Value of SEO Beyond Traffic

Search engine optimization is incredibly important for companies whose websites appear higher on search engine results pages generating more organic website traffic, and ultimately sales. Though many social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube, now have their own search tools embedded within the platform and consumers are turning to them as search engines, there is still a lot of value for marketers – even beyond website traffic – in investing in SEO. Here, we discuss the value that a strong SEO strategy can provide companies.

Broad data trends

It’s not always easy for companies to generate their needed audience insights solely from the analytics that are available on each individual platform. Additionally, the demographics of the user base across the various social media channels varies greatly (TikTok users tend to be younger than users on other social platforms, though this is changing with time) meaning that data from the platform’s own search analytics, though beneficial for a broad view of audience trends, is inherently tied to the behavior trends of that particular user set. However, in general, organic search is a tool used by audiences of all demographics and insights gleaned from the behavioral trends of search traffic can have broader takeaways than more niche behaviors on one particular search platform.

Search intent

Though, as mentioned, consumers are starting to use social networks as search platforms, they were originally designed as a place of community, entertainment, and social sharing – meaning that much of their continued use case for audiences is browsing and engaging with accounts they follow. This makes social a great place for brand awareness and passive discovery (i.e. stumbling upon a product in your feed that you weren’t necessarily looking for). Conversely, when users turn to search, it is inherently because they are looking for something – they have a need and they are looking to discover how to solve it, or they are looking to solve it immediately, meaning that their search intent is inherently stronger than that of a user browsing social. By optimizing a website’s SEO, it ensures that the business does not lose out on appearing in the search of those customers that are actively looking to solve their pain point.

Evergreen vs. ephemeral

When a company shares content on its social media accounts, the time for that content to reach the audience and make an impact is about 24 hours. After that, the content generally becomes stale and doesn’t generate the same amount of attention or engagement. However, through content that’s been optimized for search engines that companies share on their own websites, such as blog posts, companies get to make an impact and reach potential consumers for a much longer time. This is because the way that people use search engines is by simply looking up precisely what they’re trying to find, and if the company creates and distributes high-quality content on its website, that content is going to remain fresh and relevant no matter when a potential consumer looks it up.