(Originally posted on April 26, 2011)
An article from emarketer.com (Nicole McMullin of Richmond.com pointed it out) points up differences in the reading habits of two audiences: those who find content through searches, and those who find it through links in social media such as Facebook. Links from social media are far outnumbered by search, but social media is much more likely to link to news and entertainment stories, which happen to be an awful lot of what we do.
The issue is that people who come in via links in social media “have fewer page views per session and a higher bounce rate” — they are less engaged than people who come in from a search link.
It seems that the lesson in this simply is to pay attention to both your social media links and what you are doing to optimize your site for search engines to find your content. You can’t drop social media because that’s the forum where people are most likely to want to share what they find interesting, but you can’t ignore SEO because that’s how people who might be the most interested in a particular topic you are covering will find your story.