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SEO vs Social Media: which is more important for a small business?

Which is better for your business… Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Social Media Marketing? The short answer is: “It depends.”


Let’s break it down from a consumer’s perspective. Imagine you’re looking for a new service. You don’t have any solid leads from friends, and you haven’t built up any trust or familiarity with a business yet. You’re simply on the hunt for a place to buy a product or service. Where do you start your search?


Facebook? Instagram? Google?


Most often, you’ll head over to Google, type in what you’re looking for, and see who pops up. You’ll probably check out the first few businesses, read their info, skim through reviews, maybe give them a call or click through to their website. Perhaps you'll then head over to social media to learn more about them. But typically, the search starts with Google.

This is how fresh new prospects are going to find you.


On the other hand, if you’ve been following a business for a while on social media, you like their content, and they fit your vibe, you are going to remember them. When you need that service, you might search them out directly because you’ve already built a sense of connection and trust through their social media presence.

YouTube screenshot of Kim Free, CEO of Small Town Girl Promotions - STGP

(If you prefer consuming content in video format, just click the image above. This blog is more detailed, though.)


SEO vs Social Media: Which is better for your business?

 

SEO: The Long Game

Search engine optimization (SEO) is what gets your business to the top of Google’s search results. SEO isn’t a quick fix; it’s a long-term strategy that builds results over time. It involves optimizing your website with relevant keywords, creating valuable content, and ensuring a seamless user experience.


One crucial point to remember: you own your website. You have control over it. Social media platforms? Not so much. You’re at the mercy of their rules and algorithms, and you could lose your account at any time. That’s why it’s risky to put all your eggs in the social media basket.

 

Social Media: The Quick Connection

Social media is more instant and visually impactful. It’s fantastic for quick updates, reminders, and engaging with your audience. Social media excels at building your brand and fostering a sense of community.


However, it doesn’t typically drive as much traffic to your website as SEO does. According to Neil Patel, who analyzed 10,000 different websites, SEO was responsible for about 49% of site traffic, whereas social media brought in about 6%. Paid ads on social media can help drive traffic, but they require ongoing investment.

 

The Best of Both Worlds

So, what’s the takeaway? If you want more visits to your website, then SEO is key. If you want to build connections and earn trust, social media is the winner.


Most small businesses will benefit from using both strategies. They have different focuses and goals, reaching people at different points in their customer journey. Whether someone is ready to buy now or just interested in what’s happening in their community, both SEO and social media play crucial roles.


Turquoise desktop with laptop, nerd glasses, coffee, notepad

Key Points to Remember

Social media vs SEO... there's a lot to consider! Here are 5 key points:


  1. SEO is great for getting found on Google, driving long-term traffic, and converting searchers into leads.

  2. Social Media is excellent for building relationships, engaging with current, past, and future clients, displaying company culture, and attracting future staff. It’s the “peopley” stuff!

  3. SEO targets people further down the customer journey who are actively looking for your products or services.

  4. Social Media is interruption marketing, great for staying top-of-mind and fostering engagement.

  5. By combining both SEO and social media marketing, you’re covering all bases. SEO brings people to your website, and social media helps keep them engaged and connected. So, don’t think of it as an either/or situation. Embrace both, and you’ll be setting your business up for success.

 

Let STGP Help You Succeed!

At STGP, we're here to help you master both SEO and social media marketing. Our expert team can optimize your website to rank higher on Google and create engaging social media strategies to build your brand and connect with your audience.


Ready to take your business to the next level? Check out our SEO services and learn more about our social media marketing services.


You can also book a coffee chat with our CEO, Kim Free, to discuss what’s best for your business. Let's work together to achieve your business goals!

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The STGP team is here to help with all things social media, website design, graphic design, and online marketing! If you need more eyes on your business, reach out. We love helping business owners take advertising off their TO DO lists.

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