Most people involved in website design, web development and online marketing are familiar with the concept of Search Engine Optimization, often referred to as SEO. But there is another method available to assist in attracting unique visitors to any website. This technique is Social Media Optimization (SMO) and is the subject of this article.
What is Social Media Optimization?
Social Media Optimization (SMO) is the term used for the utilizing of social media activity to assist with attracting unique visitors to any website content. SMO can work in unison with SEO, and by employing good SMO practices – a website can rapidly increase its chance of improving traffic generation.
SMO falls into two categories:
- Features added to a website, such as:
- RSS Feeds
- Providing a scoring/rating system, allowing readers to rate content
- Producing polls that let the readers interact and have a say
- Placing buttons on the site so readers can submit content to social news, networking and bookmarking sites i.e. Twitter, Digg or Reddit
- Adding informational video and images to content
- Utilizing social media formats for website promotion. For example:
- Creating a blog that promotes a main website
- Participating and posting in forums and community groups/boards
- Creating profiles and pages on social networking Web 2.0 sites (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc) and then using these to inform readers of new content, promotions, products or future projects
- Commenting on blogs that are relevant to a chosen market and have the same readership and customer base
There is an obvious connection between SMO and SEO; both can improve a SERP position, especially when used in unison. The main difference is that SMO does not concentrate on generating traffic from search engines and is generally more reader interactive.
3 Benefits of Social Media Optimization
- Simple bookmarking and tagging – Providing icons, or buttons, on a website that readers can use to instantly submit a page, or content, to a social news or social networking site makes it more likely that content will be distributed. This leads on to the next benefit.
- Better content distribution – Encouraging visitors to submit web content by adding social media buttons, this has the advantage of readers performing voluntary promotional work on the website’s behalf. Any submission by a visitor can distribute website content to potentially tens of thousands of new readers.
- Increased backlinks to the website – It is a well known SEO fact that search engines place great relevance on authority site backlinks when deciding on SERP position. Most of the big social media websites have high Google PageRank and are regarded as important sites. Any profiles on these sites create a backlink, as will any submissions from the website to a social media platform.
The Bigger Social Media Optimization Picture
Social Media Optimization should not be thought of as being restricted to building brands or online marketing. There are many other advantages and benefits to be gained by using SMO as part of a regular business strategy.
Many businesses are now utilizing SMO for market research and customer relations. Social Media is unique in making it simple to interact with your target audience and gain a better perspective into their needs and ideas. With the ever increasing popularity of Social Media, any business should be looking to integrate SMO as part their business development.