50 Percent Of Companies Struggling With SEO Aren’t Integrating Social Media [Survey]

What’s one key difference between companies that are successful with SEO and those that aren’t? According to a new study from Ascend2, it’s this:

Successful companies integrate social media into SEO strategies and tactics more extensively than companies that struggle with SEO.

The research agency surveyed almost 600 business and marketing professionals around the world late last month, and asked the group to rate their own companies’ SEO success. The survey compares answers from the 15 percent that said they’re “very successful” with SEO and the 18 percent that said they’re “not successful.” Admittedly, that’s a small sample size, but the data are still interesting and seem, to me, that they’d hold true across a larger survey, too.

Social Media & SEO Integration

The biggest difference between the “very successful” and “not successful” companies is their use of social media as part of the SEO strategy. As the chart below shows, 38 percent of those “very successful” with SEO are doing extensive integration of social media, compared to only two percent of the companies that aren’t succeeding with SEO.

And a full 50 percent of the latter group — the ones not succeeding at SEO — aren’t integrating social media at all.

That chart only compares the successful and not-successful companies. Elsewhere in the study is a chart using the whole group of respondents, which shows that almost one-quarter of the group aren’t integrating social media at all into their SEO strategies.

Our columnist Trond Lyngbø just wrote about this last week, in fact. In his article, You’re Dead… If You Don’t Integrate Social Media & PR Into Your Local SEO Strategy, Trond said

Social content ranks well on search engines. What happens on TripAdvisor (a social review site) and Yelp (a business directory) stays on Google (a search engine). What people say about your business — their feedback, the ratings they leave — everything — is publicly accessible to your prospective buyers. And this, of course, impacts the research/purchase cycle.

A couple other interesting notes from the Ascend2 survey:

  • 48 percent of all respondents said “creating original content” is the most effective SEO tactic — the top answer
  • only 19 percent said “external link building” is the most effective, but that may be due to difficulty — 45 percent said it’s the most difficult tactic, more than all the other tactics they could choose from
  • at 48 percent, “lack of budget and/or headcount” was listed as the most challenging obstacle to SEO success

The full report is available for free, but contact information is required.

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About The Author

Matt McGee
Matt McGee joined Third Door Media as a writer/reporter/editor in September 2008. He served as Editor-In-Chief from January 2013 until his departure in July 2017. He can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee.