses like yours and mine to connect with their customers in order to gain new leads.
Brands are also able to build loyal fan bases through this medium; for example look at these brands on Facebook … Coca-Cola (104 million followers), Starbucks (35 million) or even BMW (20 million). These numbers are hard to ignore.
The biggest benefit of social media is that it’s free, even though there are some costs involved with advertising on social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook. You can use these platforms to connect with potential clients and gain new leads. If you want more traffic on your site then this is a great way to get it.

SEO is still important

SEO is probably the most cost effective online marketing strategy out there, but it’s also the one that requires the most time and effort. SEO has come a long way since its early days and now even small business owners can take part in it.
The possibilities when it comes to SEO are virtually endless. You can increase your rankings by improving your on page and off page factors such as site speed, backlinks and more. If you want to get found online then this is a great way to do so.

It’s not one or the other - it’s both

These strategies should not be seen as competitors but rather complementary to each other aimed at improving business results online.
It’s often debated whether or not it would be better to focus on SEO or social media, but the reality is that they are mutually dependent parts of an online marketing strategy. By focusing on both aspects you can reach a wider audience, generate more traffic and increase your conversion rates.
These are just some of the reasons why SEO is still extremely important to businesses online. Despite social media networks claiming to provide an easy way for you to reach your target audience, it’s often much easier said than done. Social media lacks the ability (currently) to connect users with similar interests or allow them to express their opinions in a public manner. These are both things that SEO allows you to do and the combined power of these two digital marketing strategies is undeniable.

Conclusion

To sum up, many businesses may find it advantageous to focus all their efforts on either SEO or social media, but the reality is that they are two complementary parts of a bigger picture aimed at improving business results online.

Phil

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