The age-old debate of what is more effective, SEO or Social Media Marketing.
Speaking at On The Tools HQ, Adam Collins draws comparisons between both forms of marketing to decide which of the two medium is more effective for client acquisition & lead generation.
On The Tools is a place for construction workers in the UK and all across the globe to share the funniest images and video clips of ‘on-site’ banter. With benefits to both forms of marketing & a room full of social media whizzes, Adam will definitely have his work cut out.
What quickly becomes apparent is that there isn’t one correct form of marketing, instead marketing should be tailored to the customer you are looking to attract. Adam also covers an overview of the history of search engine optimisation, search engines & Google.
Adam closes the presentation with his 2 cents on SEO in 2020 & how the two key strategies marketers need to master are:
1) Uncovering buyer intent
2) Providing high-quality UX We would be keen to hear your feedback on the subject of what is more effective, SEO or Social Media Marketing. Please leave your comments & feedback below.
People come so focused on their own form of marketing that they neglect all the other channels ultimately each of these channels are just ways of communicating with potential customers thanks for all for having me here today I’m really actually looking forward to doing this presentation more so than some of the others have done and there’s a specific reason for that I think the the main thing is is sort of the people in this room and capsulate in their sort of DNA exactly what sort of excites me at the minute and that’s sort of marketing we’re all marketers here all creatives and I think all of us ultimately can have a huge effect on someone’s business or their personal life or their brand because we understand the prerequisites of how to communicate a message online effectively so it’s really really really really important one of the things I find quite funny especially often people will then sort of put search engine optimization against social media management against pay-per-click and there’s lots of buzzwords as you probably all know SEO PPC I think often these buzzword them often end up damaging people’s marketing efforts and the reason I think that is because people become so focused on their own form of marketing that they neglect all the other channels ultimately each of these channels are just ways of communicating with potential customers so who am i I’m sure you’re probably all consider you know wondering who this buddy honey with these big glasses guy is I don’t expect probably most of you to know it hands up now if any of you know who I am disgustin no only the one person that I didn’t expect you to know who I am which is my responsibility so so yeah I thought would be probably best if I give you a bit of an overview of who I am who my company is how I’ve got to now so just to reintroduce myself my name’s Adam Collins and the creative director of a web designer digital marketing agency we do in your SEO as Claire mentioned got an SEO it got a meeting about progress after this so went from page three to position two and three on page one so it’s going quite well so far and I think one of the so yeah so I studied went to some when I was 16 and I was basically I couldn’t really do anything else I need to earn some side cash and I was really lazy I didn’t want to do anything manual like all my other friends are doing so I started building these websites and selling them to mom-and-pop businesses Indian restaurants driving schools basically winging it in order to make some side cash and then managed to again wing my way into working for one of the leading web designer digital marketing companies so I basically said look I’ll work for pretty much nothing I just want to come in and learn so while I was there for five years I tried to learn everything I could about web design SEO when I was there social media marketing probably wasn’t even really something you’d consider a service or sow in 2010/2011 and so hub times change quite quickly and I worked there for a decent period of time work my way up learnt a lot work with some really big clients what I found though is at its core the company was so heavily sales focused that people would come on there’d be a very small fish an extraordinarily large pond they wouldn’t get the right SEO then won’t get the right website and and then they just dead for luck so what I decided to do is set up current web we work with the small fishes we help them grow we turn them into bigger fishes and for me it’s far more rewarding and that’s really what’s led us up to now last point on current web and current web what where we differ from other web design agencies we spotted it a little bit of a gap in the market and we have a payment through web site service often if you guys have been around web sites people have got options at the minute they see the do it themselves with Wix or Squarespace have a chance at a freelancer and hope that it works or pay an agency thousands of pounds so what I decided to do and what we decided to do is put in place a payment for the web site service so people get the agency experience agency quality without the costs they just Panama that the basis for it also means as well I’m sure you guys appreciate and often people think of internet marketing as you know we build it and they will come and this is you know internet market is so competitive now in whichever form you decide to take it that often people would spend all their money on the website and then no money on the marketing so this allows them to pay less money up front for the website but then work with us on the marketing where we can give them the arrow wife so SEO it predominantly can be used in two main ways one is disrupt in a marketplace this is one of our one of our websites unicorns rule they started about nine months ago they’re basically starting out as an affiliate for unicorn products and then they’re going to build on brother their own product line as Tom goes on they had a decent sized budget and as you can see here this is sort of typical of SEO it takes sort of six to nine months to see anything and then you start despite there now on page one four things at unicorn toys unicorn toys UK unicorn things unicorn gifts and this trajectory now is very much SEO is like an object emotions there’s a motion this will continue to spike at that rate until eventually it will plateau and when you consider within nine months you can go from being nowhere to sitting on page one competing with people like John Lewis and Amazon it sort of shows how powerful SEO can be another real positive thing about SEO is its long-term reach ability so rather than being like a quick flash in the pan SEO sort of get normally gets better over time so here’s a customer called escape live which you look after the basement Birmingham they have a escape game experience we started with them literally around this time here and over the last three four years we’ve managed to one get them to the top locally for escape games to raise their awareness and then three now they’re appearing on page one for some massive national phrases and they consistently get thirty to forty thousand visits per month and this is one of the key points which separates it from paid marketing if you have a look at the traffic cost which is a rough estimate in order to achieve this sort of traffic cost via a paid advertising source they’ve usually be looking to spend about eighteen thousand pounds that’s specifically on pay-per-click I know you guys don’t do that and but you can just see the difference I mean they’re not even paying close to that for SEO so it’s it’s a lot more manageable a lot more sustainable over a long period of time so what is SEO now obviously I’m sure people have different understandings of SEO often the things which jump out to you keywords meta tags backlinks or fun terms like that ultimately I think what would be really great is to give you a bit of a history of SEO where it came from when I got involved with it is now and we’re potentially be going forward and then but give you some ideas about maybe how you could you repurpose some of your own content in order to be more effective online so in the 1990s you probably recognize some of these odd sites search engine started to you know come into play pretty useless there was loads of them as Jeeves Yahoo Alta Vista they all worked on the same premise that there would scrape sites and then judge them and based on the number of words keywords etc on the page so that was all they did they looked at tax well nerdy people like me obviously at the time discovered that all they had to do was just keyword stuff their site and bam that top of Google so actually they were pretty use of search engines because you wouldn’t get the best result you just get the one who’s hacked the SEO the most what they did sort of 94 95 they started taken into account of the metric so you talking title tags meta tags h1 tags keyword density and how long people are on the site and but then again only people like me came along and figured out that those are the ways if you could spam Google from behind the scenes it was just far too easy to manipulate so enter Google in 1997 does anyone know here why Google was so successful dominate in the industry could be Hansen no but in a way I think what Google ended up doing was it brought into place an external metric which was backlinks and I saw all the other search engines were just based on on-site prospects of how many keywords keyword density these guys brought into backlinks they brought in an algorithm called PageRank and it was basically an algorithm which judged pages based on the links which points on Google’s thought process was if you produce an article they’d sort of like editorial votes of confidence from other websites which point to it which is a good in theory and what you found from that is then Google went on to dominate the site at the search within a year or two just quickly before I go on here’s some missed opportunities which sort of fun facts in 1998 larry page of google contacted you who and you who turned down the opportunity of purchase in google for 1 million pounds in 2002 you who turned Google again for 1 billion pounds and then last week on the 16th of January 2020 Google joined the 1 trillion per mile 1 trillion billion 1 trillion dollar Club on the stock exchange so yeah someone should be fired for making some of those decisions yeah so one of the things then so once Google got past that initial stage and started dominating online like I said people again became quite smart to it so what they would do is they create aggregated content and they would push it out to very low quality push like the thousands of websites which would ultimately link back and to that website and ultimately it worked for a decent number of you know a decent period of time these are low-quality sites and even in Google’s very first sort of terms and conditions the best way to get at the site’s to to create high quality relevant links to yours is to create unique relevant content that can naturally gain popularity internet community creating good content pays off obviously that’s a more long-term strategy and people aren’t into doing that are they so obviously people broke the rules and they got massive massive results for it for doing that people would even go businesses would even go even further from a technology point of view and build huge link farms and when they get a customer they put it through that build all these links that fire to the top of Google they make tons of money and that was basically how SEO SEO was sold to people but Google clamped down and that’s why it’s harder to do it now Google brought in in 2011 the PM the Panda algorithm update which basically penalized sites for having to spamming on site practices and keyword stuffing etc which killed a lot of the the spammy tactics and then in 2012 they brought out the penguin algorithm which basically was there to target businesses or websites which had very spammy off site backlinks so if you’ve got thousands of backlinks from Chaput air Japanese or Chinese sites pointing to yours it’s obviously that it’s not relevant if you’re a plumber in Birmingham and then it would just knock you barf all together when I worked at that digital marketing agency in 2012 when that one here they had three of over 3,000 SEO companies each Penn 500 a thousand to thousand pounds per month I’d say fifty percent of them overnight just disappeared from Google or together so um I was in part the team of one getting people out the platter Panda algorithm painter people who’ve been penalised by panda but then also penguin as well so even Google itself has been penalized by penguin for the links it has put in Tibet BMW has been eBay so huge companies have been penalized so what it means now the current situation is as time moved on is it’s far harder to ranking Google using these sort of hacks so you need to have a better understanding of the algorithm the algorithm now is completely live so it’s self learns which is pretty you know Skynet I think and but from my point of view as an SEO I prefer it because I know that by producing great quality content by sticking to the guidelines by getting across the right message that you can get your customers or yourself to the top of Google without all these people doing very underhanded underhanded techniques so it goes back to the point of SEO or social I think again when I went back to the start about having the correct medium and I think it’s important to understand the different types of buyers so you’ve got buyers in power and then you’ve got buyers in heat and basically a buyer in power let’s say you’ve got a anniversary coming up in in a month’s time and you’re you know that it’s coming up you know you should be getting something in like an anniversary card but there’s no immediate rush to get it now that’s the buyer in power who can be influenced a baron heat is someone and for example I know Claire knows John Ryan is someone who works at our office who will leave the weight to the day before is his girlfriends or his wife’s birthday or anniversary to then quickly go onto Google door moon pick order something next their delivery and then when it gets there he’s forgot to change the name to her actual name so that’s a Byron he who makes big big sort of impulse decisions because you’ve left it so late now SEO the benefits of SEO there’s a few key terms so controlled by keywords and search or intent so unlike your social me you’re paid social media people the way you target it is by actual search or intent and the keywords and the content traffic growth increases over time even after you stop so it’s not something you’re gonna have to consistently do you could do in peaks and troughs you know one for a couple of months then leave it for a few months you could even leave it for a year or two and as long as that content on the page is relevant you’ll see the rankings increase and SEO traffic is free now I’m sure Claire will question that point because she’s paying me money to do SEO but the actual concept of SEO is free you’re not paying per click you’re not relying on any form of metric like engagement or or how many likes you get or or anything like that in order to generate the traffic and lastly organic listings achieved in the most clicks and that’s compelling it’s pay per click rather than paid listings people seem to trust trust or get listings so this fits in well with obviously what we know now about buyers and heat so let’s consider if you’re you wake up one day crazy toothache what would you do would you go on Facebook and search for a dentist you probably wouldn’t you’d go straight to Google type in faith and type in you know dentists or emergency dentists in this location or near me and then obviously you’ll contact one of the top ones and then give them a call same goes is if your boiler broke down in the middle of in the middle of winter you probably not going to go on Facebook and start looking for an or Instagram and start looking for a bullying repair company you’re probably gonna go onto google roam emergency boiler repair or emergency plumbers and locally to me and again you would choose the one so SEO is really good for buyers in here so if you look at paid social specifically paid social obviously paid social as you guys know is is control very much by targeting and specific metrics and one thing which is great about paid facebook marketing campaigns especially in Instagram is the ability of being able to scale it very quickly all the downsides veselov SEO but well they’re down sizes you’ve got to wait nine months or twelve months to see any results where this is a great way of proving a concept and then scaling up once you know one pan makes two becomes very easy for you to scale obviously you pay for you traffic or impression or engagement or likes you can leverage things like de patterns so again you can have your ads went in from 10 or 9 to 5 rather than 8 or 9 o’clock at night if you’re looking for leads over the phone and one of the other huge benefits of social is the ability to drive people to vary sales driven landing pages one of the downsides of SEO is you have to do most pages which run connects you have 2000 words of content and I have to be very informational whereas we’ve got that issue with obviously paid social you can tag people you have keep key selling messages you can have testimonials on there and so the actual conversion rates are usually a lot higher from that an example of paid social is something my missus got me for Christmas boom so again you wouldn’t again it’s sort of ideal for someone in power buyer in power so you know that it’s coming up it’s presented the ad to you however you’ve targeted it to them it looks pretty cool you watch the little video explodes in their face and then obviously you buy it so it’s more of a brand awareness point of view and there you can retarget them so there’s a few of the considerations when you compare SEO to social media what our touch but before the implementation time social takes about a lot less time in order to launch and SEO takes months or sometimes years to get them really competitive keywords however there’s also the other consideration about length of exposure so obviously but social sometimes if it’s a tweet can be hours or days or weeks or sometimes months with SEO there’s tons of people online who are making money and getting tons of traffic years and decades after they’ve published articles online because the SEO and the authority the article is only ever going to increase so as long as there’s a demand now and there’s people searching for those those terms you can it has that residual reach which is you don’t have to consistently look at it it’s going to be consistent for a number of years if you do it right so it goes back to my point again SEO or social well I’m sure probably everyone will get that the best way is an omni-channel approach to marketing and what I mean by that is don’t put all your eggs in one basket and look at which customers you’re looking for and then put in place the correct strategy in order to meet their needs so you guys know a ton about social media I’m not going to you know try and preach preach to the converted at the end of the day so I’m just going to give you some of the key points about the building blocks of SEO moving forward from from now onwards into the next decade so one is the ability to in cover search intent and that can go down to when you guys are producing podcasts or blogs or looking at you know social media pieces what you paint together what what search intent of people looking for similar to that on organic I’ll show you how to find that in a minute and the ability to give people what they want and create content around that and that’s all based around content marketing but then also and notice how miss backlinks off I mean I could do backlinks for another half an hour but user experience is very important now so I’m going to why that’s so important for SEO now moving forward so given them what they want so information in comparisons and most people when they use organic are looking for information are looking for a specific product or looking for comparisons between one or the other it’s the main reason sites offer mini supermarket and those comparison sites are so are so big now and one of the best ways that you can do it especially when you produce in social content and especially if there’s competitors as well as use a free tool called uber suggest now uber suggests is a piece of software which was built by quite a prominent figure in SEO and it allows you to put your website on there all your competitors or you competitors blogs and it will tell you what the top pages are which generate traffic what that then allows you to do you can even export it as a CSV so what we do is export it as a CSV compare that site to our site get rid of the ones but we’ve already got content and then create content for the the terms that way you can start mirroring the more competitive people in the marketplace and jump to the top of Google the other again is Quora which is the site where people ask questions again and get answers and see what people see what questions people have and then produce content blogs videos social media content around that another real great one which people often overlook is the Google search console every website has a Google search console it basically gives you information on the how of your website where the Google search console has a you know a completely untapped feature which most people don’t even know about she can go on there and you can see where your website ranks for specific keywords and how many impressions they get now why that’s really great is because you might not even know that your website is appearing for that so it’s not always key keywords that you’re optimizing for so what that does it means it’s very very easy for you just to find out and say you know what this this page is actually ranking for this key but it’s getting thousands of impressions we didn’t even know it let’s go put it in the title map description and content and you’ll find it yourself it would increase rankings really really quickly that’s like I said giving people what they want something like subscribers com I don’t know whether you’re aware of allows you when you’re doing blog updates or podcast updates allows you to use push notifications to the phone so people can get the latest blogs latest podcast etcetera direct to their device and weather whatever it may be another thing is repurpose an existing content for SEO now you guys produce a ton of content so I’m sure that there’s loads of stuff you could repurpose a great way of doing that Claire’s mentioned you guys do podcasts obviously there’s loads of ways you can repurpose content from podcasts creating a video YouTube long-form and then social for short form cuts but from a blog in an SEO point of view if you can get that transcribed that podcast transcribed using a piece of software like transcribe com is pretty cheap and then create a blog on your website with that content and embed the video or the podcast and then optimize the tanks the type of types of meta tags and the content and one of the great things about this especially with podcasting is that when you’ve got someone who’s let’s say prominent in the industry or has a brand and you can sort of leverage and piggyback off their search presence online so that becomes really really powerful and by changing that so you cuz that’s a piggy bank on the search ranking so when people search them electric house or on the tools pop up and then it gives you guys extra exposure really really easily as mentioned so user experience going forward is going to be extremely crucial and even with the best SEO the best content the best backlinks Google considers user experience sort of above all else at the minute so let’s say your your position 10 on Google and yeah you competitors position one as well as looking at authoritative good analytics so how long have people spent on the site what’s the bounce around the site how many pages are visited if you’ve got a low bounce rate people who spend a long time there engaging with your content you will find that you’ll rank even if you don’t even have close to the authority in Google so user experience is really crucial moving forward so what’s happening in twenty twenty before just to finish up the presentation so Google’s planning three thousand algorithm updates in order to change its search Google is now beginning to step up the fight with Amazon Google sees how big Amazon has got and I think it wants a bit of a bit of the plies so what you’re finding now is there’s the buy on Google feature so which you not even dumb into the the people’s websites now you’re just able to buy it directly in there in Google itself voice search and Google home is going to become ever more relevant and it’s worth considering looking at from a search point of view and especially when people are at home and potentially they’re asking frequently asked questions what you can do on your website and your blog so you can use something called google schema now what Google schema is is their exact syntax to tell Google exactly the information it wants to know so you can use Google’s FAQ schema to say right this is the question this is the answer and if you optimize that for search someone asks that question to their Google home you’re responsible obviously we put out a bit and it will usually reference your website as well and lastly is master in the art of search intent and like I said so the day’s the day you know be having a KPI in place and saying we target in these keywords is super important and however having a bigger marketing strategy and content strategy in place and understanding what people are searching for from a more of a longtail point of view is going to be really where search goes and moving forward let’s connect appreciate obviously all your time today Facebook Twitter Instagram and one of the things I’d love to get some of you guys on we’ve been working and put in place a UK small business Network Facebook group we’ve got about 30,000 members now what I’d love I’m trying to get ex it’s more experts in there to give a lot of these small businesses advice on the things they could do I’d love if you guys could could join that group and get involved in the conversation and help businesses but appreciate your time any questions sorry for a I guess one of the unique things about what you guys do is you’re always creating brand new content so people might not have even know it exists but sometimes does make search redundant because like I said before often would search people know exactly what they’re searching for however I think there’s a big opportunity for you guys to leverage like I said long tail see what questions or see what people are speaking about and then produce videos from that with Associated blog posts and thinking about it more in a like an all-round marketing campaign I think what you guys did with that podcast and stuff like that transcribing the stuff especially when it’s anything useful with User Content and obviously transcribing it like a funny video of some builder who’s having an Agora it’s probably not the best thing but if you’ve got something now which actually provides value transcribe Annette and Poorna is such a quick win and and piggyback enough for the people’s brands but you have on that’s that’s what I’d recommend