Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Good vs. Evil, Light vs. Dark, Carbs vs. Lean Protein… all things that are essential and on going struggles to help find balance. Another recently evolving struggle that is creating a lot of buzz across the internet and business communities is the deliberation of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) vs. Social Media Networking for marketing purposes. The differences between the two are vast, but we often hear small businesses weighing one against the other in terms of where to invest. While SEO has a faster ROI rate on a website’s traffic than Social Media, a Facebook page with 100,000 ‘Likes’ and ongoing engagement has an amazing ROI as well. With that being said, let’s just get down to the brass tacks, nitty-gritty, and seedy underbelly about what these Internet marketing tactics offer.


What can be said? It predates the whole concept behind Social Networking, and is still vital to an overall marketing strategy regardless of what you’re promoting. What it is in Layman’s terms is basically search engine marketing: how to get your website to appear high in results when someone searches Google or another search engine.

First, there is pay for play SEO; you know that ‘suggestion box’ that comes up when you start typing in things to Google or Bing? Those brand names paid to be there; they also paid to be at the top of your search results or along the side in those ‘other search suggestions’ columns.

If you start typing things into Google, the Google Instant bar comes up and starts guessing what you’re typing. Unfortunately it searches just about the whole span of the Internet when you hit enter. That means that not only are you bombarded right off the bat with information that you don’t need, but then you see all these big name brands that you might not want.

Like all things we had to learn with the creation of the Internet was the thought process of navigating your search engine results. Depending on what I am searching for, I do not always look at the first link that comes up, in fact I don’t really look at the headlines that Google or Bing gives me, I look at the blurbs that are underneath them and if that information matches what I’m looking for then that is the site I want. Like everything else, people have different ways of navigating their search results, but most just haphazardly click where they see fit.

Because people are so consistent, they will continue to click one of those three links that come up, which means that those companies will clearly gain the most traffic to their website consistently. That is where SEO comes in, with keywords in your website copy, inbound links, and other things that help Google and other search engines rank your site higher. But the problem that too many companies over look is: once you get that traffic to your site, how do you engage and keep them there? (thus the argument in favor of focusing on social media)


What needs to be grasped about social media is the sheer volume and presence it all has. For example, just about everyone (500 million people, to be exact) has a Facebook profile used to interact with others in a different atmosphere than (crazy concept) speaking with them face-to-face or even over the phone. Side note: I had to find out through Facebook, twice, that a favorite cousin was getting married.

Now, the ever present Facebook, Twitter and the like have been emerging and growing faster and faster, have people really come to rely on them as a place to get new information? That answer might surprise you. Consider, for example, that Facebook has almost surpassed Google as the top visited site on the Internet.

The difference between Google and Facebook? (And, therefore, the difference between SEO outreach and social media outreach)… People go to Google when they want basic information or a phone number; people go to Facebook to form a long-term relationship with a brand.

The things you can do with a Fan Page on Facebook are essentially endless. But all have common ROI: an ongoing association with prospects and clients, and the creations of not just a visitor who clicks on your website once, but someone who becomes a brand ambassador.


At the end of the day, there are different companies that can benefit from more SEO than Social Media, and vice versa. Both are completely different in their approach of finding new information and getting it to the public.

SEO and Social Media have their places, and greatly help each other. Without a search engine you can easily find out whether your favorite company had a social media presence on top of finding their website. Both feed off of each other and help give the other meaning. Essentially, both SEO and Social Media Marketing are good things to take part in, it all depends on the business and the marketing strategy you want to execute.

If your resources are limited, which to choose? When deciding, remember that people are using search engines to look for something that is in the moment; they want to find what they’re looking for fast and with little problems. When people are logging onto Facebook, they are looking to engage and connect… be it to see what their friends are doing, play games, or, increasingly: learn of news, promotions an updates from their favorite brands.

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