Blogging

Is it Better to Drive Blog Traffic by Social Media or SEO?

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So you want to increase your blog traffic? Should you focus more of your attention on your social media accounts or SEO efforts?

All of us want more blog traffic these days and there are two primary ways to reach that goal. But if you had to pick one, which would it be?

I saw this question pop up somewhere recently, and honestly, I can’t remember where it was.

But I definitely have my own answer.

Social media

Some bloggers have a strong social media following. Whenever they post a link on a site like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, they immediately start seeing visitors.

What’s more, social media can help you connect with would-be readers who may have stumbled upon your social media presence before hearing about your actual site.

Social media also makes it easy for your readers to share your content with their social connections. You have the potential to reach a much larger — and very different — audience than you would with your site alone.

Each blog, of course, is different. Each audience is also different. So you have to find which social media platform will bring you the most results. In my case, that’s Facebook. Some bloggers have huge success with Pinterest, but I’ve never had much success there.

SEO

SEO, for those who may not know, stands for search engine optimization. That means making sure that when someone searches for something you’ve written about, your page ranks high on the search results. Ideally, your page should be the number one result, but at least within the top few.

Why? Think about it. When is the last time you went to page two, page three or page four of search results? If you had to, it’s likely because the first page didn’t actually address the specific topic you’re looking for.

Most people click on the one of the first few search results. Thus the need for SEO.

If you wanted to pick one or the other…don’t.

You should never choose one over the other. Both are important, but they serve important purposes in different ways.

SEO done well can bring more people to your site.

Social media done well can also bring more people to your site.

But you shouldn’t depend solely on either.

SEO rules change from time to time, which means you might suffer losses while you learn what changed and adjust.

But social media has its challenges as well. A few weeks back, a certain social media platform shut down a page I serve as administrator for. The issue, which has yet to be fully explained, prompted said platform to remove the page and suspend me and the other admin — who actually is the one who posts content — for three days. Yes, for three days, I couldn’t post anything. I couldn’t even post to my personal profile. Believe it or not, I couldn’t even do something as simple as liking a comment someone else left on my own profile.

When either the search engines or a social media platform gets the wrong bee in its bonnet, it could have a definite impact on your ability to reach your audience.

That’s why you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket. There may come a time when one of the baskets disappears (or is unable to hold many eggs). That’s why you need to focus on both.

Always.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.