For many businesses, social media marketing is their go-to option for getting the word out about their products and services online. Historically, companies and brands have seen Facebook as the most viable social media outlet to connect with consumers. However, after Facebook’s recent algorithm change, the efficacy of brand pages are on the decline. While Facebook stated in 2012 that content posted on brand pages reached 16% of the pages’ fans on average, today it is estimated that only 3% of those who like your brand page will see your new posts.
In practice, this means that even if your Facebook brand page has 10,000 likes, your post will only reach 300 of these people. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that these fans have interacted with your post in any way. While marketers typically define organic reach as the total number of people who reached a page through unpaid traffic, Facebook defines organic reach as how many times your content popped up on your fans’ news feed or ticker. This doesn’t mean that the fans visited your page, interacted with your content or necessarily even registered it on their news feed.
For brand marketers, this presents a big challenge. Social media is no longer a megaphone to distribute content, but is now focused on targeted conversions. And for Facebook, this means paid ads and spending money on their platform. But when it comes to promoting yourself online, organic search is actually better for targeting. According to a study cited in Adweek, 60% of shoppers begin by using a search engine to conduct online research on products and services they are interested in buying. In practical terms, this means that these consumers are already looking for something specific, and trust results from Google way more than Facebook (47.8 percent trust Google vs 10.8 percent trust Facebook).
However, ranking in search is a much more complicated process. It’s the reason why entire agencies like ours are dedicated to helping companies rank. It requires implementing technical optimizations to your own site, creating quality content, outreaching to other sites, and building high-quality backlinks using this content. In other words, it’s an involved process. With SEO, however, the benefits are long-lasting. If you engage in a paid Facebook campaign (and you need to in order to gain traction), the effectiveness is lost the minute your budget runs dry. But a high-quality backlink built or a technical recommendation implemented is always there to stay. You aren’t just renting the space; you’re owning it. If nothing changes, you won’t lose this value, and your site will only rank better for targeted keywords over time.
It’s worth keeping in mind that even an unoptimized site ranking on the 2nd page of Google has an organic reach of 9% of searchers for a targeted keyword. Even when not ranking well, that’s far more potential than the 3% organic reach that Facebook brand pages have. So, if you’re ranking at all for keywords that you think will convert, it’s worth looking into what steps you can take to make that happen.
Whether you are starting a new blog and trying to get it to rank, or have a huge ecommerce store or b2b business selling niche products, good SEO is the most effective way to bring in customers searching for high- conversion keywords. And given that these consumers are likely searching for a similar solution to begin with, they’re already aware of what you provide and are actively looking for it. At the very least, it won’t cost you anything.