SEO or social media: Which will have more impact on my business?
SEO and social media are two digital marketing methods used by businesses. But which will get you better results? It depends very much on the type of business you own and what you’re trying to achieve. Below are some of the different benefits of SEO and social media compared.
SEO is word-focused
SEO relies heavily on targeting keywords and keyphrases. Images and videos can play a part, but they are not essential to gaining high rankings.
If you’re the type of company that can promote itself better through words than images, it is likely that SEO will benefit you more. For example, accountancy firms and lawyers don’t have much to promote in terms of imagery, and typically fare better by using SEO to target keywords.
Social media is image-focused
The most successful business social media posts typically contain images or videos. Text-only posts can gain traction and even go viral, but it is much rarer.
Consequently, social media is typically a much better platform to focus on if you’re able to promote your product/service better through images than words. For example, tattoo artists often find that social media is a better tool for converting customers than SEO.
SEO is essential for niche planned purchases
There are certain niche products and services that people go out of their way to search for and are unlikely to buy on impulse. This includes things like specialist car parts or niche manufacturing services.
For these types of products and services, SEO is essential. Social media is likely to be less effective – while you can target ads, you can only target them so far.
Social media is better for impulse purchases
Social media is a much better tool for promoting products and services that people may buy on impulse. This typically includes clothing, mobile game apps and takeaway restaurants.
If there’s any chance people will purchase your product or service on impulse, consider using social media. SEO is typically not effective for impulse purchases because it requires people to search first rather than being triggered to make purchases by ads.
SEO gets long-term results
It may take 6 months for an SEO campaign to have an impact. However, you could find that your rankings stay high for a long time afterwards – in some cases over a year without an additional SEO campaign. Of course, for best results, it’s worth paying an SEO agency to run continuous campaigns so that you’re always ranking high.
Because it can take a while to take effect, SEO is clearly not beneficial for things you want to promote immediately such as imminents events or current limited promotions. It is however ideal for products and services that you plan on providing long-term.
Social media can get immediate results
You can start getting results for social media advertising campaigns almost straight away. This makes social media a much better platform for promoting imminents events or current limited promotions.
Social media can be used as a long-term strategy, but you’ll have to keep running new advertising campaigns every 90 days (the maximum length of time you can run ad campaigns on Facebook). Once a campaign is over, the ad is gone until you run it again, unlike high rankings which don’t immediately go away.
Ideally, you need both
Whatever type of business you’re running, it is likely that you can still benefit from both SEO and social media. Investing in both can result in a much greater web presence and will help you to convert different customers – some of whom may be more likely to use social media and some of whom may be more likely to use search engines.