This is my first blog post for Search Academy, so go easy on me! I am by no means an expert in digital marketing; I am the Business Development Manager here, with just over 3 years experience in the digital marketing space and a real passion for learning about the digital marketing and advertising industry.
In order for me to continue my learning’s, I am constantly asking questions to our team of experts and researching/reading articles and opinions on the web.
The Internet in short, fascinates me!
The one topic that I constantly come across online is: Social Media .Vs. SEO. There are so many opinions from ‘team SEO’ and ‘team Social’ that I thought it would be interesting to give an opinion from someone who is neither an SEO Specialist or SMO expert, here what I found out along the way.
SEO is complicated common sense
The basics are easy, but it’s hard to do well! Quality content and web design are now as, if not more, important than link building. The issue is around the ’Quality’ of the content. It is successful if it is engaging and relevant, but fails if it is over optimized. Web Design has a science behind it, the colors, the style, the UI/IA/UX but we constantly change as users, so must your page.
We buy products and services online in 2 stages.
Research and Specific; The research phase is where social and SEO work together for finding opinions/reviews, but it is then generally after we have researched, that SEO comes in, because we will then specifically search Google/Bing/Yahoo for a product/service or brand in a more specific way i.e. ‘iPhone 5’ because we have already looked for ‘ Best phone 2013′
SEO is less risky than SMO
Social media, from a reputation perspective is far riskier and damaging than SEO if done wrong (we’ve all heard about angry employee twitter storms). SEO, being less ‘sexy’ than social is always going to be better for selling ‘boring’ products i.e. Harvey Norman’s Facebook page is not where I would go to look at vacuum cleaners.
Consumers buy on trust
Social Media does build more trust that influences buying power than SEO. SEO is the best source for driving conversions.
Google + will become more important than ever
Google+ is the buck to the trend, trying to close the relationship between SEO and Social further (of course Google has it’s own reasons to do this) as search rankings will be determined not only on the content of the author but their reputation.
My final thoughts:
I understand as a consumer and a part of this industry, that both SEO and SMO are important in different ways and they can work together as a team. I also understand that every industry behaves differently i.e. The consumer electronics industry is highly social media driven as we love to talk about our new phones, TVs and other gadgets, but in the health care industry, as a whole we don’t really talk about what’s going on down there (Embarrassing Illnesses TV show aside). Social, especially for ‘sexy’ visual products is highly important. SEO is important because we currently ‘buy’ from websites, not social channels.
The way we search and how we search for information is constantly changing and evolving, however I do not see search engines going anywhere soon, so the importance of SEO will continue to be important and relevant for brands to connect with their audience and sell more ‘product’.