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Building Good SEO is Still More Effective for Marketing than Social Networking

It seems that a lot of buzz in internet marketing circles now is about using social media to promote businesses and their brands. The huge potential audience and the immediacy of the medium’s ability to engage customers have made it an effective marketing tool. It seems that it has become more important to collect a huge amount of likes for your brand page on Facebook than it is to have a good ranking in the SERPs for your niche’s keywords. With the average business using social media for around 6 hours per week,1 it has become more important to know what sort of return is being generated for all of the time that has been spent.

One of the major weaknesses of marketing on social media sites is the short shelf life of posts. The average life of a post on Facebook can be as short as ten minutes or as long as ten hours with an average of just over six and a half hours. This means that to keep your brand in front of your potential customers it is necessary to continually update your status and then they fade away almost as quickly as they are posted contributing little or nothing to your long term Internet presence. Obviously, the purpose of pushing such a short term social media message is to drive traffic to your website where it can be converted into revenue. But how much of your income is really derived from social media?

Statistics would indicate that the majority of last click traffic on corporate blogs comes from search engines with 91% of all Internet users using a search engine compared to the 66%2 that use social media sites. The importance of a good SERP ranking is even growing with the number of people that use a search engine more than once a day increasing by 19%2 in the past eight years. This is because of the growing relevance of the results that are returned by the search engines now and it goes hand in hand with the growing trend, especially among mobile users, to research products online before they make a purchase. Overwhelmingly, the content that will give them the information that they need to decide to make a purchase will be on a website not on a Facebook page. Just this growing use of mobile Internet searches makes having good SEO more productive than social media marketing.

The way to develop good SEO is to include quality content on your website, especially with the development of semantic search functions that are being introduced at the moment. Keyword stuffed, irrelevant pages of content will inevitably get shuffled to the lower reaches of the SERPs and return few, if any hits, and worse still, will contribute nothing to your online presence. Building good SEO has a more far reaching effect than just putting your website on the front page of Google; it establishes you as an authority in your niche.

This marks the real difference between SEO marketing and social media promotions. Your corporate website is an opportunity to promote yourself as a leader in your field and your Facebook connections offer the chance to tell people about it. Without the webpage, to build the foundation on the social media market won’t produce any customers. The key to using social media to market your business is to have it direct them to your optimized website where they can really develop a relationship with you and your business.

1. Social Media Marketing Industry Report 2012, Michael A Stelzner
2. Search Engine Use 2012, Purcell Brenner Lane, Pew Research Center

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