from Digital Marketing, SEO

SEO vs. SMO: The Impact of Social Media On Search Engine Optimization

By Erin Durham
December 17, 2014 - read

SEO vs SMO. Comparison by Waypost Marketing, Greenville, SCInternet Marketing is a cutting-edge industry that is constantly evolving. There is something new to learn every day, and what worked yesterday doesn't work today. As an internet marketing firm, we can tell you that it is a full-time job staying on top of each new trend, practice, and Google update.

On the one hand, this fluidity is exactly why businesses need a third party to manage all of their digital marketing strategies — you, as a business owner, already have your hands full with your business operations. On the other hand, this fluidity is also why it is so easy for businesses to be taken advantage of by, shall we say, less-than-reputable individuals or companies looking to earn a quick buck off of a business's naiveté.

What Is SEO?

Simply put, SEO is a set of tactics that brings more people to your site by improving search engine rankings. A good SEO strategy includes a number of practices and techniques to make sure that people who are looking for the products or services that you offer, or information relevant to your industry, find your site before they find your competitor's site.

What Is SMO?

Social media optimization is the part of search engine optimization that deals with all things social. It includes:

  • Setting up and optimizing social profiles to make them as visible and relevant as possible
  • Publishing fresh, interesting, shareable content
  • Participating in social conversations to humanize your company and build brand recognition
  • Providing a place where customers can praise or complain about your company's service
  • Responding graciously and appreciatively to customer praise
  • Addressing customer complaints and resolving issues in a transparent manner

... etc. Social media is where the community comes together to talk, and whether you're participating in that dialogue or not, you are still likely a topic. Social media optimization is where you get to find out what your customers like, dislike, need, and want. You can find out how they feel about your company for virtually nothing — it's free market research! All it costs is time.

How SEO and SMO Fit Together

Google is ever striving to make sure that the companies who make it to the top of the search results page are the ones who deserve to be there. This is why companies who practice techniques like keyword-stuffing and link-spamming are quickly rooted out and penalized. Google wants to provide information to their users. If you are providing solid information and fresh content relevant to your industry, then Google thinks that you belong at the top.

Social media optimization then, is what proves to Google that your site provides valuable information to their users. The more social media users engage with you and share your content, the more authority you must have in your industry, the higher you rank. Therefore, SMO is a hugely important piece of the SEO pie!

However, the ultimate goal of any SEO strategy is not to drive people to your Facebook page or Pinterest board... it is to drive people to your website so that your website can do ITS job and convert users into paying customers. There are many places across the internet that customers can go to find out if you are a company who knows what it's talking about, treats its customers well, and provides good service at a good value. If your SEO strategy leaves out these other sources of potential web traffic, then you're missing out on a lot of potential customers. Can you afford to lose this potential revenue to your competition?

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Tags: Digital Marketing, SEO