The ongoing debate of social media vs SEO is one that has raged on for years. And, as someone who works in digital marketing, I can tell you that it’s one that I deal with on a daily basis, as we are constantly comparing the performance of our social media campaigns with our SEO efforts, to see which marketing channel is bringing the most ROI for our clients.
So, which one should you focus on?
Of course, as with most things in life, the best way to achieve both goals is to use a combination of both SEO and Social Media. But it’s still important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each so that you can create a strategy that makes the most sense for your business.
The biggest difference between internet users and social media users is how they use those mediums. So it’s not like one marketing channel is better than the other. They serve different purposes.
For example: let’s say you want to plan a trip to Alaska. You probably will start on Google, searching things like “Best places to visit in Alaska”, “Traveling tips Alaska”, etc. You might discover a particular hotel and get curious and check them out on social media.
The above example is called a “future buyers journey”. Successful brands leverage their online presence by amplifying each channel. They want to be at the top of their future buyers’ minds, to the point that you’ll see them everywhere. And if you pay close attention, you might have noticed a promotional email about a product that you were mentioning in a private conversation with a friend. How does that happen? That’s called remarketing.
The more you know about their journey, the better you will be able to use both, your internet real estate (your website) and social media real estate (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Youtube, etc.) to get them to buy from you.
If you’re not sure how your buyers are finding you, a good place to start is by configuring your Google Analytics and Google Search Console. These free tools from Google will give you insights into how people are finding your website and what they’re doing once they get there. Armed with this information, you can work with an online marketing strategist to create a more targeted marketing strategy that will help you reach your target audience more effectively.
SEO and social media are two of the most important aspects of online marketing. When used together, they can be incredibly effective in driving traffic and conversions.
Google Analytics is a great way to see how SEO and social media are working together. By looking at the top visited pages, you can get a good idea of which keywords and phrases are driving traffic. You can then use this information to create targeted campaigns that attract buyers in the consideration phase.
When done correctly, SEO and social media can be a powerful combination that helps you drive traffic and conversions.
The graphic below is a snapshot of Google Analytics from one of our e-commerce clients. They hired us with the specific goal of increasing their conversions. We knew that focusing on one area of online marketing wasn’t enough.
We took the top visited pages and conducted a behavior analysis, to come up with a refined conversion path. This gave us the chance to outline campaigns to promote their winning products across social media and Google, both organic and paid.
I wish I could tell you it was just ONE thing that helped our client increase purchase conversions by 323% in just 5 months. But it wasn’t. Instead, it was data-driven decision-making, a team effort, brand integration, and enhanced ROAS reporting that did the trick.
By focusing only on activities with a higher ROI and setting up a multi-disciplinary team to handle creative, design, copywriting, and SEO, we were able to produce results that far surpassed the client’s expectations. And by working closely with the client’s dedicated team, we were able to ensure that all of our content was on brand.
Finally, by enhancing our ROAS reporting using Google Data Studio, enhanced with Super Metrics API, we were able to provide the client with even greater insights into our performance.
All of these factors came together to produce truly impressive results. While we noticed that social media drove sales, conversions from Google searches (both organic and paid) generated the vast majority of the conversions.
See the graphic below where it shows a Multi-Channel Conversion Visualizer.
In this particular case, we advised our client to shift their marketing budget to allocate less for their social media marketing and push further their SEO projects.
And this takes us to discuss the scarcest resource: TIME!
Social media can help you reach a target audience who will feel a connection with your brand and will become your advocators. But in order to do that successfully, you’ll need to be “sociable”, which means:
A plan to grow a social channel such as TikTok takes about 2 hours per day (60 hrs per month), and this includes:
Social media channels bring a great opportunity for business owners, especially when we consider the increase in online and digital activities caused by The Pandemic. Therefore, even if you don’t have the 60 hours per month to keep up with your social media, outsourcing those activities can be a game changer for your business.
When it comes to time invested by business owners in their SEO efforts, is very minimal in comparison to social media. SEO tasks can be done by your SEO team, with very little effort from your end as a business owner. And this is a BIG PLUS for SEO services versus social media services.
For instance, in the example where we increased purchase conversions by 323% in just 5 months, we haven’t needed our client in order to do our SEO work. And this is possible when you hire the right talent for your marketing and sales needs.
For local businesses, generating foot traffic from people nearby is key. So how do local business owners get more traffic?
The following is an example of a local business that was using only social media to promote its food. The business owner had a website with 3 pages: The home page, menu page, and contact us page, but no additional content. However, their social channels were active and they hit close to 5,000 followers. Because of that word of mouth, all their website traffic was from people who knew their business name. Although this is good, it’s not enough.
We combined SEO and Content Marketing SEO to drive website traffic from people who were looking for their food. We wrote blog articles around topics like “10 Best Places to Eat in [city]” and then optimized those pages for the city they’re in. So when someone Googled that query, our client’s website would show up. Because our client’s restaurant was one of the best in the city, people would click through and come to their website. From there, some would decide to visit the restaurant or order takeout/delivery.
This is just one example of how you can use SEO and Social Media together to grow your business. By creating great content and promoting it on social media and through other channels (like email marketing), you can attract new customers and grow your business. And if you track your progress with Google Search Console, you can see exactly how well your efforts are performing over time!
If you’re wondering whether posting on social media will help your SEO, the answer is a little complicated. Technically speaking, social channels are separate from Google, so your activity on the site won’t directly impact your ranking in search results. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s no connection between the two, as we’ve discussed earlier.
Social media and SEO are two of the most important tools in a marketer’s toolkit. When used together, they can provide an incredible boost to your visibility and reach. However, it’s important to remember that they are just tools – you’ll still need a comprehensive strategy to get the best results.
If you’re not sure where to start, the best thing you can do is to hire a team of experts who can help you develop a comprehensive marketing strategy.
I might be biased, but I personally think that here at MFG Agency, we have one of the most amazing resources! You’ll be able to make the most of social media and SEO, and you’ll see a real difference in your bottom line.
But don’t take my word for granted. Schedule a visit and meet your amazing marketing team! We’re a digital marketing agency in Cedar Park and we do great things.