In today’s world of online marketing, it can be a challenge for small businesses to choose between SEO and social media. Where are you putting your marketing dollars, and how do you  decide where to prioritize for small businesses trying to improve online marketing and SEO?

In an ideal world, any online marketing strategy includes heavy duty work in both SEO and social media. The best way to approach online marketing is to do it all – you want to grasp every opportunity to get your company out there. Ultimately, you cannot ignore either realm. You may have to prioritize though and put more money into one area over the other. Let’s take a closer look.

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Photo credit: http://blog.twmg.com.au/seo-vs-social-media-marketing-which-one-should-you-prioritise/

SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is vital for any company. SEO makes a company’s website more visible in searches. If a potential customer doesn’t see your company in a Google search, for example, that person may take their business to a competitor, or may not know you and your services exist. To improve ranking in Google searches, companies have to focus on producing quality content on their websites, make sure their websites are structured for optimizing the Google ranking, increase the number of links to a website from other valuable websites, and include the right keywords on website pages.

SEO can sound overwhelming, but it’s an important investment to make. No one wants to lose traffic to competitors because their website isn’t optimized for SEO.

Now let’s talk social media. Social media is where people spend their time! According to Moz, Facebook has more than 1.19 billion users who visit the site monthly and up to 728 million users who login daily. On Twitter, more than 500 million tweets are posted every single day. When considering that 72% of online adults are on social, you have to be on social to reach as many customers as possible.

Not only does social improve visibility, but it’s also vital in developing brand authority and connecting with influencers on each social media platform. According to Google, being on social will not directly impact your ranking. However, have you noticed when you type a company name into Google that the company’s social media profiles almost always appear on the first page of the search? Therefore, social does play a role in today’s SEO.

Additionally, if you don’t stay on top of social, you may find a customer with a bad review or notice you haven’t responded to negative customer feedback or provided the best customer service possible.

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Social also allows you to reach the demographic you’re looking for. For example, if your demo is youth, you’ll definitely want to connect with your customers on Twitter and Instagram.

Basically, if you’re not on social, you’re not in the conversation – statistics show that customers nowadays use social media to connect with brands, read reviews on products they are considering purchasing, and get entertainment through quality content posted by other users and companies. Be a part of the conversation and build a voice and personality for your brand by linking quality content and driving traffic to your website through social.

Another important facet of social to note is the way users today use social media search engines to find brands. So to be totally in the SEO game, you need to treat social media as its own search engine that people will use to find you.

If you feel you have to choose between SEO and social, then you’ll want to consider the demographic you are trying to reach. Let’s say you have a young customer base. Then social media will play a big part in your brand’s engagement with its customers because youth spends quite a bit of time on social media accounts.

Think about the goals you are trying to reach for your business. If you want to build brand authority or engage more with consumers, then social is definitely important. However, if you’re more focused right now on increasing traffic, then you need to work more on SEO and on obtaining more links to your website.

How much you can spend may dictate what you choose to go with. If you have the budget, definitely do both.

Feel free to reach out to Square 1 Group for your SEO and online marketing needs. We are a boutique web development firm with a history of happy clients in the L.A. area. We can build your company’s website for you and optimize it for SEO. Contact us at http://square1grp.com/.