SEO or Social Media? Where do you turn?
For the better part of the last decade, we have been inundated with the idea that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important to getting your name, product, and brand, out to potential clients and customers. As the Internet changes and develops, as with all things, camps have set up, claiming their “truths” about SEO. The same goes for social media marketing. Who can you reach? Why would you try to market on those sites and risk never connecting with the people that could really use your product or skill?
One group is out there telling everyone that social media takes people away from search engines. Facebook and Twitter are your new methods of discovery. These people also claim that changes in algorithms used by search engines, when they ARE used, learn so well that SEO tactics form last year, last month, sometimes even last week, don’t work anymore. It seems they learn how to find and go around all those key words and hyperlinked segments you have paid so dearly to have on your site, just to try to gain higher Google rankings.
The other camp is telling the business world SEO is still vitally important and needs to be a key component to a solid marketing plan. You still have to have a professionally built site that codes a certain way to create attractive, well-planned sites to bring more commerce, more eyes, more clicks to your virtual store front. All of that coding and professional building will give you a higher ranking on places like Google and Bing, producing better results. Some companies have even go so far as to say that, while statistics are not kept, or at least not released, by these powerhouse companies that find and rank all 634 million web sites*, nearly 90 percent of the click-throughs happen on the first page of search results. Now, if they are not keeping stats on these things, how do we know? That’s not the issue here. We are looking at the SEO/Social Media debate.
So, what’s one to do? Do you build those expensive sites or use WordPress or Wix? Do you worry about SEO or do you hit the social media side of things harder?
Despite the near-political arguments that can happen over the debate, there is really no solid answer, and what may seem obvious is nothing remotely like that. Let’s look at a couple myths about marketing online.
Myth #1: Facebook is for younger people.
According to recent research, the average age of Facebook users is 40.5 years. That means there are people of every age to market your goods and services to. In fact, the trend seems to float across all social media platforms. IN 2012, the largest age demographic of social media users, according to Royal.Pingdom.com, 26 percent of social media users are between the ages of 25 to 34, with the next group, 35-44, coming in a close second at 25 percent. So, you have to ask, how many of those Gen-Xers are you going to market to through social media? SEO isn’t going to touch that aspect, and there are a lot of greenbacks to be made with some equality social media campaigns.
Myth #2: SEO doesn’t have the reach it needs to be effective anymore.
This seems to run contrary to Myth #1, but there is still a place for SEO in some business settings. Confused yet? Don’t be. Not every person is going to be on Facebook or Twitter. My own mother just found her way to Facebook a couple weeks ago. My in-laws still are refusing. Many people my own age (getting close to the Big 4-0, next year) hold out and will not join the social media movement. It’s not all for the worse. Some people don’t want to take away from their time on social media, especially Facebook. Twitter is just a bit worse. The day my mother gets a Twitter account will be the day…well, let’s say it will be interesting (Love you, Mom). So, if you want to reach the non-savvy social media socialites, and you want to reach the vital virtual sector, you need to still have a prominent (read, non-paid) position.
So, with the bi-polar review, what’s a business owner or a merchant to do? It’s not an easy solution, but there are several ways to make every cent of that SEO money and that high-priced web designer work for you.
A good mix, in a well-developed strategic marketing plan is the best idea. Know your product, your market, and your competition. You have to know how to move forward and how to analyze each and every step along the way. There is room for increased social media AND SEO. As we see in the first myth, what was thought of as a youth movement with little ability to impact revenue is not the case. There are untapped resources; virgin territory, if you will. It takes a brave soul to brave the new frontier of social media. Myth #2 can bring more of the traditional form of internet marketing into focus. The tools have been in place and are solidly established to bring more and more of the numbers to you to be able to figure out the next step. But, be careful. Those nasty algorithms can continue to morph and twist, learning how to outfox the SEO engineering to drop pages.
So what’s the next step? How do you implement all of the possibilities in the two modes? The answer to that one is simple. Get in touch with us at Acacia Media. Email us at AcaciaMedia.Live.com, or call us at (716)790-0133. We will be happy to meet with you, come up with a plan and implement it.
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