Integrating SEO and SMO as a digital marketing strategy
In the digital market today, webmasters and bloggers are competing fiercely to obtain the first places in the SERP’s as more and more companies are making web page optimization their priority and therefore taking care of every little aspect of this optimization has become more and more essential.
Among the different branches inside an online campaign, there’re two components that are particularly important when it comes to directing traffic to any website, and if we want our site to become really noticeable for Google bots, and be viral enough to make our business grow. We’re talking about SEO and SMO which comprises two parts of a whole strategy called SEM.
What is SEM and how it relates to SEO and SMO?
SEM or Search Engine Marketing comprehends every aspect and strategy we apply online to get traffic to our websites. This means SEM is the construction and integration of any action made by the user or webmaster to improve the positioning and traffic of the website.
Therefore, SEM is formed basically by SMO and SEO even though there’re other actions that are also part of SEM strategies such as the use of AdWords or any kind of pay-per-click advertising.
Once we know SEO and SMO are both parts of a bigger plan, we can now deepen into what is each one, its advantages and how to apply a good strategy for both factors that are still integrative with the campaign.
What is SEO?
As we all probably know by now, SEO or Search Engine Optimization responds to an organic positioning of the website thanks to a series of measures that make that website really optimized and attractive to Google’s bots for a specific compound of keywords according to the business.
Nevertheless, it’s commonly seen that people confound SEO and keyword research with overstuffing the website with a lot of keywords. But this is actually counterproductive as Search Engines these days direct their attention to high-quality content websites that include keywords, yes, but in a natural way that helps the user through the reading.
In this matter, SEO is about making a website pages content respond to what the bots are searching for in order to be placed by them in the first results.
Advantages of using SEO:
- Increased traffic: if you achieve to position your web among the first two pages of the search engines, you’ll definitely receive a lot more traffic.
- ROI: when doing SEO you can practically measure any aspect of the strategy, so in the end, you can calculate whether or not the investment in your strategy is being successful or needs to change.
- Affordable: as SEO targets organic traffic instead of paying one, it’s one of the cheapest ways of advertising any website as you will be receiving profit from every cent invested as the whole strategy is directed to people interested in our product or service.
- Friendly website: as SEO consists in making a website easy to read for Google’s bot, and these ones are looking for quality content for users, our website will actually be friendlier with users so this will translate in a lower abandon rate.
- Brand awareness: being among the first results give reliability to any website as companies on this position are commonly perceived as more serious. On the other hand, being in the top positions makes our brand more noticeable and probably will impact the popularity of it.
What is SMO?
It’s usual to find brands that include a social media page with basic information, only to be present where their clients are but when you access the page, the content is poor or absent and it has nothing of value to offer to the users. When we talk about SMO or Social Media Optimization, we’re talking about doing all the opposite.
SMO intends to optimize every little aspect of our social media profiles so we can get the most of them and make our online presence increase. Basically, the goal of SMO is making people aware of our brand so it can complement the SEO strategy by relating our brand to the specific keywords we’ve previously researched.
SMO is so important because it boosts SEO strategy as it makes our brand more present around the web relating it to the wanted keywords.
Advantages of SMO:
- Even though the positioning process is slower, SMO can make some business success within days even though they’re not indexed among the first SERP, especially if you can add a direct click on your profiles for subscribing, buying, etc.
- It’s very probable that some contacts come along the way.
- If we keep our profiles active with good quality content, it’s easy to get the public’s response even without paying.
- It improves SEO results.
- When connecting all our social media profiles, we generate a network of awareness that can expand exponentially.
Differences between SEO and SMO
While both are part of a digital marketing strategy and complement each other to boost online presence of any brand, there’re some aspects where they diverge:
- In SEO, link-builds are very important for positioning strategy while in SMO we expect links as a result of the strategy; links in SEO are generated by the brand while links in SMO are generated by the users sharing our content around the web.
- SEO gives special attention to keywords, headlines, tags, etc. While SMO concentrates more on the visual factors to obtain shares.
- Titles are important in both strategies as in SEO it directs bots to the topic on our website and in SMO titles attract people’s clicks.
- While both contents must be good quality assets for users, SEO needs to be optimized for bots while SMO doesn’t directly affect the search engine indexing process
- Analytics in SEO are important as they show whether or not the strategy is working. On the other side, Analytics on SMO shows the topic which our users are more interested in and what kind of content attracts more our audience.
Why is it important to integrate SEO and SMO and how to do it?
As we mentioned before, digital marketing is all about integrating strategies; the time when every part of it was treated solely is being forgotten and if we want to really apply a web page optimization, we need to also optimize our social media in response to it.
When working with SMO, our presence in the web will increase, and even though our final goal is not to drive people into our social media profiles only, it definitely will help to drive traffic to our website when they’re optimized properly. Then, as our website should be also optimized (SEO) it all becomes a cycle of leading to the social network profile, to the website, to the search engines, to the social media, etc.
Tips for improving SEO with SMO:
- Quality content: as well as in SEO, what gives us visibility in social media networks is the quality of our content so, the better it is, the more it will be shared and therefore we’ll have more presence as a website because social signals are one of the factors Google bots look for to prove a website’s authority.
- Avoid too much link dropping: the links on social media which actually help SEO are the ones generated by users when sharing your content. So, we must avoid dropping links on any social media group or page that direct to your profile; this will only get us penalized by Google or being reported as spam
- Authority contacts: it’s important to make some research about the contact we’re going to add, follow, +1, etc. in our social networks; having authority contacts that are related to our keywords and topics can help to reach the community interest in those specific topics and expand our own audience exponentially.
- Platform selection: not every social media network suits every business so it’s important that we determine which will work best for our business. In this matter, if our business is more visual we could use Instagram better than Twitter but for a research blog, Twitter can be the best option. Nevertheless, Facebook and Google + are two obliged options as the first one holds the biggest users community in the world and the second one not only increases the reach of the content to every contact our contacts have but also is favored by Google engines, of course.
Tips for improving SMO with SEO
SEO has a lot to teach to SMO when it comes to optimization, so, if we’re planning on integrating both strategies (and we should be), here are some tips:
- Optimize the strategy: in the same way, you optimize every aspect of SEO; nothing can be left to chance when it comes to SMO, from every word to every image and time for posting must be researched.
- Keyword research: ideal for developing hash tags and copies for your social network posts.
- Optimize your profile picture (company logo), your profile name (company name if possible) and your bio or info (add a direct link to your website and keywords).
- Content optimization: we must optimize both original content, which is uniquely made by you for a specific campaign or post, and curated content, which must be shared only from pages that are valuable and related to your keywords and useful to your audience.
- Posting schedule: as we mentioned before, nothing on the social network strategy can be left to chance, that includes schedule, but not only the time but the quantity of posts is important. A general idea could be:
- Facebook: 3-10 /w
- Twitter: 5+ /w
- LinkedIn: 2-5 /w
- Pinterest: 5-10 /w
- Google +: 3-10 /w