In the world of digital marketing, it’s a tough battle for visibility. But what makes for a more important ally, search or social? With limited resources, how do you choose? These questions are exactly why we decided to hold a Battle Royale: Search vs Social. Who will win in this epic battle? Read on to find out!
In this corner, you have Search Engine Optimization!
In the beginning (cue dramatic music), back before there was MySpace or Facebook, there was search. And it was one of the main paths to your company online. Because of that, making sure that your website was search engine optimized (SEO'd) was incredibly critical. Back then, it wasn't too difficult, though. There wasn't nearly as much competition online (not as many websites as there are now) and Google's algorithms weren't as sophisticated. In short, it was easier to gain and hold onto that coveted #1 spot, but also a lot easier to game the system.
In this corner, you have our challenger, Social Media!
Social media was a game changer because it brought the weight of word of mouth marketing and earned media online. It quickly became easier than ever for people to see where their friends were and what they liked. Those social endorsements were powerful influencers on people’s conscious and subconscious decisions. There was suddenly a new pathway for people to find information and websites. Blind searching wasn’t abandoned, but social media quickly gained ground. So even if you weren't high in search rankings, if you had an active social life (haha, see what we did there?), then people could still find your site, and, more importantly, your message.
So does that mean you don't need SEO anymore? Of course you still need SEO! It's a huge part of how people find your site now and it will probably always be needed in some way or another.
Does it mean you need social media? YUP.
At the risk of sounding like an after school special, we really believe you need both. Yes, we’re all winners here.
Getting SEO and Social in your Corner
So how do you deal with it and not drive yourself crazy? I'm so glad you asked. It's all about developing a solid content marketing strategy. Then the mediums don't matter as much as the message. Sure, you have to adapt your message based on the audience and medium, but it makes it more about what customers and prospective customers want to read and know.
These days, Google isn't completely open with how they calculate rankings (for good reason!), but we do know that they count social buzz as a factor. In other words, how much interest your website is generating though social media sites, review sites, and the inbound links determines how high up on the search engine results page (SERP) you are.
Word on the digital streets is that it's only going to become more important to integrate SEO and social. Especially since Google has started merging the two result types in their SERP. By taking public yet personal stories, images, and links from Google+ and integrating them into traditional web search results, Google is blurring the lines between the SEO-only based search of the past and the SEO + social search of the future. So, your results for “birthday” return not only links to pages for birthday cake recipes and greeting cards, but also photos from your best friend’s birthday party last weekend, and a Google+ public post your mom made about how much she still uses the Wii you got her two years ago for her birthday. Pretty cool, huh?
Want to build your social presence and optimize your SEO techniques? We’re ready and raring to help you find your way in the search of the future.