Every month, Glasgow social media agency Fatbuzz host the New Media Breakfast Event at 29 in Royal Exchange Square. The event discusses a range of matters in new media and receives a good monthly attendance.
This month featured the debate of which is better: Search Engine Optimisation or Social Media? In SEO’s corner was Tim Barlow from Attacat, and in Social Media’s corner was Gordon White from Fatbuzz.
Watching the debate from the completely unbiased view of “neither – traditional advertising and branding continues to reign supreme”, I was able to enjoy the event without taking any sides and learn some new things in the process.
The main conclusion that had to be reached, and even the speakers had to concede, was the fact that the two disciplines are increasingly becoming intertwined. With some estimates showing that 80% of web searches being for information, 15% for navigation and only about 5% being for products, Google is no longer taking significant interest in ‘brochure websites’, i.e. websites that aren’t regularly updated and which only talk about the product in question.
This has massive significance for your website and shows the importance of a dynamic online presence that engages with people rather than search robots. Engaging with your audience also doesn’t mean selling to them constantly, but instead to think a bit more laterally and consider what your target market is into besides your product. Gordon mentioned the example of Red Bull and the fact that their website and Facebook page are more concerned with extreme sports than about the drink itself.
Another point that I found quite nice was Tim’s point about the advantages of doing work for charities as any reason that incentivises people to help out charities is still a reason to help out charities. Hoping to bring out a completely separate blog post on ethical advertising and branding quite soon.
Overall, I wouldn’t pick a winner for the simple reason that the actions that should be taken with regards to how your site works are relatively similar – more content, more engagement and your site will be more effective regardless of how people arrive at it.