Every SEO services firm will tell you that optimizing your site for searchabiliy is going to bring more customers to your site. And every marketing firm is going to preach to you the virtues of the social media landscape and tell you that you NEED to do Facebook marketing and Twitter marketing right away. But who is right? Should you spend more time and money on SEO or on social media marketing? The answer is, yes.
Social and Search
The truth of the matter is that both search and social marketing efforts will boost your business, but combined, they create an even bigger powerhouse that converts more customers. A recent analysis at Search Engine Land found that “40 percent of consumers who use search in their path to purchase are motivated to use social media to further their decision making process.” That means that there are a sizable number of consumers out there who not only do research online before they buy but also turn to social media (including blogs, user reviews, Facebook, and more) to help them make a decision to buy.
Clearly it pays to pursue Facebook marketing campaigns, but what does social media really add to the buying experience? When potential customers search for products online, they are simply looking for facts like prices, specs, where to buy, etc. But the digital social sphere is where they turn to make their actual decisions.
In the same analysis, Search Engine Land found that user reviews were the most influential social aspect of the buying experience, whether it be on company sites, blogs, or their social networks. So it pays to keep your reviews looking good across multiple platforms, not just on your company website or on Amazon.
But just because most people start with search and then look to social media for the real scoop, doesn’t mean you should neglect your SEO. In many cases, consumers hear about products online through their social networks, then search online for the product they heard about. This means you still need to optimize your site so that the people who are looking for you can find you.
Together is Better
But overall, using both of these tactics, search engine optimization and social media messaging (through Facebook marketing and Twitter marketing), will get you the best results. And this is even more true now that Google and Bing both announced that they now include Twitter and public Facebook feeds to calculate organic SEO. So when you are looking to increase your online profile and bring in more customers, don’t throw all your eggs in one SEO or social media marketing basket. Divide them evenly and you’ll reap the rewards of a search and social strategy.
President & Founder, Tru Family Dental
Marketing, Dependable Cleaners
President, Frame Destination
President & Founder, Family Travel Association