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 http://matthewwoodward.co.uk. 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 take http://tiroberts.com. 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.
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
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.