Is Social Media Now More Important Than SEO?
With so much to consider when developing your website – SEO, social media, content, functionality and conversions, just to name a few – you may find yourself lacking when it comes to improving the website in some of these areas. SEO has for years been promoted as the be-all, end-all solution for websites that want to improve their reach, make more sales and otherwise enjoy more conversions. SEO itself has changed over the years, and it appears that the nature of what “SEO” is (from the perspective of driving organic traffic to your site) is changing as well. We are beginning to see a shift in what is considered most important, as social media continues to factor in more and more while simple links and keywords factor in less. Is social media now more important than SEO? Continue reading to find out more and draw your own conclusions.
Social Media Influence
With more people consistently connected to each other via social media than through any other platform in the world, it goes without saying that social media is quite the powerful tool. Your content – if picked up by those with interest in it – can travel far and wide, and the end result is that your website will begin to receive massive amounts of organic traffic each and every time there is a “wave” that spreads your content. While there are paid options to circulate your content via social media just like there is via search, a well-produced piece of content coupled with effective social media strategies can do just fine on its own. Pinging to Google is still important in the grand scheme of things, but social media adds a comparable amount of potential when it comes to increasing traffic to your site.
Search Engine Evolution
While search engines have primarily weighted their SEO algorithms with a combination of backlinks and other specific optimization tactics for years, social media now has arguably as much influence in their rankings. One example: recently, Yandex completely scrapped backlinks in their algorithms in favor of social metrics, making them the first search engine to do so. Search engines like Google and Bing have also both announced that the future of SEO with respect to their algorithms will rely less on the traditional elements of SEO, and will instead focus more on social media.
The Perfect Combination
What exact balance should a website have with respect to its marketing, search and traffic strategies? While there is no exact answer, there does appear to be a fairly clear indication of how the balance should look. Any successful strategy should seek to balance focus on SEO & backlinks, social media content and usage, quality content (that will inevitably be shared through social media), and other metrics comprising a smaller role (website usability and conversions are but a couple of examples). By pinging to Google a healthy balance of these mixtures, you can be sure to take advantage of the future of organic traffic and search. It may not be the case just yet, but social media is quickly becoming as important – if not more so – than traditional SEO tactics.