SEO for Google VS Facebook Marketing

3 Jan

Recently I was in a discussion with some of my friends about the merits of SEO for Google in light of the fact that Facebook has sharply increased it’s visitorship over Google’s.

Some argued that since Facebook has surpassed Google in terms of visitors, search engine optimization (or ‘SEO’ for short) is dead and so it is better to focus on Facebook marketing. I do not agree.

Although I do not count myself as an expert in SEO, I have been creating websites for the last 16 years and so I know a thing or 2 about this subject. From what I have experimented, this is my conclusion:

1. Many of the people who use Google to search are the same people using Facebook, for different reasons. Exactly how many fall into this cross matrix, I’m not sure. People, when using Google are searching for a specific thing in mind. It has the pull factor. Because of that, online marketers targeting long tail keywords will experience better conversion rate for the marketing efforts. Take for example. It is a pioneer in focusing on the long tail of marketing as people who search for a specific title or genre of book probably end up buying the item. Similarly, if a person is searching for a particular product or service, he will most likely use very generic, but descriptive words to locate what he wants to find on Google. On the other hand, Facebook is more of the “push” factor. Facebook tries to push advertisements to a user based on his likings. But it will be quite hard to predict what people EXACTLY want based solely on their profile. This is where Google has the upper hand.

2. I have also done an expensive experiment spanning 2 months. I advertised on Google’s adword as well as Facebook. For the same set of keywords, I get 5 to 10 times more clicks from Facebook Ads but zero conversion. But from Google Adwords, I get about 10 percent conversion. This is a very important point for the services I advertised were high ticket items. And so, dollar to dollar, my ROI from Google Adwords is very justifiable. So that brings us back to the question of SEO. If Google Adwords was able to pull in business for me, I can expect probably ranked websites on Google to do better. So while Facebook advertisement is great for the ego, because of the traffic it brought, it didn’t help me at all in the particular genre of service I am selling. My guess is that Facebook users, or rather, when people use Facebook, they want recommendations to cheap, or consumer-ish items. On the other hand, when people use Google, they might be acting on behalf of their company and so, more likely to part with their money for high ticket items.

In conclusion, I humbly submit that if you are selling a service targeted at businesses, rank your website well in Google using SEO and Adwords advertisements. If you are selling consumer goods and services, try using Facebook for long term branding. Even for consumer goods and services, Google has proven to offer a shorter sales cycle as its users are looking for something specific to their wants and needs.


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