SEO strategy VS Social Media strategy, breakdown and analysis

SEO strategy VS Social Media strategy, breakdown and analysis

Yesterday I’ve engaged in some conversations on forum and met this cool girl – Ti Roberts. One post on her website really intrigued me – 7 things I hate about SEO. So Ti is strictly against SEO and all-in for social media strategy.

But which one is really better?

Clearly, both of these strategies can work spectacularly, under right circumstances. As an example of pure SEO strategy based website, we can take Matt has amazing results and yet all that he does is SEO.

EDIT (08.03.2013): Dang it, turned out it’s quite the opposite of what I thought! – Zero Link building experiment. Anyways.. let it be.

For social media based strategy we can takeĀ Ti has less traffic, but we clearly can see the pattern – 19k visitors in 90 days and it continues to grow rapidly.

So I’ve decided to analyze both strategies and see which one can come out on top.

seo strategy vs social media strategy face off

Let’s look at the SEO strategy pros first:

  • Very targeted traffic (completely controlled by you with keywords and on-page optimization).
  • Lasting results (if you do it right, your rankings will stay there for a loong time).
  • Little or no “maintenance” time (when you ranked some of your posts and you continue to produce new quality content on a regular basis, you don’t really have to build more backlinks to your old posts – your overall authority will grow and increase the rankings automatically. Though building a little bit of backlinks every 10 days or so, does help).
  • Passive traffic (once you ranked particular post or page, you just sit there and enjoy results).
  • Easily outsourced (you don’t need to do backlinking or on-page optimization yourself – there are thousands of SEO experts willing to do the work for ~$3/hr).
  • Endless potential (you can rank for many huge keywords with tens of thousands of searches).
  • Perfect for any kind of affiliate marketing (Google doesn’t care if you promote Vietnamese dried bananas or chow-chow dog training courses)

Now cons of SEO strategy:

  • Needs a lot of content (you can’t get truly massive results with 10 articles. Or even 20. You need at least 40+ in most cases).
  • Slow start-up time (you cannot get good, measurable results after a week of launching your new site, no matter how hard you work).
  • Needs a lot of work (backlinking is quite a chore and trust me, your website will need a lot of links…).
  • On-page optimization can make your content uglier (doesn’t matter what fonts you choose, sometimes it’s hard to keep your post looking nice and clean with all those H1-H3 tags, bolding, underlines and italics).
  • Quite technical and might be hard to learn (SEO is not the best choice for most seniors or those who are not technically inclined, let’s face it).
  • Boring :) (yes, if you build backlinks on your own, and you don’t know how to “spice up” the process, you might die of boredom, eventually).
  • Not always predictable and progresses in non-linear way (you can’t predict when your site is going to rank for a certain keyword, especially in the beginning, when your site has very little authority. And you do a LOT of work, and get very little results for quite some time, and only then it begins to turn around – your traffic starts to explode and you actually do less).

Now I will try analyzing Social Media strategy cons and pros.

Social Media strategy pros first:

  • Building relationships (with every new person you meet your chances for success grow – he might be the key to your puzzle, who knows).
  • It’s quite fun (commenting on topics you like and engaging in conversations with new people with different opinions and views is rewarding)
  • Fast start-up (you can get loads of traffic much, much faster than with SEO).
  • No technical skills required (anyone can learn how to be effective communicator, eventually).
  • Not that much time required (you don’t need to spend hours and hours daily to get enough traffic to actually see results).
  • Predictable and progresses in a more linear way (you do more work – you get more results, simple as that. And in a long-term it starts to grow faster and faster).

Social media strategy cons:

  • Needs more maintenance (all of your comments, posts, guest-posts or messages will eventually go to the second page of the site, third, and so on. And direct traffic will start to dry out).
  • Not always targeted (a lot of people will come from all kind of niches and businesses with their own products in hand, so they are not going to be interested in your deal/product/service, unless you can offer them improved results in their own business).
  • Very hard to get extraordinary amounts of traffic (we’re talking about 300,000 – 500,000 visitors per month or so. Unless you are viral king or queen of social media it isn’t going to happen, plus there are not enough hours in a day to make it happen with grunt work)
  • Not easily outsourced (it’s hard to give your social media accounts to anyone, let alone find someone who can produce great results by talking to new people. Of course you can hire social media professionals who will talk with all your leads, even call them and close the sales.. but they don’t come cheap).
  • Not affiliate marketing friendly (people tend to frown up and scowl when they see pure affiliate sites with little personal details or interaction).

For those of you who are lazy (most of you) I’ve slapped together a diagram comparing both strategies.

SEO strategy VS Social Media strategy

seo strategy vs social media strategy breakdown schematic

click on the image to view it in full-size

Apparently, it’s pretty even. I thought SEO would be much better. Nooooo!

But honestly, I believe that both strategies are required for massive, lasting success. And they complement each other well.

What do you think? Which strategy do you use for your business and why? Leave your thoughts below.

Best wishes,

seo strategy, social media strategy

About Aleks

A dreamer, bodybuilder, musician, entrepreneur and a person who is helping people (and animals!) to live a better life.

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24 Responses to SEO strategy VS Social Media strategy, breakdown and analysis

  1. Ti Roberts July 10, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    Truly fantastic post, Aleks!

    You’ve done a great job at comparing social media vs. SEO.

    I actually do think that some SEO is good – the bare minimum, basic things, like shorting the permalink url on blog posts with long titles.

    I also think that SEO is more beneficial to small biz’s that are trying to gain more local traffic and exposure. Or for REALLY narrow niches with very minimal search competition. However, for larger more saturated niches like IM and blogging, social media is def the way to go.

    Thanks for sharing your insights and for the mention; I appreciate it.

    I’ll be sure to share this post with my social network and share it on bizsugar as well.



    • Aleks July 11, 2013 at 11:32 am #

      Hi, Ti!

      Thank you very much for taking your time to read it and comment!
      I really appreciate it :)

      And many thanks for sharing!

      I will be reading your posts to improve my social media knowledge.
      And I will return the favor (sharing).

      Best wishes,

  2. Neil Ferree July 14, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    The way see it, social shares is the new seo and their both connected. I like your breakdown chart and agree with your red x and green check marks. The issue most SMB have with all this, is deciding what they are wiling and able to do themselves, and which they need to hire expertise and since being social and doing social are not one in the same, finding the addt’l 10-20 hours to do it right, is where the rubber meets the road.

    • Aleks July 14, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

      Hi, Neil!

      Nice to meet you! Google definitely places a much bigger impact on social sharing right now, so you are kinda right saying that social shares is the new SEO.

      I might look into your services in the future – writing new content, building all the backlinks and social exposure, and helping your list could be exhausting.

      Thanks for the comment, I appreciate it.

      Best wishes,

  3. Steve July 15, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    Hey Aleks

    You have done a brilliant job I liked the way you have presented the points for both SEO and Social Media. SEO is a ongoing and long lasting process whilst Social Media gives an instant impact to boost the traffic with immediate effect. But before making a Social post, we also need to understand some SEO ins and outs to get the post viral and more worthy.

    Thanks for the post Aleks.

    • Aleks July 15, 2013 at 8:51 am #

      Hi, Steve!

      Thank you very much!

      I agree, combining both strategies is far more powerful than just relying on a single one.

      And thanks for leaving a comment.

      Best wishes,

  4. Matthew Woodward July 15, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    Thanks for the mention :)

    • Aleks July 15, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

      Hi, Matthew!

      You are welcome! :)

      Best wishes,

  5. Clay K July 15, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    Wow! this is a great article to stumble upon! I need more “clear” info on SEO because it is a true science but Matt C and his team only give clues instead of hard facts. I have one Small Biz site & all I want are some quality guidelines.

    Your info is QUALITY !

    • Aleks July 15, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

      Hi, Clay!

      Matt C. doesn’t give facts because people could use the knowledge to their advantage (and they probably would).

      I have a lot of factual data, click on SEO knowledge category on top of the website, and you’ll get SEO posts.

      And thanks for your comment!

      Best wishes,

  6. Yifat July 22, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    Why can’t you do affiliate marketing with social media?

    • Aleks July 22, 2013 at 10:25 pm #

      Hi, Yifat!

      You can. But it’s not that effective. In most cases you just come across as a spammer.
      At least that’s my experience.

      Thank you for comment!

      Best wishes,

  7. priyankaagrawal August 7, 2013 at 10:48 am #

    Here I am sharing Free 2013 Latest DoFollow Bookmarking Site List For SEO ( search engine optimization) for Ranking on First Page Of Search Engines like Google. social bookmarking websites, which can help you in creating free backlinks for your blog. Submit your site or blog to all these social bookmarking sites and get free backlinks and visitors.

    Today i completed my premium social bookmarking sites list It contains total 100+ sites for bulk social bookmarking sites submission.

    • Aleks August 9, 2013 at 9:03 am #

      Hi, Priyankagrawal!

      Thanks for the comment!
      Sorry, I can’t share 100+ url’s here, in the comment field.
      Please put them in a .txt file and upload on your server.

      And I will gladly post a link to the file.

      Best wishes,

  8. Elia Morling August 23, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    Hi Aleks, great article! I agree with all of your points except one. I think you can be way more targeted in social media, because you can actually pin point influencers and entire tribes of people. Your messaging, in terms of language, values and purpose, can be far more relevant and tailored.

    I think your point about people coming in with the wrong profile goes for both SEO and Social.

    What are your thoughts on that?


    • Aleks August 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

      Hi, Elia!

      Nice to meet you! And thank you for the comment, appreciate it.

      Yes, both SEO and Social Media strategies can certainly suffer from un-targeted traffic.

      Well, the way I see it is this – Social Media can be highly targeted only if you build your community around your niche/interest. So you have to start from ground zero, and handpick people who you want to follow, befriend, etc. Then build relationships..

      When you already had social network accounts, and you decided to promote something, traffic can’t be very targeted.

      It also depends on the niche. Blogging, for example, is a very vast “niche”. And very vague. You can’t be targeted in it, no matter what you do. If your main interest is “Mayan calendar” or “Mayan culture”, for example, it will be much easier because these are extremely specific topics.

      And as I’ve said in the end of the post – combining both strategies is the way to go. I’ve recently bought BuzzBundle and it works wonderfully for Social Media. Really happy with it.

      Best wishes,


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