Which is better ?

With the social media getting popular and search engines scoring values to social media links and traffic, it’s become increasingly relevant these days. There are websites being built purely to cash in on social media traffic. They dish out “resource lists” and stories tailored precisely for the social media crowd. And the traffic growth on Alexa are really impressive for these sites.

Social-Media-Spike-Organic-Plateau And comparing this with the search engine organic traffic, I can’t think of a good reason why a webmaster should  not try the social media. After all it’s a good exposure giving you new clients and readers.

But let’s look at how the social media traffic and search engine traffic are different and what is preferable to a website.

Social Media Traffic, the bad, bad side -

  • Requires tailor made posts or exclusive stories to make an impression
  • Requires a network of social media enthusiasts to help promote
  • Is not predictable – it’s quite possible that the crowd will bury/thumb down your story
  • Is not completely sustainable, though a part of it remains
  • Is possibly less converting if you are into business/service

Social Media Traffic, the bright side -

  • Gives you all time highs on your traffic stats
  • Give you exposure to new readers/viewers/clients
  • Sometimes also gives and increase in revenue

And Organic Search Engine Traffic -

  • Is sustainable, gives you equal doses time and again
  • Is more converting, though less in number
  • Gives you “plateau traffic” (look at the illustration)

Social-Media-Search-Engine-Traffic I wouldn’t dare to compare both the channels, because both of them have their own powers and significance. I’m not going to say that a website should completely focus on Social Media. In fact, there are a lot of websites I come across daily, which are basically lists of “101 photoshop effects”, “101 jokes” and things like that. I would definitely share them with my network, but wouldn’t want to come back to it later. There isn’t anything I can take back home unless it’s a super-awesome-extravagant post.

And I love the idea that social media traffic can be a life saver some times.Say, you have a dying blog and a single social media article can deliver you stars ! Doesn’t mean I’ll have them everyday but that’s a push, one would enjoy.

Search Engine traffic on the other hand is like a long term strategy which gives you comparatively smaller doses of traffic, more converting and healthy subscribers on a daily basis. Search Engine Organic traffic really counts how successful you are.

It would be a dangerous thing to completely focus on either one of the channels. Ideally, I’d say one should focus on Organic Search Traffic by publishing search engine friendly content on a regular routine and try out the social media channels in between, to give those booster shots. A healthy combo of both search engines traffic and social media traffic would be the key to a successful site/blog.

Damn, I should’ve re-written this post as the “12 Reasons Why You Should Not Ignore The Social Media”. Next time. :)

Related SEO Tips and Articles:

  1. Social traffic is made up mostly of webmasters and geeks…these sorts don’t click ads, and when they do, they don’t buy things. . . social traffic doesn’t convert. Organic search traffic is made up of everyday people. They do click ads, and you can target keywords which will convert well. Social traffic is good at making people think their website is worth money, so those gaining organic traffic can get of with it and actually make money.

    [Reply to this comment]

  2. Why I love search engine visitors and hate social media visitors?

    Because social media visitors don’t click on my CPC ads!

    [Reply to this comment]

    Ruby WebNo Gravatar Replied:

    Hahaha! I know, social network visitors hate ads and avoid them like a plaque.

    [Reply to this comment]

  3. Hi..
    I agree to you with respect of using more of social media traffic rather than using organic traffic.
    What i believe is using both the methods in increasing your site traffic, as at last the only thing matter is that your site should generate good traffic…
    I hope you do agree with this…

    [Reply to this comment]

  4. Having a couple of good social media articles can be a good long term strategy too. Search engine traffic isn’t too loyal. They will come to your site as a result of a specific search, maybe click an ad (which is great) and then leave. Becoming a good source of info (fun, informative, tips, whatever) can create loyalty in users (subscribers, people who will recommend you). Search engine traffic is great but should never be your only concentration.
    Good post. Great tips.

    [Reply to this comment]

    SEO Tips South AfricaNo Gravatar Replied:

    I agree with you, Sid. Balance is key in order to not only get rankings, but conversions too.

    [Reply to this comment]

  5. What we’re really trying to do is use social media traffic to boost our organic rankings and therefore increase our organic traffic.

    We have a news channel on our site and we daily get relatively unique and interesting stories, tailored to our field. Does anyone have any tips how best to get them ‘out there’ on social media?

    [Reply to this comment]

  6. Social media is booming lately. Even add campaigns that weren’t that successful a year ago now sell like hot cakes and sites receive massive traffic.

    [Reply to this comment]

  7. 12 Reasons Why You Should Not Ignore The Social Media” indeed! The traffic (albeit in spikes) that can come from social media is quite unreal! StumbleUpon is my personal favourite example here, with some really eyebrow raising results from very little work….

    [Reply to this comment]