Unlike some 6-7 years ago when the only kid in the blog was Facebook, we now have literally dozens of places to network, build relationships and to market our blogs and businesses…
And there comes a question that evolved from a post on my Facebook page that I shared – is social media turning into the better medium for finding prospects, creating leads and generating sales or do search engines still hold their ground with surges of highly relevant traffic?
That is exactly what I will try to answer in this post! Let’s get going!
Obtaining Backlinks Nowadays…
Truth be told if you don’t have enough links, pointing to your blog, even the best possible on-site optimization might not get you the rankings you were hoping for.
And what’s the problem with backlinks?
Well there are several:
- “Organic” backlinking is pretty much non-existent – People prefer to like and retweet, rather than link to a blog post within an article they are writing.
- There’s no easy way to get those links – Methods such as submitting your site to directories or leaving comments on other blogs are not effective anymore (have they ever been?).
- You need to spend a lot of time – One of the few genuine ways to obtain backlinks is guest blogging. Articles must be unique and that means that aside from your blog’s content, you need to find time for at least two-three articles for other blogs every month. Not everyone is capable of achieving this.
- There are the big players – You can hardly beat the ones who were there before the social media era and who were able to get full benefit of link building back in the days. Since such blogs hold first page positions for many of the “hot” terms, you must focus on long-tail keywords, which requires extensive research.
Google’s Frequent Algorithm Changes
From one problem to the other… Algorithm changes – aren’t we seeing those far too often lately?
And although according to Google’s Matt Cutts, the idea comes down to satisfying the need of those who search, I am not sure if that’s really happening. Without doubt thousands and thousands of bad results were cleaned up from the SERPS with the last algortihm changes, but a ton of quality sites were affected as well.
Basically, in order to stay on top of Google’s game, a webmaster has to constantly adapt to all those “small” changes to how displaying results works. That means coming up with new ways to acquire backlinks, putting a lot of time into editing already published blog posts and all kinds of other tweaks.
Social Media and Quality of Traffic
Until I got my hands on social media, I thought that referral traffic wasn’t all that good and organic was the key.
That was when I began changing my mind. As of now, Twitter is not only where most of my referral traffic comes from, in fact Twitter is responsible for almost three times more traffic than what search engines are driving to my blog.
Although it was only a couple of months back that I dug into Facebook and Google+ more seriously, numbers are pretty decent and constantly growing. The same can hardly be said about search engines, as numbers tend to fluctuate all the time. One day I see fifty clicks, the other day there are only a couple…
And what about quality?
Facebook probably gives me the most targeted traffic – low bounce rates and good time on site metrics. Twitter scores slightly lower and still not bad. In general metrics reveal that social media and SEO traffic aren’t that far apart in terms of “targeting”.
Social Media and SEO – the Verdict
I guess we can’t say there’s really a “winner” as to which traffic source ( social media or search engine optimization) is better.
The really good thing about social media is that getting into it, making new connections and converting all of this into basically what you want (i.e. the usual goals – traffic, subscribers, dollars) is all up to you. The only requirement is being present – day in and day out.
As for SEO – many say that once you get the wheel spinning, traffic is pretty much passive and you simply sit there and wait for it to come. When we talk about small blogs and sites however, keeping that flow of highly targeted traffic, requires constant link building, constant search for the best-performing keywords and a bunch of other daunting rituals. And in the end you can never be certain whether or not that article you optimized so well and linked to a couple of times will reach the elusive first page…
The guest blogging quest I started recently will be the definitive proof to whether or not link building is the way to go. And as hard as ranking on the first pages for the right keywords might seem, I’d strongly recommend you to cut the hesitation and start writing guest articles! They might just happen to prove more valuable than the content you publish on your blog!
After all in the blogging world it all comes down to trying, testing, failing and succeeding.
So, all in all as far as my opinion on the social media and SEO topic goes, I believe that now is the time of social. Now is the time when being real, making connections with real people and proving that you can be trusted matters. Now however is also the time when you should put real effort towards achieving your goals and a guest post or two are definitely not going to hurt your reputation.
Now on to you guys!
Which one of the two plays a more important role in your strategy – is it social or is it SEO?
Which is in your opinion better at connecting people?
Let me know in the comments section!