Search and Social Strategies: What is Best For Your Business?
Driving website traffic should be a top priority for any company with a website. More than just part of a strategy in today’s digital landscape, it’s a necessity.
The two most effective ways of driving traffic to your website are search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media marketing (both paid and organic).
What the Stats Say
According to Marin Software’s State of Digital Advertising 2019 report, paid search accounted for 39% of advertisers’ total budgets while paid social was the second-highest share of advertising budgets at 18%. When it comes to organic traffic, Google is responsible for 94% of total organic traffic and 50% of consumers follow brands on social media learn about new services or products.
Both of these strategies have the ability to drive to bring audiences to your website, but which is best? How much time and money should you invest in each of these options? We are going to delve into search and social and look at where you should be investing your time and money.
Pros of Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is the process of optimising your website for search engines like Google. SEO techniques include keyword research, improving meta titles and descriptions, creating internal links and backlink building. When comparing search and social, there are many benefits of using SEO to increase the number of quality visitors to your website.
SEO Targets Quality Organic Traffic
Good search engine optimisation always drives more organic traffic to your business' website. Why? Because people are searching for answers and information that you provide.
By using the correct search terms and keywords that are most valuable to your potential customers, you are not only improving your site’s visibility but exposing your business to people who are looking for answers to their questions. Think about what you would do if you wanted to learn more about the features of a particular car model. Would you go to the brand’s social channels or would you Google the brand and head to whichever website provided the most helpful or accurate information? We guess the latter.
Brand Awareness and Trust
If your website or certain pages of your website hold a good ranking position on Google, chances are your business has built a certain level of trust and credibility with your audience.
One significant difference between search and social is the consumer’s intention to buy. Consumers who use a search engine to find information or have their questions answered are generally there with the intent to find out more about something they are looking to buy (as opposed to mindlessly scrolling through social posts). With website content that is trustworthy and credible, your business is able to influence purchase decisions, leading to higher conversions.
SEO is a Long-Term Strategy
This tactic is a long-term strategy that will bring your business long-term benefits. Google’s algorithms work on trust, as well as rich and relevant content. One thing businesses need to understand is high rankings are no overnight miracle. While it may take time to see results, you shouldn't let that stop you from using SEO! It is necessary to know that it also takes time to drop in ranking. If you use SEO correctly, your efforts begin to compound over time.
If you are struggling to make it on the first page of Google search results, you can always invest in paid search or Google Ads. These ads appear at the top of the search results page, above the organic results. A well-optimised Google Ads campaign using high quality and relevant keywords can help you reach your customers more efficiently. This form of search engine marketing is intent-based advertising, meaning people who see your ads are already actively looking for a solution to a problem. Combining paid and organic search can lead to powerful results!
Pros of Social Media Marketing
Social media platforms are traditionally a place for people to be social and for brands to build awareness and connect with their audience. It can also be a great tactic for driving visitors to your website.
Social media marketing is a cost-effective way of increasing your business’ visibility and reaching a large number of potential customers. It is free to sign up and create a profile, and there are many free or relatively cheap tools you can use to create content. For instance, you will find several free photo editing apps like VSCO cam, Snapseed and StoriesEdit as well as inexpensive scheduling platforms like Planoly.
Unlike search, your audience isn’t actively looking for solutions to a problem, nor will they necessarily have a strong intent to buy anything. They are generally there to explore, share and engage with the content they see. However, if you provide stunning visuals accompanied by engaging copy, they are more likely to “click the link in your bio” and browse your website.
Visuals should be your top priority when using social media so that it stops them mid-scroll. It is a well-captured image or creative graphic that will grab people’s attention first - and not the words.
Brand Awareness and Online Reputation
Online reputation management is not always easy to deal with on Google. It’s very visible, and often, there's not a lot that can be done to counteract any responses in real-time. Social media platforms are perfect for businesses who want to respond to feedback, criticism and comments quickly. Customers appreciate knowing that their comments, questions and opinions are being received, heard and answered. By responding to your audience in real-time, you are showing that you care about the performance of your product/service, as well as the satisfaction of your customers.
An effective tactic for brands and businesses looking to increase their visibility and brand awareness is leveraging relevant influencers. Consumers are more inclined to purchase if someone they know or trust recommends and talks highly of that product or service.
One thing that search and social both do successfully is paid advertising. As social platforms become more saturated with competition, paid search is a great way to increase your following and cut through the digital noise. Similar to search, investing money in your social media content will put your business in front of more potential customers who fit your target market. Paid search is extremely advantageous if you wish to drive more of the right kind of traffic to your website.
Should You Combine Search and Social?
Now that we’ve had a look at both tactics, it is clear that both search and social are highly effective but serve different purposes for consumers and businesses. One strategy may work better for your business, however, it might be a good idea to invest in both. At the end of the day, both search and social can help one another.
One way SEO can help your social media strategy is through keyword research. Like SEO, knowing what topics, hashtags and keywords your potential audiences uses can help guide your content and increase your brand awareness.
Social media is also a valuable tool for link building, an SEO tactic that encourages other brands and websites to link your website to their own. By sharing your website content, i.e. blog posts, on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, the chances of you obtaining links for high authority sites are higher.
Both your SEO and social media strategies should work together. After all, you want to look like one united brand. Your visuals on your website and social media platforms should be consistent and clear that you are, in fact, the same business. The content you share on your socials should also align with your SEO strategy.
Implement Search and Social into Your Marketing Strategy
If you think your business will benefit from both search and social, we can help you implement effective strategies guaranteed to drive results. Our SEO services include in-depth keyword research, content creation and backlink building strategies. We can also develop a social media strategy across multiple platforms by creating content, scheduling and managing your accounts. To speak to our team about implementing search and social, get in touch.