Which Is Best For You?
The battle between Search Engine Optimization and social media marketing rages on leaving many small business owners wondering what would be right for them. Small business owners have limited resources, both in labor and in cash to be spent for marketing purposes. This makes the decision between the two a tough one. Fortunately, the answer is a no-brainer and I’ve written about this before: Do both.
There is no reason SEO should be eliminated from marketing budget because you already use social media marketing. In fact, now that Google is including social media posts in its search results all your social media should be SEO ready. If your company has a web site (it DOES have a web site, right) that should be SEO ready, too. In fact, anything you do on the Internet should already be search engine optimized, so what’s the big deal?
The fact is, search engine optimization is not as dynamic as social media marketing. One is a state of being and one is an action verb. With SMM you are actively engaging with customers, clients and people who you hope will become of or the other. With search engine optimization you are making certain the information you post online gets noticed by search engines. It’s the difference between putting a sign out by the road with the name of your business on it and welcoming the people who walk through the door. If you have a sign do you stop welcoming people who walk through the door? No. If you welcome people who walk through the door can you take down your sign? No.
The debate over which is better, SEO or SMM is over as far as I concerned and I wish people would stop talking about it. Small business owners have enough to worry about without adding to the confusion over which acronym is better for marketing purposes. Especially when the answer is as simple as this one: Do both!
A new survey of online marketers has an answer: SEO. Marketers polled in Webmarketing123’s 2011 State of Digital Marketing Report said SEO is their most effective source of B2C and B2B leads, topping social media and pay-per-click advertising.
Fifty-three percent said SEO generates the most leads, 28 percent said PPC, and just 19 percent said social media. So, yeah, we know it’s fun to fool around at Facebook and tell yourself you’re doing vital sales groundwork, but it’s more profitable to invest your time in SEO.
Social media still matters. Of course, everyone knows social media is important. Of the marketers queried by Webmarketing123, 60 percent said they’ll boost their budget for social media marketing next year. Here are 26 reasons why, from a blog called Social Media Examiner.
Most of the reasons are less than compelling. They boil down to: “Hey, lots of people are using social media so your business should also!” The hard numbers are at the bottom of the page. Fifty percent of small businesses surveyed by Crowdspring said they’ve used social networks to connect with new customers. (Only 28 percent of large companies and 36 percent of medium-size companies said the same.)
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