Ten years ago, if you told a business that a website would be a critical part of their company’s success, you may have been laughed at. Fast forward to today, the internet is filled with customers and consumers making purchases, looking for restaurants, browsing for products, reading online reviews and more.
It’s very clear that a website is important, but how your website shows on the search engines and where your presence is with social media is just as important. While your website designer is responsible for creating your website presence, unless they are offering their services for free or you’ve hired them to handle both your SEO and your Social Media presence, well, then no one is doing it! It’s like buying a car; You're buying a car, it's not the dealership's responsibility to tell you (or show you) that your car needs an oil change or new tires.
So what is SEO and what is Social Media Marketing?
SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization is something that many small businesses don’t understand and what many website design and online marketing companies try to take advantage of. SEO is the process of improving your website’s visibility online. More specifically on the search engines. For example, if you owned a printing shop in Rhode Island whenever someone goes to Google (or another search engine) and types in Trying to find Rhode Island Printing Company it - would be valuable for your website to show up there. SEO is the process of making that happen for numerous keywords, for maintaining those results and keeping track of the visitors you are currently receiving due to their efforts. It’s important to remember that SEO is difficult, nothing is ever guaranteed with SEO. If a company is guaranteeing you that they can provide you with tons of traffic and that they guarantee any results – run away FAST! While SEO is difficult, a good website design company will design and develop a website with SEO in mind. They might not do everything they could do for you SEO-wise but then again, I’m sure the car salesman "could of" thrown in new tires and one a free oil change too.
Assuming you know nothing about social media, I’ll try not to confuse you. For a second, forget about your website. Social Media is communication through the web or a website. (not your website) The art of social media is an extremely valuable asset to your company. If you have heard the term Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin and you know what each of them are – then you know what social media is. Having an account on a social media sites allows you to connect with customers and potential customers. Now, just because you know what social media is (connecting with consumers on the internet via sites like Facebook, etc.) it doesn’t mean that creating an account is all you need to do. It also doesn’t mean that you should simply post specials and discounts and that the sales will start coming in. Managing your social media accounts takes time and it takes good content. Sharing related content based on your industry, connecting with consumers that like your product or service and sharing the occasional special is a great way to engage customers and generate more sales. Remember, social media takes time and it takes communication.
SEO (search engine optimization) – is the process of improving your website on search engines for keywords related to your business.
Social Media or Social Media Marketing – is the process of connecting with customers and consumers via social media websites like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and more.
Now that you understand what search engine optimization and what Social Media Marketing is we advise you to put time into choosing the way that you manage both of these processes. While we have seen businesses successfully handle their Social Media sites, we have never seen a company that does not have a trained website developer or SEO specialist handle their SEO for their website. It takes years to practice and master SEO.
You could always hire a great online marketing company to handle one or both of these services for you or you can start by creating a social media marketing campaign internally. What is certain, is if you are not already maintaining a plan for both of these, the only thing you shouldn’t do – is nothing.