The rise of social media and the impact it has on how businesses can connect with consumers, cultivate relationships, improve brand loyalty and influence purchasing decisions is nothing short of game-changing.
Should you stop investing time and money in search engine marketing and focus exclusively on social media?
Speaking from our research and experience, social media and search engine marketing should not be an either/or type of thing. Instead, they should be thought of as inter-related pieces of your overall online marketing strategy.
Below are two studies that provide further insight and tips to consider when developing your integrated social media and search engine marketing strategy.
Tweets and Search Ranking
At the time of the study, Twitition.com had 1.4 million followers on Twitter, 7.6 million signatures and over 198, different Twititions (petitions).
Take a look at the stats below from a report by Branded3’s marketing manager, Felicity Crouch, and you’ll notice that, according to the study, the number of tweets positively correlate with higher search ranking.
In her analysis of the study, Crouch shares a few insights to help improve how to integrate social media and search engine marketing.
1. Sharing on Twitter can significantly increase overall search engine ranking on Google.
2. After the first 5 tweets, the impact of sharing on search engine ranking plateaus until around 5, tweets, at which point ranking begins to improve drastically.
3. When a webpage has 7,5-plus tweets, it will pretty much always rank as one of the top five search results.
Value of Twitter and Facebook
Additional research conducted by search engine marketing experts at SEOMoz support Branded3’s findings on the impact of sharing on social media and improvements in search engine ranking.
Instead of only focusing on Twitter, SEOMoz analyzed methods of sharing across multiple social media sites.
What they found was that, while tweets do improve search engine ranking, it appears that Facebook shares, likes and comments are the most influential factors in determining search engine ranking.
Here is a graph of the data collected from the SEOMoz study on social sharing and search ranking.
In his analysis of SEOMoz’s research, Rank Fiskin, founder of SEOMoz presents a series of insights and tips. Here are the three we found to be most important:
1. Facebook shares are highly valuable in improving search engine ranking.
2. Facebook likes are somewhat less valuable than shares on Facebook.
3. Twitter influences search ranking, but not as much as Facebook shares, likes and comments.
Infographic: Social Media vs Search Engine Marketing
When developing an integrated online marketing strategy, it is important to consider the individual strengths and weaknesses of each.
Here is an infographic primarily based on surveys of marketing professionals highlighting some of those strengths and weaknesses to help you make a more informed decision.
Infographic courtesy of MDGAdvertising.