Which Should Your Company Invest In?
With Google showing more and more ads on the first page of search results, you might be wondering whether it is still worth it to invest in SEO, and if perhaps you shouldn’t move your eggs into a different basket, like that of social media.
When you have limited resources available for (online) marketing, you need to focus on the marketing channel that will deliver the best ROI. It is usually better to master one marketing channel than to perform average on two.
With the search and social media landscape changing as much as it is today, it can be pretty tough to figure out which way to go with your online marketing efforts.
Is SEO Dying?
Aaron Harris from Tutorspree shows some pretty surprising numbers in a recent article about Google’s search results. According to his (quick and dirty) research, for the search term “auto mechanic” only 13% of screen real estate above the fold shows organic results when you do a Google search. All the rest of your screen is taken up by ads and Google products. For “italian restaurant” there’s even fewer organic search results showing above the fold. On mobile devices it’s even worse. For many searches there’s not even a single organic search result in sight before scrolling.
Social media on the other hand is becoming more and more important for getting traffic to your website. More people are relying on Twitter and Facebook to guide them to interesting content. When a link is shared by a friend on Facebook or included in a Tweet, this vouches more for the quality of the website that’s being linked to than a high ranking in Google will ever be able to do.Social Media vs. SEO
Both SEO and social media marketing require long term commitment. With SEO you can get some good results in the first few months, but in a competitive market, you’re in it for the long haul. Social media however, possesses the power to give you some big results in a relatively short time span. All of this eventually depends on how well you execute your SEO or social media strategies of course.
To properly execute an SEO strategy, you will likely need to employ a professional. SEO usually requires more technical work and can’t just be learned in a day. This is not so much the case for social media marketing. Anyone can learn to be a good communicator on social media channels. Not to say that input from a social media expert won’t give you some more leverage.
Type of Visitors You are Looking to Attract
Whether you will get better returns from SEO as opposed to social media marketing will largely depend on the type of audience you are trying to attract. You have to ask the question if people are actively looking for you. For example if you sell accounting software, you will probably get better results from traditional SEO. People that need accounting software will often go straight to Google and search for this. If you are launching a new festival this will not be the case. There won’t be anybody looking for your festival, because people don’t know about it yet. Targeting the right social media channels in this case, will most likely deliver a much larger return on investment.
The choice between SEO and social media eventually depends on many different factors specific to what business your company is in and what they want to achieve. Choose carefully and execute well.