Social (SMO) vs. Search (SEO) for Estate Agents

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Social (SMO) vs. Search (SEO) for Estate Agents


Over the last few years Social Media has been becoming bigger and bigger in the online business marketing section and has now started to integrate its way into search engine optimisation, with web pages being ‘liked’, ‘retweeted’ and ‘plus oned’, allowing Google to incorporate social into its algorithm.

With this huge turn of interest to Social Media, the question “will social marketing take over search marketing” has been going around for a while now. Companies are starting to invest more into Social Media and are wondering if they should start to cut their SEO budget and put it into Social.

Just looking at the statistics of how many people are using social networks, it is clear that it does need to be included in your online marketing campaign, but will it end up replacing search?

Ask yourself this:

What do people use Facebook and Twitter for?

To gain social media rewards such as the examples in this article.

What do people use Google for?

To ask questions and find answers.

Which one sounds like it will encourage sales and generate leads...

Obviously Search.

But like with most things it’s not about one or the other, these days it is vital for you to use both to generate traffic to your website.

Why social can be good

People will obviously be swayed by what their friends and families recommend, which makes it important for you to get as many Facebook ‘likes’ and Twitter ‘followers’ as possible as it could make potential customers lean to your estate agency over your competitors.

Why Social won’t take over search

Marketing is very difficult on Social Networks, for one it simply just annoys people when advertising banners pop up on your screen, which obviously social networks don’t want to do.

Whereas Search Engines are all about marketing your business and people come to them looking for specific things, which is driven by the keywords you have chosen to optimise for.

The downside of the search engine compared to the Social Network is it isn’t easy to post up recommendations for others to see. Although this is obviously going to change with the new social network Google Plus and the Google +1 button that goes with it. This allows social to directly connect with search making it possible for ‘friends’ recommendations to change the search results.

For example if I’m searching for ‘Estate Agents in Bristol’ and one of my friends on Google Plus has “+1’d” it, that Estate Agents is likely to come up very high on Google as its been recommended by a friend. 

So to answer the original question, will social replace search? For now search is still the main source for online marketing, although Social Campaigns should be started or carried on to boost your online campaign.

By Luke Stanley
SEO Consultant