Recently, research that flies in the face of everything we’ve come to “know” about the Internet surfaced. Social referral is no longer the best way to get found. Search is back, baby!
Umm … sort of.
The research is credible enough; Shareaholic has every reason to want you to think social sharing is important. So the idea that search traffic is more valuable than social is … intriguing. But what this doesn’t mean is that you need to refocus on full-scale SEO. Keep reading; you’re gonna love where this goes.
As I’ve pointed out many times, stand-alone SEO became a questionable practice several years ago. We won’t sell it to you; don’t ask. But SEO belongs in your marketing mix, and likely always will. Know what’s even better?
I know, I know; email is way out of fashion. You get too much SPAM. And in a world where one-in-five open rates make you a superstar it’s hard to imagine that e-mail is the way to go. But there’s a plethora of other research suggesting e-mail is still “best” for engagement.
And that’s the real message here. The best way to get found isn’t the best thing to worry about. The Holy Grail of Internet Marketing is engagement, not mere volume.
The Best Way To Get Found
Think about it for a moment. Have you noticed that as your Instagram follower count rises you don’t actually gain very much? I was discussing this with a friend who’d recently hired a firm to boost his follower count—and succeeded dramatically. I asked if he thought he was getting ripped off; was it possible he was getting fake followers?
He doesn’t think so. But at the same time, his 1000% increase in followers had yielded almost no increase in engagement. He’s a photographer, so Instagram may be the best way to get found in his case. But it isn’t doing anything he can measure in business terms.
What about you? Even if you’re doing social—and you must—it’s imperative you concentrate more on engagement than on volume.