SEO vs Social Media For Small Business

SEO or Social Media: The Superior Approach For Small Business
Are you trying to make the presence of your small business felt on the internet? It certainly is more complicated than the placid homepage of Google would have you believe. You’ve undoubtedly heard how great social media marketing can be for a small business and rightly want to take advantage of it. The truth of the matter is- both mediums are excellent ways to generate more interest. However, they are used in different ways and for slightly different purposes. You can remove a nut with a wrench or a ratchet. Both tools perform a similar function but the tools are very different. That is the same relationship you will find with SEO and social media marketing.

The Importance of SEO
The internet is full of opinions on the importance of SEO, but when you really dig down you will find that SEO is the foundation of any successful internet presence. Investing in your website’s SEO is a long-term investment in advertising. The benefits may not come for a month, three months, or even more; but the benefits will come. So long as you play by the rules of search engines you will reap the benefits for your efforts with better positioning on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). That is imperative for building sales through the internet. Most people that want to buy an item offline will research it online first. Some estimates put the figure as high as 80%. How much more business is waiting for you if those people are landing on your website instead of a competitor’s?
Social Media Marketing as a Tool
Then there is social media marketing. Social media marketing is a fantastic way to connect with customers, associates, and potentially new customers. This style of marketing should be used as a supplement to SEO, not a replacement. The kind of attention you generate through social media does not have the long lasting impact that SEO provides. There have been announcements of integration of social media results being integrated into SERPs. The way these work is by looking at the Likes of the user’s friend and “recommending” relevant pages based on those Likes. However, a Bing user needs to have a Bing account and a Facebook account for this to work. At this point in time, social media is better used as a supplemental tool. If you take the time to interact with customers and provide great information, your followers will spread that information for you.
In Conclusion…
Consider the following questions: when was the last time you jumped on Google, Yahoo, or Bing to look up a business or product? What about the last time you jumped on Twitter or Facebook for the same reason? Helping search engines connect you with potential customers is the primary focus of SEO. Your investment into SEO is not something that will ever just stop working for you. Social media brings new eyes to your business, but does not have the same type of guaranteed benefit in the long-term. Both are great- but SEO is still the most important part of an internet presence.
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