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As a small or medium-sized business, you might wonder what you can do to get eyes on your company’s website. You need your site to generate consistent leads and bring new customers into your business.
It’s tempting to try to win quickly by paying for ads on social media such as Facebook or YouTube. But YouTube ads and Facebook advertising costs are very expensive and may not get you the long-term results you want.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a long-term strategy, but it yields far better, and more consistent, results than ads.
Keep reading to discover 6 reasons SEO beats social media advertising every time!
SEO is about positioning your website as a useful and relevant resource to people who need what you offer. You use specific keywords and phrases throughout your website so that search engines — especially Google — can understand the focus of your site and deliver it to users who are looking for that information.
Social media advertising is a strategy of paying for ads to appear in front of those using social media, such as Facebook or YouTube. The ad will be on the newsfeed of a Facebook user or might interrupt the video of a YouTube watcher. The advertising costs vary depending on your audience, goals, and advertising method.
Many small businesses see social media as a more immediate solution, but the truth is there is strong competition in both arenas. Many companies use social media ads, and a lot of businesses are targeting the keywords you’re interested in on Google.
The question is, do Facebook paid ads and YouTube advertising pay off, or do the advertising costs outweigh the benefits?
SEO, while it’s a long-term strategy, will bring in better traffic, more customers, and a better return on investment (ROI) than social media ads. Here are six reasons why.
Are YouTube ads expensive? It may not seem like it at first, but over the long term, the costs are infinite. So how much do YouTube ads cost?
Every five seconds, another 25 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube. Millions and millions of people watch YouTube videos every day. It sounds like a great opportunity to connect with your audience.
The problem with any form of advertising is that if you stop, the traffic and interest stops as well. If you choose to get your traffic through YouTube ads, you can never stop paying per view. The costs won’t ever go down — in fact, they’ll probably increase over time.
Compare that to SEO marketing. Once your website is properly optimized, it’s just a matter of maintaining your keywords and checking in every once in a while. It’s much less expensive and much less work over time.
Both strategies require you to have an engaging, well-maintained website. So the big difference is that SEO maintenance is easier and less expensive than YouTube ads, which you have to pay for constantly. And ads only increase in price.
What about Facebook Ads? It’s often said that you can advertise on Facebook for only $10 a day, but is it true? How much do Facebook ads cost?
The truth is that Facebook advertising costs more for specific keywords, topics, and audiences. Yes, you can set a low budget, but that only means that fewer people will see your ad. You’ll pay per click or impression on your ads, and not every click will be a customer.
Also, just like with YouTube ads, you won’t be able to stop paying for advertisements unless you want to stop getting traffic and new leads. The process for setting up a good ad and targeting it correctly is complicated, as well. If you don’t know how to advertise on Facebook effectively, you could be wasting your money.
With SEO, you invest in the initial setup, but once you’re well-positioned you can get new leads and customers consistently over time with very little additional investment. Being on the first page of Google organically pays off in a big way, and you aren’t constantly paying for ads to keep attention on your brand.
If you advertise on social media, you’ll run into another problem — you don’t own the platform. That means you don’t set the rules.
When you’re on Facebook, everything from how to run Facebook ads to Facebook ads pricing is out of your control. The platform can change the rules on who is allowed to advertise, how much different types of ads cost, and more.
If you rely on Facebook marketing, that’s a huge risk. They could change the rules tomorrow and you might lose all of your Facebook traffic overnight.
The same is true for YouTube. In the same way that YouTube changed how much they pay video creators and ruined entire businesses in a single day, they can change advertising rules as well. YouTube advertising cost is entirely in their hands, and so are the rules about who can place ads and what those ads can say.
When you use SEO to market your business, you own your own platform — your website. You can use whatever terms and content make sense for your business. Google does control the search algorithm, but their entire purpose is to deliver high-quality, relevant results to users. If your website is high-quality and relevant, you win!
What you sell and how you position your product is entirely up to you when you use SEO. You don’t have to worry about changing costs and standards the way you do with social media marketing.
“People hate to be sold but they love to buy” is one of the number one maxims of marketing. When someone is interrupted by an ad, whether it’s on their Facebook feed or in a YouTube video, it annoys them.
Let’s look at YouTube specifically.
As a plumbing company, you would pay to have your ad interrupt a viewer’s video for up to 30 seconds. Or, you might choose to have your ad display to the side of a target video. Either way, the viewer isn’t there to see your content. They don’t currently have a plumbing problem, and your information isn’t relevant.
Because they aren’t interested in what you have to say, they’ll quickly click off of the ad as soon as they can. If it’s not skippable, they may change windows or even change videos. It’s likely they won’t remember your brand or product, but if they do it will be in a negative light.
Compare that to SEO.
Someone needs to solve a problem or find the answer to a pressing question, so they enter “How to clear a sink drain” in Google. On the first page of results, your plumbing company appears with a helpful article giving tips.
The customer clicks through to your website eager to see what you have to say. They may even take notes and try your tips immediately. If the clog is too hard to clear on their own, who are they likely to call for help? YOU!
There’s a huge difference between earning attention and interrupting. Earning traffic through high-quality SEO is what creates leads for your business and brings in ready-to-buy customers. Facebook sponsored ads and YouTube ads simply interrupt someone when they’re trying to do something else.
If you’re considering social media ads, your first questions are probably, “How much are YouTube ads” or “What is the Facebook price for ads?”
That’s a good starting point, but you also have to consider what those ads result in. How much are Facebook ads compared to the number of customers you get?
Having someone click through to your website is great, but if that person isn’t a lead or customer, there’s not much value in it. Similarly, knowing how to put ads on your YouTube videos doesn’t really matter if those ads don’t result in new leads and long-term clients.
Social media advertising cost, when compared to the results you get, often results in a poor return on investment (ROI). You can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars without getting ready-to-buy customers contacting you for service.
On the other hand, SEO has an excellent return on investment. People search Google when they have a specific question or need, so the traffic you get from SEO is made up of ideal, ready-to-buy customers.
Best of all, the content you create once will serve hundreds or thousands of visitors. You don’t need to pay for an ad every time. Instead, you pay to create content one time that positions you as an expert in your field. That article will generate leads for months without any additional money needed.
Ranking highly on Google gets you in front of ideal customers when they need what you offer, not when they’re trying to do something else. That’s why the ROI is so incredible, and why SEO is the best investment you can make in your business.
Many social media marketers point out that millions of people around the world use social media every day. What they fail to mention is that many, many more use Google.
In fact, Google gets more daily page views per visitor than any other website, as well as more traffic. Second place is YouTube, and Facebook is 7th. So if you want to show up where your customers spend most of their time, Google is the place to be!
It’s also important to look at traffic. While social media used to be the leading source of traffic to websites, that spot has been taken over by Google. This means that Google is a better traffic source than all social media put together.
When you’re considering social media ads, you’re only looking at traffic from one social media platform — unless you have a really huge budget. But the truth is, even if you could advertise on all of them you’d get less traffic than SEO brings.
If that doesn’t persuade you that SEO is a better investment than social media ads, it’s possible nothing will!
Your small business is unique and deserves a custom SEO strategy that will work perfectly for your market and industry. Unfortunately, many marketing agencies don’t take small companies seriously.
We do. At Local SEO Search, we are proud to serve small businesses with high-quality SEO strategies. As a small company ourselves, we know that what matters most is relationships built on trust and long-term commitment.
If you’re ready to see the difference that SEO can make for your business, we’re here to help. Contact us for a free consultation today!