Because everything is a competition, let’s go on a journey to discover what marketing is best for your business, Facebook or Google? Do you have a small to medium business? Do you want to know where to spend money and where to save? Do you enjoy listening to me on a power trip rambling about digital marketing things? Well, besties, I’m in the mood to spill all the tea and all the deepest secrets of Facebook and Google marketing to help your business succeed with its online goals.
I’m not saying I’m the digital marketing genius you need in your life and you should start worshiping me, immediately. But I’m not, not saying it either. Here’s the thing. I’m here to get my hands dirty so you don’t have to. I will go places where no digital marketer has gone before. Well, not really. I’ll just access information that is freely and readily available on the interwebs, but that sounded dramatic and cool and that’s how I like to come across to all my fans (Hi Mum!). Ok. Facebook and Google Marketing. Let’s go.
What’s The Difference Between Facebook and Google?
One’s a social media giant and the other is an EVERYTHING giant. Maybe not everything but the search engine has been dominating the online space and kind of the world since its humble beginnings in 1996. When the internet was invented and later the world wide web, different search engines recognised the need for a simple way to find and organise online data. Users wanted the results for what they were looking for to appear quickly and easily. Essentially these search engines found ways to navigate the web services and files on the internet for these users.
Google, or what it was originally named Backrub (not mad about the name change. Full creep vibes) wasn’t even one of the first search engines. According to the trusty team at SEOmechanic here is a timeline of search engines for you.
Search Engine Timelines Before Google
1990– Archie, the first type of search engine as we know of today was launched in 1990, a year after the world wide web (www). It worked by crawling through an index of downloadable files. Because there was limited data for the listings it was an absolute dumpster fire to use because it took so long. But it did pave the way for search engines we use today.
1991– The worldwide web was invented by Tim Berners-Lee. In 1991 he also created a virtual library to help users find URLs for different websites. The CERN web servers hosted the library at the beginning of the internet. Full legend status.
1993– The guys at Jumpstation created a way to display a page’s title and header in the same results with their linear search.
1994– It was all happening in 1994. Firstly, David Filo and Jerry Yang developed Yahoo! Search which was the first search engine that displayed a collection of web pages across the internet. Then WebCrawler created a way to index entire pages. This wasn’t exactly feasible because it required so much data it was too slow to use during the day and only benefited night owls and insomniacs.
1995– A search engine called Lycos that cataloged over 394000 documents launched in 1994, and by 1995 had over 1.5 million pages organised.
1996- Larry Page and Sergey Brin created the predecessor to Google -BackRub. The idea behind it was to use backlinks (other sites linking to the site) as a vote on the site’s authority or trustworthiness. Today’s algorithm still relies on this initial concept. It has advanced tremendously in the past 20 years, but backlinking still plays a huge part in how sites are ranked today.
Social Media Timelines Before Facebook
Just like search engines, Facebook was far from a pioneer when it comes to social media platforms. Don’t book me into a retirement home yet, but growing up I used MSN messenger while hooked up to DIAL-UP internet. The biggest drama in my house was my siblings and I fighting over either using the internet or being able to use the home phone. Later on in life, a friend of mine EMAILED me to tell me about this crazy new website MYSPACE. I just grew exactly 25 gray hairs thinking about this information.
Even before all these different types of “social” media websites I used, there were many created before Facebook. According to Interesting Engineering here is the timeline for modern day social channels;
1985 – A year after my birth, which is very important information to this article, The Well and GENie (General Electric Network For Information Exchange) was created for GE employees. This system was fundamentally crucial in the development of future social media platforms. It was the basis of how many others were born.
1986 – Listverse debuted in 1986. It was a system that allowed people to message multiple users in one email. This was revolutionary at the time.
1994 – The Palace, which gave users a space to interact with others on a graphical chat room server was launched. People loved it because you could use your own avatar overlaid on a graphical backdrop, making it personal to you. It’s still being used today.
1997 – The first true social media site was created. Named Sixdegrees.com. It enabled users to upload a profile photo, send messages and post bulletin board items to first, second and third-degree connections. This allowed them to connect with others, make friends, and grow their social network. It was purchased for 125 million in 2000, shut down in 2001, then brought back years later. Seems like a waste of money to buy, shut down, then open again but hey, what do I know?
1999 – A publishing site called LiveJournal was launched and coincided with the launch of the Blogger publishing platform by the tech company Pyra Labs, which was purchased by Google in 2003.
2001- Friendster was launched. By using email address registration and basic online networking, it grew into a platform with millions of users.
2002 – Massive career platform LinkedIn was founded as a networking site for professionals. By 2020 it had grown to more than 675 million users. Showing off much, LinkedIn?! To this day it remains the largest social media site of choice for professional job seekers and human resources managers searching for candidates.
2003 – In 2003 Myspace launched and by 2006 it was the most visited website on the planet. In 2011, Justin Timberlake teamed up with Specific Media and purchased it from News Corp for 35 million dollars. And because rich people don’t make sense, it was left to die a slow internet death until it was later turned into a music platform.
Today – Since then modern-day social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok, Whatsapp, Youtube Etc are dominating the social spaces. Smart businesses have jumped on board to market their brands through these channels. And smart individuals have capitalised on their popularity to market themselves, with some social media influencers ranking in millions of dollars.
The Difference between Social Medias & Search Engines
One’s a place for stalking people you haven’t spoken to since year 1. The other is for searching for the answers during your daily existential crises (just me?). Since they are different types of digital media, they need to be marketed separately. If you don’t have the resources or the ability to work with both. You want to choose the one that benefits your business the most. Unfortunately, it’s not a case of choosing one over the other. There are many things to consider.
Search engine optimisation is the process of marketing on search engines like Google, Yahoo! And Bing to increase your site’s organic traffic and rankings.
When someone types in the product or service you provide in one. You want your website to show up. The three main aspects of a successful SEO strategy are quality content, monitoring your site’s technical performance, and gaining links from other sites to yours.
Social media marketing is about building relationships and brand awareness through engaging your audience on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tik Tok & Snapchat, etc. For the sake of this article, we will be focusing on the two biggest platforms in each medium – Google and Facebook.
SEO strategies and social media can both be important tools for overall business success. But does one have more value than the other? And does it depend on what sort of business you have? What if you’ve got a limited budget and can only allocate time and money to one resource?
x.::11. Choose SEO?
There is no doubt businesses benefit from SEO strategies that work. The return on investment can be as high as 12.2x more than your marketing spend. This makes it one of the most effective digital ways to build your business. SEO can reduce the cost of customer acquisition by 87.41%. And sorry social media, but, organic traffic from SEO is more than 1,000% higher than organic traffic from social media. So, what’s the prob, dog ( FYI -this is a Tiktok reference to prove I’m still young and hip like the other cool kids)?
The problem is SEO is a long-term strategy that takes significant time and resources to see results. Most websites will not see any major changes until over a year. And when you’re investing in a monthly SEO strategy that’s costing you 1k a month at the minimum, and not seeing value straight away. That’s where the issue lies. It particularly affects small businesses with minimal budgets trying to grow their presence online.
For an SEO strategy to succeed three main elements need to work together. Content is the wagyu beef of SEO. Without creating consistent high-quality content on your website you will never get the rankings your business needs to thrive. Google loves content more than I love shame-eating a whole pizza in bed watching a true story murder documentary. This is nothing new, and this will never change. Also, same.
We also have what’s known as off-site optimisation or backlinking. Which as discussed above, is getting other trusted and authoritative websites to link to your own. It’s the second most important ranking factor, and how Google originally used to rank all sites. Lastly, your site needs to be technically healthy so the Google bots can crawl it properly. To get optimum results all aspects need to work together cohesively.
Technical SEO involves lots of different factors on your site as below; These are some of the most important, however, it’s important to note that there are hundreds of technical elements Google takes into consideration:
- SiteSpeed. Site speed is crucial because if your site is slow, your audience won’t be to leave. After all, humans have the attention spans of a new puppy. If we don’t receive instant gratification then it’s like byyyyeeeeeeeeee. User experience is a big deal for Google and its algorithms, and a slow site provides a poor one.
- SSL Certificate – Your site needs an SSL Certificate to keep it safe. They secure your website’s domain to protect your site from third parties. This is also a technical ranking factor Google takes into account, and if you don’t have one your url will come with http:// instead of https:// If so, your content can’t be accessed.
- Your site needs an XML Sitemap – It’s essentially a roadmap for Google to lead it to your important pages, which Google loves.
- Mobile-friendliness – Google has had a mobile-first index since July 2019 because people use their mobile devices more than desktops. Your site needs to be optimised for mobile or you won’t rank.
- Optimised metadata – Google likes your metadata to be optimised for SEO because your site’s title tag and descriptions help users understand what your page is about, what brand is associated with your page, and the type of content they will find on there.
- Broken Links – both internal and external provide a poor user experience and make your site technically unhealthy.
- Duplicate/ thin content. Google has long hated duplicated content, nearly as much as it hates thin content. Content on your website that doesn’t serve a purpose, is low-quality. And doesn’t educate, inform or answer the questions of your target audience is considered thin content.
- Plus many more factors.
FACEBOOK MARKETING BENEFITS
Facebook also has many advantages especially when it comes to small to medium businesses. Some brands starting out don’t even have budgets for a website, let alone the hosting and ongoing maintenance. This is where Facebook’s like I got you, boo. Facebook offers the ability to sell directly from its platform with a business page you can create free of cost.
Even though Facebook is becoming less popular with the younger generation, it does have a massive user base of over 2.6 billion people as of July 2020, according to Statista. That is more than any other social media platform and second to perhaps only Google’s search users. Facebook advertising is also cheap and affordable, especially for start-up businesses.
Probably the biggest benefit of Facebook marketing is the tools Facebook has that allow you to have an incredible amount of detail to target your specific audience. Facebook is so rich with data you can micro-target the exact audience that is best for your business. For example, businesses can create ads to target the following.
- Spoken languages
- Interests (expressed interests, likes, and hobbies from their Facebook profile)
- Education level or history
- Job title
- Political affiliation
- Behaviors and recent purchases
- Major life events
Like any digital marketing strategy, businesses face challenges in getting it right. It’s important to keep your Facebook group active. Use the data available to target the right audience. Share videos that get engagement. Keep on top of moderating comments and retarget interested users. As with SEO, it can be time consuming and challenging to get right.
So, How Do You Choose Between SEO & Social Media Marketing?
In an ideal world, you’d have both and in my ideal world, I’d be married to Jason Momoa. Sometimes things take time to come together. You’d also be marketing on all social media channels directly targeting your ideal customer and all types of search engines. You’d have a PPC strategy. You’d be content marketing, email marketing, mobile marketing, and affiliate marketing . You’d have a solid Linked in Strategy and more.
But that’s not obtainable for businesses who don’t have enormous marketing budgets. To make a decision you need to have a clear goal for each campaign and how it will benefit your business. If your main goal is leads or sales, then an SEO strategy will eventually lead you down the right path. But if you’re more interested in brand awareness, social media will work better.
But por qué no los dos – why not both? Most websites will benefit from a combination of social media marketing and search engine optimisation to boost traffic, improve strategies, create more online visibility and control your marketing spend. It’s a matter of deciding which one is best to focus on from the beginning, and how to switch your budgets up over time to get the most benefit from both.
Although you may be capable of working this all out for your business yourself, a good digital marketing agency that specialises in both SEO & Social Media, is more likely to get you desired results, even saving money in the long run. They’ll create a blended strategy that works, within your budget, to start seeing results sooner.
At Mash Media, we work with many clients on amalgamating their SEO & Social media marketing to ignite passion and drive action from your target audience. We’ve created online strategies that work, to build brands, get leads and increase profits as a whole. Talk to our friendly team and get started today on driving your growth online!
Sharney has a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, A Certification in Business Management from Harvard Business School as well as over 20 years of experience in the marketing industry. She is an expert in Marketing Strategy, Planning, Branding, Websites & Lead Generation. Her passion is working with small to medium businesses to help them grow through strategic & successful online marketing.