As a social media consultant, I manage all kinds of social media activities for my clients. But even though I think social media marketing is a great way to get exposure to new prospects and to deepen the loyalty of existing customers, I have to admit that there’s nothing like search engine traffic.
The individuals who land on your site after performing a search are the best. These people are looking for your solution. They *want* your content. Unlike the social media crowd, lured to your site by promises of promotions and coupon codes, the people who actively searched for your solution and ended up landing on your site are the hottest leads you could possibly ask for.
On my own blogs, I see the difference. The traffic that comes from search engines is the most engaged. These visitors are more likely to stick around for a while, read a few pages, and then take action. It’s not that people who find my blogs through Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook are not interested – but there’s a level of engagement from someone who actively searched for what I offer, that I don’t get from social media referrals.
Of course, the above applies only if your site is properly optimized for search engines. If it’s not, chances are that the people who land on it after search will be disappointed. If you sell baby gifts, but your site is not optimized and people who search for “baby gifts” don’t find it, but people who search for “baby clothes” do, you can imagine that the opposite will happen – your bounce rate will be sky high (most people will leave your site after looking at just one page) and engagement levels very low.
So don’t dismiss SEO. Social media is an important part of your marketing mix, but this does not mean that there’s no need to optimize your site for search engines. If your site is well optimized, the traffic that comes from search can be your best traffic.