The short answer if you’re tight on time and really don’t want to read my stuff (sniffle, sniffle)… is that social media and SEO wear the pants in this duo.
I know, SO boring when there’s a tie! Where’s the blood? The guts? The glory?
No TKO? Sheesh.
Alas, it’s true my friend.
Search engine optimization (SEO) and social media are catchphrases you hear and read about on a daily basis if you’re in the Internet business. And if (a VERY BIG IF) you don’t already know, these are the two top Internet marketing strategies that people are blogging, tweeting, discussing and debating about ad nauseam.
SEO and social media both have specific goals to fulfill.
The goal of SEO is to make you No. 1 in the search page rankings of Google, Yahoo and Bing. And maybe a few other search engines, but really… who cares about those?
Social media, on the other hand, is meant to get people talking to you and about you—it’s about creating a buzz through blogs, forums, social bookmarking, etc.
Ultimately, the goals of both SEO and social media are to make you popular, which, hopefully helps you make more money in whatever your business happens to be.
So now you’re wondering, is it really more important to be popular on Google (SEO) or on Twitter (social media)?
C’mon, do we really need a debate on this?
Like I said, both are important!
You want to be popular on both Google and Twitter.
Let’s make that all-encompassing—You want you and your brand to be popular anywhere. EVERYWHERE even. And to be popular anywhere and everywhere on the net, your Internet marketing strategy should utilize both SEO and social media strategies—they should go hand in hand. Kind of like a marriage of sorts.
OK, so let’s talk a little background.
SEO strategies have evolved through the years. Early on, SEO was the realm of webmasters and programmers who enjoyed bucking Google’s search algorithm, which is geek speak to describe the process used to determine which page goes first in search rankings.
SEO was about: optimized site structure, meta data and descriptions, scripts, cross linking, internal linking and keyword-rich copy—or keyword stuffing as I, and many others, disgustedly dub it.
Yes, I loathe keyword stuffing. You’ll notice the bulk of my posts probably could be better keyword optimized… but it totally ruins my blog mojo so I don’t.
I don’t even do it for clients anymore just because it’s horrible content to write. (I do offer SEO’d content to clients, I just refuse to go hog wild with the keywords… 1-2% density is IT.) Nor do I use totally retarded keyword phrases that make no sense within a piece. Ya’ll know what I’m talking about too!
But I feel a rant coming on, so back to topic.
In the early stages of Internet marketing, SEO was about tricking Google, “was” being the operative word. This is no longer the case.
An effective SEO strategy today entails creating and maintaining a website that is relevant and accurate. You can trick the algorithm as much as you want—but at the end of the day, it’s not the scripts or the architecture that makes you popular.
It’s relevant and accurate content that does. Sure, architecture, linking and keyword-rich text are still important—they are still the foundations that make a good SEO strategy. Ultimately, however, an effective SEO strategy is about providing good quality content. Preferably engaging, quality content.
Hmmm … content.
Wait a minute… pop quiz.
But isn’t social media all about content too—I mean… good quality content?
Prize for the winner!
OK, I fibbed, there’s no prize but I’ll give you a cyber hug for getting it right!
Social media all is about creating buzz through solid and relevant content. How else can you generate comments and re-tweets on your blog? How else can a video or a photo become so popular it goes “viral”?
To be popular, then, means providing great content.
So, you can tweet and blog and get the word out around Facebook. That can create a decent amount of buzz. Perhaps, after a few weeks or months, word gets around and you increase your clout or influence on both Twitter and Facebook.
That’s a decent strategy, right?
Yeah, sure it is.
But honey… you can do WAY better.
Have you checked your site analytics lately? Have you checked where your “clicks” come from? If you haven’t, check it now. Go on, I’ll wait.
Ooohh … oooh… do you see something? Do you?
Does it say “Google”?
Better yet, how many clicks did Google generate?
Uh-Oh, it generated more clicks than Twitter and Facebook you say? No way!
Let’s face it.
You may have thousands of followers on Twitter and thousands more fans on Facebook. That’s awesome. I have thousands myself and they rock. I love them, and I hope they love me.
However, while thousands of fans and followers is a great number, can you honestly say that you have more clout than Google, with its millions of users daily? Not likely.
At the same time, does Google create a sense of community and encourage users to talk to you and about you, in the same way that Twitter and Facebook does?
I’d give that a big, resounding H-E double hockey sticks NO, because social media and SEO strategies each have specific uses. They each have a method to their madness.
They do share one goal—to make you popular.
That said, why not use both? That’s called smart and if you’re reading my blog, you gotta be smart right? 😉