Google is the best at what they do. Bing provides a fairly good experience and new search engines like DuckDuckGo are continuously getting better. But for right now, Google offers businesses the most traffic and attention of any of the search engines out there. This has spawned an entire industry of search engine optimization experts whose sole mission is to get you ranked #1 in Google. While this is all well and good, and legitimate SEOs can provide you with great advice and knowledge of best practices for search engines and content creation advice that can help you get more customers, there's a problem with relying too much on Google. Despite Google being the best at what they do, they are still very imperfect. Their focus is creating algorithms that rank companies. These algorithms sometimes get things wrong, penalize honest people unfairly, sometimes give a benefit to companies that are behaving in an improper manner, and frequently change and there can be wild fluctuations in rankings.
Diversity is essential
As a small business owner, depending on Google is fine if you rank highly for your local search terms and get a steady stream of interested customers through them. But what happens if you wake up one day and due to some algorithm update or any one of a number of other potential reasons, you find that your traffic has fallen off of a cliff? As a business owner, while it makes sense to work on ranking well in Google, it also makes sense to encourage new sources of traffic and growth. If Google essentially bans you one day, your business won't die if you've got a steady stream of visitors coming in from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, email newsletters, local word of mouth marketing, display ads, and other sources of traffic. If you don't have some diversity, your business will have some difficulty surviving long enough to recover from that. Boy scouts are always prepared for anything - you should be too.
There's more than one way to do it
There is no one magic tool that works for all businesses. Many sites have great success with getting more Facebook likes, but if you're operating more of a B2B company, email marketing might work best for your company. How can you find out what works best for your specific site in your specific business category? Test it out! Set aside a small budget for continuously testing out new forms of advertising, try them out on a limited basis, and measure the return on investment. Many attempts at growth will be duds, but if you're spending less than $100 to test something out, it's not as big a deal as trying for a full-blown marketing campaign and failing. But when you discover something that works well for you and has a very high conversion rate, you'll really benefit from this testing because you'll know that you're putting your money into the best form of online advertising for your own business.