A pattern within the younger generation is definitely emerging, with social networks growing in popularity as a method for a discovery resource; in 2010 only 18% of people were using it for that reason, up to 25% in 2011 and then in 2012 it reached 32%. Although the usage of search engines such as Google, is up from 54% in 2012 from 50% the previous year, many are questioning whether to reconsider their marketing strategy and start spending less efforts on SEO.
However, what are the advantages of both channels, and can they be used effectively together?
· Quality – with social media you may gain a lot of irrelevant traffic, because a person has merely followed a link to your website from their friend’s Facebook. Whereas in the case of SEO that person will have entered into a search engine that exact service/product you offer and so will be a more valuable visitor.
· Brand Reputation – If the search engine has listed your website high, then people are more likely to respect your brand because they trust search engines to give them the most relevant and important sites.
· Web Development – to even be successful in SEO, your website needs to have good navigation and no broken links etc which in itself will push your business to develop an accessible website, which in turn will please your customers because they have a better browsing experience.
· Quantity – as mentioned before, although you may get more irrelevant visitors, those you do get may be more interested in your service/ product because of the fact it has effectively been recommended by a friend, with seven out of ten people more likely to use a business if it has a presence in social media (comScore Networks/TMP Directional Marketing)
· Coverage – Experian reported that 27% of internet time is spent on a social media site. This marketing channel will be more successful therefore, simply because that’s where the people are.
· Brand Reputation – instead of relying on Google to rank your business’ importance, you can manage your own reputation. By dealing with negative comments and encouraging positive feedback you can influence your brands position.
SEO and social media have their own pros and cons, but they can be used together very effectively. Most simply because you are have two positions from which to target people: if they for example are exposed to your product on one site, this may not lead to a conversion to a customer, however t when they then see it again, the second time it may do.
Although the trend is pointing towards younger people using social media more and more, this is may not be true for the older generation. Therefore for a business to be effectively using both means that they are targeting the largest customer base they can.
By using social media to post your services on similar industry pages, you create back links which then enhance your SEO ranking.
Do you think SEO will actually be beaten into submission by social or is that a pipe dream?
This was a guest post by Jamila Campbell-O’Connor
Images courtesy of Stuart Miles via. http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
Image courtesy of Master isolated images via. http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
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