Most bloggers and website owners/managers are well familiar with the term SEO, or search engine optimization. This is a process through which one can come higher in the search results of any relevant keywords within a search engine like Google.
SMO stands for social media optimization and is generally not so well known to a layman. However, it is also quite an important concept, since it uses social media for increasing the flow of traffic to a blog, website, or page.
Both SEO and SMO are utilized for directing traffic to a specific point, but they use different techniques and methods. However, the end result is more or less the same. The more wisely one uses SEO and SMO strategies, the more likely are they to show up on the first pages of search engines.
However, it is well worth knowing the main differences between the two approaches. Below is the discussion of a few of these differences:
1. The Approach
There are three ways in which an online business gets customers. The first two ways are just like any offline business or outlet. First, people may already know about the company due to its reputation and advertising. Second, customers may have spread the word if they had a good experience with the company, hence, people would come looking for the company itself.
The third way is that people use the Internet to find what they’re looking for. If they type in keywords relevant to your business (for example, event management, etc), your business comes up. If the name of the business is relatively higher up than other results, it is more likely to get clicks. The more clicks one has, the more chances of getting customers. SEO mainly focuses on this approach.
On the other hand, SMO usage focuses on all three of these methods. By using social media, SMO makes sure that word of mouth and popularity is not just from the outside world. There are several online businesses and pages today that are running solely on social media. They have a name there and are referred to new customers by social media users every day.
2. Seeding Links Has Limited Effect
Improving SEO and SMO is important for any online business, but there are ways to go about this. Some digital marketing managers take the approach of pasting their links in any relevant social media group. However, having your company URL scattered across Facebook or LinkedIn could actually be detrimental to your online reputation. Such a bombardment of links may make a business seem more like a spammy robot than a genuine venture.
Hence, both SEO and SMO don’t really rely on the number of links, but rather their strategic sharing. This means that one needs to get a social media influencer, such as a YouTube star, to spread the word. A few well-placed tweets from a famous profile would be much more effective than indiscriminate link-sharing. The latter could actually decrease your number of followers due to the irritation factor.
3. The Means
Both SEO and SMO have the same goal, but as mentioned before, they utilize different methods in its pursuit. Hence, SEO would most likely use select keywords, add meta descriptions, tags, header, and optimize HTML coding. All this is mainly to increase traffic to the site, but solely through search engine rankings.
SMO focuses on the content a business puts out in public. They may optimize this content for certain keywords in order to attract search engine rankings as well. However, the main concentration here is how to make content interesting to people on social media. Hence, SMO would make use of facilities like Facebook Live, YouTube videos, etc. to create a reputation across social media platforms.
4. How to Improve Both
Improving SMO for a business, especially a small one, takes quite a bit of work. A marketing manager for such a business should interact with social audiences who have interests relevant to their work. In addition to this, they should engage in facilities such as Twitter chat and add to the conversation in Facebook comments.
SEO is more concerned with optimizing the content of a website (or blog) for search engine results. Social media sharing does not play a big part in this matter, because it doesn’t have an effect on search engine results. Hence, SMO is about sharing content away from the site itself. SEO is all about optimizing what the customers would see after they click.
Internet users who make use of search engines usually do not like to even go to the second page of results. Hence, any company or blogger should aim to be on the first page of results according to their keywords. This may not be enough, though, since not everyone who is in search of something would Google it before asking around.
The main focus of a business should thus be its online visibility. This visibility, in turn, generates more leads and increases sales, mainly due to the buildup of trust within the targeted consumer base.
John Sturrock is an SEO expert, social media marketer and a blogger. Besides, he works as subject matter expert for Dissertation Empire. Being a professional online marketer, he writes in-depth articles on topics related to digital marketing. He has a penchant for drawing paintings.