Audience Question: FB Ads or SEO, which should I use?

I was recently asked a question by a member of my Facebook audience that opened up into a bigger topic.

She asked me if she should be spending her efforts on Facebook Ads or Search Engine Optimization. I couldn’t really give her a ‘one or the other’ answer, as social ads and SEO are so different that they are not really comparable.

In a nutshell, FB advertising is a quick way to market your product or service. Conversely, SEO is very much the long-game. I would say that it’s not a question of doing one or the other. I would say it is always worthwhile to learn a bit about SEO and apply it to your website. But as it will take so long to reap the benefits of it, a quicker marketing method is essential too to keep your business afloat.

This doesn’t have to be paid social ads. But they are a great option and the one we will talk about today.

FB Ads Analogy

I would like to offer a couple of analogies to make the difference between the two marketing methods super-clear. Starting with a slightly silly one, I like to think of FB advertising as spraying machine gun bullets into a crowd of zombies. I know, but bear with me…

People scrolling through their Facebook news feed are rather zombie-like. They are not looking for your business, and they are in a bit of a social media trance. It’s hard to get their attention.

Now, think of your ad views as bullets in your machine gun. As an advertiser you are spraying bullets into your target crowd; the zombies. Some bullets will hit a zombie between the eyes (success) and other bullets will miss the mark.

Much like a zombie-virus outbreak, Facebook advertising (machine gun bullets) work best in targeted bursts and have a very quick effect on your business if they are done well. This is a quick marketing strategy where you will see all the action from start to finish.

SEO Analogy

My analogy for SEO is a much less stressful one; no imminent danger or heavy artillery. I like to think of SEO work as planting seeds in a garden.

Much like planting seeds, SEO is very much the long game. It takes a long time to see the results, but once your website starts to perform well in search engine results for your keywords, you will enjoy the benefits for a while.

The ground work of SEO-optimising your website is laborious to say the least. But I promise it is so worth learning a little about it and doing what you can to improve your website’s chances of being found by your future customers.

This is not a quick way to fill sales funnels. If you need to make money in your business right now then SEO is not your priority. It is, however, something you should always be tinkering away with in the background as the pay-off can be immense.

I hope this helps to explain the difference in non-technical language. If you have any marketing questions you would like answered then leave me a comment about it below.


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