SEO vs. Social Media – Which Wins?

SEO & Social Media – It’s not a competition but a partnership

It used to be that SEO was the holy grail of Internet Marketing and the online world was ablaze with the opportunity and success of optimizing your website for the Search Engines to gain visibility, traffic, leads and sales.

Then, all of a sudden the social web exploded with Facebook, Twitter and Social Bookmarking where everyone could chat about your product or service, write a review and share it with their ‘friends’.

The naysayers naturally announced that this was the end of SEO, as they usually do when pretty much anything new and exciting happens in the world of search. People started asking questions like, “How will social media affect SEO and my rankings?” “SEO vs. Social Media?” and many made their opinions heard about which one of these marketing strategies are the best. The fact of the matter is this…

The Killer Is Dead – Stop Using Absolutes in Blog Posts

SEO & Social Media is intricately linked and cannot be separated.

SEO at its core is based on two major elements, Relevance (Onsite SEO) and Authority (Offsite SEO).

• Onsite SEO (Relevance) refers to the elements on a website that determines the topic of your site and relevance to that topic. This would be things like, keyword usage, content, page titles, descriptions and a whole bunch more. All of these elements allow the user and the Search Engines to know exactly what your site is about and whether your content is relevant to the topic of your site. More importantly, it allows users to determine whether your site and information is what they are looking for.

• Offsite SEO (Authority) refers to the mentions of your website and brand by others online. Strictly speaking the authority of your site increases as others point links to your website. Each link to your site acts as a vote for your site, brand, products/services. Essentially when someone links to your site they are saying: “I vouch for these guys, their products/services are excellent and I recommend them”.

Social Media is about starting conversation and nurturing relationships. Users of Social Media share their experiences and recommend valuable resources to their networks. Social Media is a platform from which your brand or personal reputation can be improved. The golden rule here is to provide quality; great service, superior products, and unique, well researched information.

We all rely on recommendations from others on certain topics that we may not be versed in. Let’s look at an example.

I’m looking for a new digital camera and I’m looking for quality at a great price. I’m no electronics guru and could make the wrong choice when relying purely on the recommendations of the company or outlet providing digital cameras. Instead I search for ratings and recommendations from real people who have used the product through Social Media platforms or user ratings and make a more informed decision.

Social Media is not just Facebook and Twitter. Blogs, social bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit, Delicious and StumbleUpon, wikis, product review sites and loads more are all part of the Social Web. Social Media is anything that relies on users to share, comment and converse.

Contributing to the Social web with authoritative, interesting and useful information will get you noticed, building your brand and getting you exposure. This ups your chances of being recommended and gaining ‘votes’ for your site, and that’s what you want.
So how does SEO & Social Media supplement each other?

Let’s say some of the readers find this article to be an interesting and noteworthy resource (which I hope you will), and they decide to tweet the article or subscribe to the RSS feed or even republish the post on their own blogs with credit to the author. This could lead to new twitter followers, blog subscribers and a few valuable links to the post.

Hold on…that’s Offsite SEO, link building, brand building and an increase in authority! Some of you might then say that Social Media wins the battle, we are creating authority purely through social media and therefore creating SEO value.

Without SEO efforts you will not maximize SEO value. Doing a few simple things like, targeting correct keywords, optimizing the Title of my post, and working on getting the right anchor text in my inbound links will increase the SEO value that Social Media contributes to this post.

Social Media and SEO are only 2 strategies in your Online Marketing arsenal. Striking a balance between these and other strategies such as email marketing will boost the efficacy of your marketing efforts.

It is plain to see that debating whether SEO or Social Media is best is beside the point and of no consequence. Rather ask: “How do I implement SEO & Social Media together with other marketing strategies to get the best out of my Online Marketing campaign?”

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Alek Jones, who writes on the topics of SEO, Social Media and online marketing as a whole for Networth Media Internet Marketing Company. Twitter:@networthmedia

3 thoughts on “SEO vs. Social Media – Which Wins?

  1. Now we have go with both while social media still unable to overtake SEO so they need to work together.
    So far everybody still taken social media as unfollow link but it bring lot of traffic . That why every business is try hard to take part in social media business even their target market not in facebook while mostly is youngster.
    Why they still take part , because they able to change their perception toward youngster and build brand awareness to the market.
    That why as a internet marketer you still need to focus on SEO and Social Media.

  2. I agree with Craig. When utilized correctly and organically SEO and Social Media play a separate but also equal role to overall strategy after your site is optimized. We found that out quickly and knew those services were both needed.

  3. If done properly they will together.

    Make sure you have all your onpage SEO done correctly before implementing your offpage SEO and Social media.

    1. Keyword or phrase in your title – you want to make sure it’s somewhere in there. It would be best if the title is your keyword or phrase.

    2. Keyword or phrase in the URL – again, just make sure it’s in there. If the keyword or phrase is an “exact match” URL, that is best. However, that is not a necessity to rank, whatsoever. Google probably only gives a small boost for this.

    3. Keyword or phrase in the “description” – this is the part that comes up underneath your title tag in the search engines. It is super-important to Google because it is all about delivering relevant results.

    4. Keyword or phrase in your “H1” header – In html coding, there is something known as headers, H1, H2, etc. Make sure your keyword or phrase is in the H1 tag and it’s best if your keyword or phrase is the H1 tag.

    5. Keyword or phrase used on page – Use it from 3-10% density. Usually in the first paragraph somewhere in the middle of the content and then in the last paragraph.

    6. Page linked to from other pages of the site with keyword in anchor text, links to other pages on the site, and links to external sites

    7. A note on meta keyword tags – they don’t matter. But put your keyword there anyway… why not?

    Once you have implemented the above actions continue with your social media, backlinking, (advertising) to give your company, sites and products the exposure they need.


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