Search Engine Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing – What’s a Local Business to Do?

by Joanne Steele on March 13, 2012

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two sumo wrestlers

Social media marketing vs. search engine marketing - the Clash of Titans!

Since Take Control Of Your Internet Marketing opened, members have asked some questions  about  search engine marketing vs. social media marketing.

Why did I focused first on search engine and review site marketing in the first module, and touched on social media in the second module only after another significant series on connecting with customers via search engines.

This article in Kissmetrics, Search Engine Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing: The Showdown tells all.

A day hardly passes without news of another “must do” social media site. It’s easy to confuse the hype for the marketing reality. People generally search for business related stuff via search engines (and review sites, I might add) and interact with friends via social media.

The crossover is significant enough that social media must have a place in your internet marketing. But focusing on social media before search engine marketing is a little like eating dessert before dinner. You feel great as you’re doing it, but suffer the shakes as your blood sugar drops and you realize you didn’t have room for the healthy stuff.

You are in the business of running your successful business, and your marketing needs to support that effort, not take over every free moment of your time.

Your website is the most important piece of your internet marketing effort. It is the part of the Internet that you own and have full control over.  And most of you feel completely out of control when it comes to that website of yours.

Perhaps you had some kid build it for you, or created it using a website building service that doesn’t let you do what you want to do now, 3 or 4 years later. Or maybe you got talked into a fabulously expensive website that you can’t update yourself  - they said you could, but you can’t – and you can’t afford to have THEM update it for you.

So what do you do?

Enter Module 3 – Take Control of your Website!

The goal of Module 3 is to help you create a website that you own and manage yourself, a site that reflects your new understanding of internet marketing, a site you can change and expand with compelling content that will speak to your Perfect Customer and get Google’s attention.  You’ll be able to add photos, change things around, link to other sites, optimize every page in your site for search engine visibility, and much more. Your website will truly be in your own hands.

In Module three, we’ll walk you through several options.

1.  Working with your own webmaster.

There are many fine webmasters in small towns and we don’t have any intentions of putting them out of business by taking your business away from them. We’ll educate you about the mechanics of websites so that you will be able to make informed decisions about getting exactly what you want and need.

Webmasters are so used to working with clueless people that most will be thrilled and delighted to work with someone who speaks their language and knows what they want and need.

If they don’t – you say “Thank you and Goodbye,” and go somewhere else. We will show you how to interview and hire a competent webmaster from your community, or use our Hire a Tech services to get what you need.

2. Working with our Hire a Tech services.

Many small rural areas are without the services of a webmaster who understands the latest technology and is willing to create a website that the owner can manage and update themselves.

For these small local business owners, our Hire a Tech service offers fair prices when you need personal help.

Problems sometimes arise, especially for businesses that already have an old website. Perhaps you don’t know who owns your URL, or where you are hosted, what your passwords are…every situation is unique. Hire a Tech web detectives are there to help you sort through this knot of technical roadblocks and get you set up with a website you can manage and update yourself.

And it’s cheap. That’s the third imperative of our program: 1. SIMPLE, 2. DOABLE, 3. CHEAP…  whether you are using Hire a Tech at an hourly rate or for a specific task. (For example, a brand new domain website can be set up for $300 or less, ready for you to take control and populate with content.)

In Module three you’ll learn how to write compelling content that will speak to your Perfect Customer and get Google’s attention.

3. DIY (Do It Yourself.)

Some of you will want to create the whole thing by yourself, from beginning to end! Module 3 includes lessons for setting up a brand new WordPress website.  We’ll have lessons that show you how to get a domain name (if you don’t already have one), find the best hosting company, how to install WordPress and a fantastic theme called Thesis, and how to design an attractive and effective website.

DIY is only recommended for the hearty few who have some tech skills, a love of working with the computer, and a fearless desire to get up to their elbows in the process…but if this is you, we fully support your success!

Most of you have enough on your hands just running your business, so we give you a variety of options.

So, back to that Kissmetrics article. Search engine marketing is where you need to be putting much of your internet marketing effort.

When you finish Module Three, you will have your website.

You will know and understand how to create compelling content that Google will love.

You will have a homebase that all the social media you choose to do will refer back to.

You will have something that folks using their smartphones will be able to see and use when they’re on the go.

Modules Four, Five and Six will go on to refine and expand your internet marketing skills to include social media that will serve your business needs, and more. You’ve laid your foundation.

Interested in more information about Take Control of Your Internet Marketing? Here are Parts One and Two of the introductory series:

Take Control Part 1: What is Being Said About You Right Now?

Part 2: Take Control of Your Understanding of Internet Marketing

 

photo on Flickr by Ethan Prater

{ 2 comments }

1 David Urmann March 15, 2012 at 9:44 am

You have to do both. That being said search engine marketing and content development will continue to pay for years. I think as long as your focused on “Inbound” marketing your on the right track.

2 Joanne Steele March 21, 2012 at 8:45 am

You’re correct, David. It’s about balance, which is sometimes hard for overworked small local business owners.

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