Social Media Optimization…The Next Level
October 17, 2007
Team Leader – Web Content
Social Media Optimization (SMO) is the next step in Search engine optimization (SEO) in the era of Web 2.0. Whereas SEO is optimizing the website for search engine software i.e. crawlers, the SMO is optimizing the website for the human readers.
To elaborate, SEO involves adding popular, most searched keywords to your website and then increase the inbound links by promoting those keywords over various platforms, so that when crawler comes to your site it would give your web page higher rank based on relative relevance and importance of the content, major parameters being the key words and the quality of inbound links.
Therefore even if the content in your website is not offering something unique, it can rank in top ten over search engine results if your website is:
- Easy for search engines to find and navigate through.
- Has popular, most searched about keywords incorporated at proper places.
- Has got important websites linked to you.
Does the SEO job finish here? A big NO!
The content and the services offered must be compelling enough to have the visitor converted into buyer of that service.
But SMO is a different ball game. In words of SMO pioneer Rohit Bhargava.
“The concept behind SMO is simple: implement changes to optimize a site so that it is more easily linked to, more highly visible in social media searches on custom search engines (such as Technorati), and more frequently included in relevant posts on blogs, podcasts and vlogs.”The most important word is social media.
Social media as defined in Wikipedia is:
“Social media describes the online technologies and practices that people use to share content, opinions, insights, experiences, perspectives, and media themselves.
Social media can take many different forms, including text, images, audio, and video. The social media sites typically use tools like message boards, forums, podcasts, bookmarks, communities, wikis, weblogs etc.”
This means to promote your website in social media you have to have people read them and create a buzz about it, in other words you have to have your site promoted through word of mouth in true web 2.0 fashion. You can almost make the case that if a site or product relies on advertising to get the word out, it isn’t Web 2.0.” Therefore if you want to succeed in web 2.0 era you have to opt for SMO.
This can happen only when your website provides something that is unique enough and compelling enough for the people over social media to tell their friends about. Once that happens people from relevant blogs, forums and communities will start flocking in, they would start bookmarking your site. If that happens the SEO part will take care of itself, as both quality and quantity of the inbound links will be great.
Easy enough to write about it, right! But the million bucks question is, how to do it?
The pioneers of SMO have written down some rules, I will discuss those rules through the lenses of my own understanding and expertise in the area in my next posting before actually getting down to the business of explaining the doing part of SMO.