SEO vs Social Media: Which is more valuable?
When it comes to choosing between SEO and social media, there is no simple answer. You need both, your time and budget are limited, so you may need to choose which one to devote more attention to at some point. You spend a lot of your time developing a marketing strategy, constantly analysing what is working and what needs improvement. It is crucial to spend time keeping up with the latest developments and technologies available in the marketing arena.
SEO is the powerhouse behind achieving high rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) to queries. It’s a long-term strategy that requires a lot of up-front work on content creation and optimisation, but it can drive traffic from search engines for months or years after those initial investments.
Social media works differently. You don’t need to be number one to succeed with social media – you only need to be good enough. It is a relatively short-term strategy that usually involves less up-front work, but also doesn’t offer the same long-term benefits as SEO. It involves using a range of popular social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn to build relationships with potential customers and promote your brand. You can do this by creating engaging content that people want to read and share with others. The goal is to make it easier for people to find your business online by increasing awareness of your brand through word-of-mouth marketing. However, some key differences between them should be considered before you decide which one is best for your business.
SEO and social media marketing are two of the most important digital marketing strategies in existence. In fact, they’re often used together as part of a wider digital marketing strategy. But how do you decide which one to focus on? Which one is more important? And what’s the difference between them anyway?
SEO is about achieving higher ranking content on a search engine results page, providing your target audience with the information they need and want. SEO strategy considers which keywords provide the most value, along with other tools such as formatting and link building.
Social media marketing is more about building online relationships and engaging with your buyer personas, creating brand awareness along the way.
How the Target Audience is Identified
Knowing who your targeted buyer personas are can successfully direct your SEO strategy as well as your social media marketing efforts. Where these two marketing tools differ is in how they go about identifying the targeted audience. During the planning strategies for your SEO strategy, you will be researching and identifying buyer personas who will be most interested in what you have to offer based on collected data. You then cater your strategy to them specifically with search engine queries in mind. When it comes to where to focus your attention in social media marketing, your research methods start with the platforms themselves. By analysing the demographics of each platform, you can identify who uses which platform more and who is interacting. From there, you then focus your attention and budget on those. In other words, use social media to locate target audiences.
Type of Content
Research has shown that long-form content performs better than short-form when it comes to SEO. The reason for this is that search engines reward websites with high-quality content that provides answers to questions or solves a problem for users who are searching online. This improves user experience and makes your website more appealing to search engines like Google and Bing. With social media marketing, content serves another role. Its function is to elicit emotion and, in turn, entice engagement. The type of content is usually short-form or visuals for social media.
To achieve successful SEO measurements, you’ll need patience. Search engines require time to index content, and you’ll need to first establish yourself, gaining enough credibility to reach higher rankings on search results pages. As a result, SEO requires continuous effort when it comes to measuring results. The key performance indicators (KPIs) for SEO search focus on traffic and also on click-through results. On the flip side of that is social media marketing.
Social media is a fast-changing environment, and you can quickly see what is working and what is getting buried as newer content pops up. You can also easily track KPIs here, such as levels of engagement (likes, comments, and shares), and also see instant feedback. With SEO you have fewer search engine sites to focus on, so you make more efficient use of your time and resources. Social Media Marketing requires you split your time over the different platforms, which can be time-consuming and costly.
There are more subtle differences between the two but these are the ones that can make the most difference in determining how to spend your time and how each fits into your overall marketing strategy.
The Bottom Line
There is no real winner in this fight. SEO and Social Media need each other and have mutual benefits. Combine the two for winning results. Combining SEO strategy and a social media plan may just be the powerhouse marketing strategy you need.