Is Social Media Replacing SEO?

Published on November 20, 2015

It's a fact: SEO just isn’t what it used to be.

In recent years, the tactics behind search engine optimization – the art of maximizing your visibility on Google and other search engines – have undergone an enormous shift, away from the old tricks (like stuffing your content with keywords) and toward new trends, better tailored to the way we use the Internet now, including an emphasis on social media.

The Rise of Social Media

Though the rumors of SEO's demise have been slightly exaggerated, there can be no denying that social media has quickly become just as important for businesses. Just look at the facts: According to a study by Experian, more than 26% of time spent on the Internet in America today is spent on social media sites, especially Facebook and Twitter. More importantly, the study also demonstrates that social media is far more effective than other lead generating activities, generating twice as many leads as trade shows, direct mail, email campaigns, and telemarketing combined.

And that’s not all. More and more, social media sharing is being used as a ranking signal (a magic ingredient in that "Google Juice") for search engines. As of 2012, Google has experimented with personal search results, which are strongly influenced by a user’s friends and social networking activity. The more a piece of content is shared, the more attractive it becomes, to both search engines and users.

SEO Has Staying Power

But let's not count SEO out just yet. Users may be spending more time on social sites, but that doesn’t change the fact that Google sees more than 2 billion hits every day.

Social media and Google also just serve different purposes for many users. People looking for fast answers, facts, and specific products or services are more likely to turn to Google than Facebook or Twitter. And even if users are finding out more about new products or services through their social networks, they’re still likely to investigate those results using search engines.

There’s also the question of what users you're looking for: Businesses trying to market a product to younger audiences need to make use of social media, whose users skew young. But for some industries – legal groups and financial firms, for instance – social media has a fairly limited use.

Take the Comprehensive Approach

All of this is to say that, while social media is still growing in importance for businesses, SEO remains a vital way to reach and maintain your audience.

In today’s internet landscape, neither SEO nor social media is going to get the job done completely. To be truly competitive, you need to employ both to your advantage.

Keep up a strong social media presence that links to your site and is easy to share, and maximize your SEO by making sure that you produce high quality, easy-to-use content that gives your user the richest experience possible.

Still unsure about how your company can use SEO? Looking to improve your content creation strategies? We’re happy to help! Don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. And as a special gift to you, click the link below to get a free copy of our eBook - Make Google (and Future Customers) Love You - it's all about your site, social media, and search engine optimization. 

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