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Sorry, but SEO ALWAYS Matters More Than Social Media or PR

Just read an interesting blog about “When Social Media and PR Matters Than SEO”.

PR and social media are great, but they don’t replace a well-designed Website, starting with strategically optimized content and conversions.

PR and social media are great, but they don’t replace a well-designed Website, starting with strategically optimized content and conversions.

One of the author’s main points was that “if you have a product or service that no one is searching for, SEO isn’t your ticket to success.”

I couldn’t disagree more, for two primary reasons:

• Poor SEO means a poor site, and a poor site means minimal conversions. We have a very simple philosophy for Website and content design: Every page should have a goal, and conversions are most often the top priority. Simple to suggest, but harder to execute!

For example, if a page is only designed to attract traffic via lesser-known keywords that completely capture the spirit of that Website’s product or service (especially one that might be more conceptual or not heavily searched), then its goal should be to attract those niche visitors and move them towards a page that better illustrates the product or service.

From there, visitors should likely have enough interest to move into a conversion area (especially since you satisfied a search for which they likely had low expectations for finding a relevant match).

String together enough of these types of carefully-researched keywords and page content that support them, and all of those little pieces start to add up and build traction for that product or service.

• Any SEO provider that fully supports the author’s argument lacks the creativity and ambition to face a REAL challenge in SEO.

SEO’s actually pretty easy if you have a competitive product or service to promote—particularly if you have experience, proven best practices and integrated tactics (such as PR, social media).

But what about situations where the product or service is so obscure or innovative that there aren’t any immediately obvious keywords to optimize?

This is what separates the real pros from the hacks.

Been There

We recently did SEO for a client that has a very solid reputation for a product it offers, and their page rankings for related keywords were fantastic. However, they recently launched an entirely new service (and not a product) that is not only considerably different than their flagship product, but the service is quite niche-oriented and conceptual. Not an easy task!

So what did we do? Well, since their new Website has not yet launched, we can’t yet say. But for now, know that we dug in and found a way to build content that should likely attract the very types of visitors for which their new service is intended.

PR Isn’t the Answer…

Unfortunately, there are no easy ways around these challenges. Sure, you can launch a PR campaign, but that thing better work and deliver immediate ROI.

Although some say SEO is “free” advertising, it’s not. Whether it’s the time you or a staffer spend doing it, or of course, if you hire an outside SEO company to do it for you. However, the long-term and consistent results of SEO can by far outperform PR campaigns, especially when it comes to cost.

…and Neither is Social Media

Spending on social media might attract some attention, but as suggested, earlier, a site with poor SEO is likely one that will yield minimal conversions.

You can drive all the traffic you want at a Website, but if it’s not properly designed for conversions or lacks thoughtful navigation or other critical design elements, the ROI is going to suffer.

Does your hospital have a trusted and reliable partner to build, manage and plan your online marketing strategies? AVID Design offers free assessments for Websites, content, strategy and more.

Derek Rudnak | Communications Specialist | AVID Design

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 at 12:59 pm and is filed under SEO. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 responses to “Sorry, but SEO ALWAYS Matters More Than Social Media or PR”

  1. theseochamp says:

    seo and Social Media is for web promotion. the combine use or them result very effective of web promotion. in seo you use your relative keywords in prospective manner for visitor who is searching for result in search engines. and in Social Media you use social medium or social websites to pass your information to the needy.

  2. Tom @ seo says:

    Social media needs you to be more active than general SEO practice. But with that you get a spot on audience for your site/product and you build visitor loyalty were people are more likely to tell their friends about you.

  3. Bobs SEO Co says:

    SEO will always trump social media and Web 2.0 promotion. Organic serps are where it’s at and always will be.