What Is SMO and How Is It Different From SEO?

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Are you building a new business and unsure about how much to put into your online presence? Have you been working hard to build your business and are now ready to scale by automating your lead generation with online campaigns?   

If you’re building a business in today’s market then you need to be online. It isn’t an option anymore and you won’t be successful if you treat it as an afterthought.

Don’t worry if you’re confused about what is SMO and how it can help with your SEO. We’re going to go over all of it, including the step by step process you need to take to improve your reach.

As you build your business and your website, ensure that your social media is on-point and helping to bring you business every day. 

What is SMO?

You’ve likely heard a lot about search engine optimization, but do you know what social media optimization is? SMO is the method used to optimize your social media accounts to bring you the most traffic.

Are your social media platforms driving your consistent daily traffic? Or do they seem to waste a lot of your time? If you’re not seeing the ROI you want from your social media accounts, then SMO will help turn that around.

Benefits of SMO:

  • Increase engagement getting your business seen by more people
  • Create shareable content that your followers want to share and increase your reach
  • Provides value to your clients, customers, leads, and prospects
  • Rewards loyal followers and turns them into ambassadors for your brand
  • Increased brand awareness

When it comes to digital marketing, you can’t ignore your social media. But you also can’t let it suck out all your time. With a solid digital marketing plan, you can optimize your social media accounts to increase engagement and improve your lead generation tactics.

You need to create an active and vibrant social media presence in order to grow your business. And at the same time, you need to grow your website and build up your search engine optimization.

Playing the Long Game

We all know what search engine optimization is, and we all want to rank on the first page of Google. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it once was, and that’s a good thing. 

When people search for a question or problem they have, they want to know that the first few suggestions on Google are going to actually answer that question. They don’t want to read something stuffed full of random keywords and other old tactics.

So, while you might hear complaints about the algorithm changes, just remember that SEO Is a long game and you want to keep your eye on the ball. You need to focus on creating great content that answers your potential client’s questions and provides real value.

Benefits of SEO:

  • Quality of content that helps your reader
  • Better user experience for your reader
  • Better leads for your business
  • Higher conversion rates as your content should have already primed your prospects
  • Higher credibility and authority through valuable content
  • Increased brand awareness

From building your credibility to improving your lead generation, optimizing your website today can help boost your business for years to come. While you may not like waiting for the long game of SEO, the beauty of that longevity is that you reap the benefits of your work for many years.

Making a Case for Both

When it comes to building your business and creating a space online, the phrase “build it and they will come” no longer works. You need to increase your reach and build brand awareness. As you saw in the benefits lists above, both SEO and SMO offer both increased reach and brand awareness. However, they also both have other qualities. And if you want all the benefits of both lists, you will need to focus on both search engine optimization and social media optimization.

Search engines reward websites that offer great content. And one of the ways they determine this is through engagement. When you build an engaged following who loves your content and shares it. These social shares linking back to your website is what will tell the search engines that you’re sharing great content that will help your audience.

If you’re worried that you’re already spread too thin running and growing your business, you can outsource your digital marketing to experts who specialize in SEO and SMO.

You Need to Diversify

Traffic is important. As you’re increasing your lead generation campaigns you will need to get your website, product, and information in front of your potential prospects. To do this, you need traffic.

And just as in the stock market, when you’re thinking long term, you need to diversify. We already established that SEO is your long game. You can also think of SMO as your short game, and as you know it doesn’t matter how great your drive is if you don’t have a great putting game.

To improve your short game in digital marketing, let’s talk about how to improve your SMO.

As you build your website, ensure that all your graphics are easily shareable. Also, be sure to include the best keywords for that article in the description for each image. You don’t want to load images with the title “img5635.jpg” instead you want to know your keywords and title your images accordingly. 

When you upload each image, be sure these keywords are also included in the image description. Many themes and sharing plugins will allow you to create images that are the ideal size for each social media platform. Having these images assigned per platform will make it easy to share for your readers.

As you grow your website, you also need to grow your social media accounts. Now that we’ve gone over why you need to improve your SMO, let’s go over how.

Steps to Improve Your SMO

SMO will take some time and attention, it requires constant attention, unlike SEO which can be planned and scheduled. However, we’ll also talk about how you can plan and schedule your SMO so you’re not feeling like you’re constantly online.

Step 1. Choose Your Platforms

There are dozens of online social media platforms. Some people might tell you that you need to be active in every single one of them. And you should aim to eventually build as many as you can. But you don’t want to spread yourself too thin, especially since you have a booming business to run.

From Facebook to Twitter and from YouTube to Reddit, there are many platforms you can choose from. What you need to ask yourself is where are your customers? 

Are they on Instagram or LinkedIn? You will get very different audiences on those two platforms and they’ll require very different strategies. This is why it’s important in the beginning to determine where your audience is and focus there before you tackle the other platforms.

Step 2. Optimize Your Profile

How are your future customers going to find you online? You need to optimize your profile with relevant words your customers might be searching for. 

Are you a plumber in Austin? Don’t put in your profile that you’re a dad who loves football. While this might be great for your personal profile, you need to maximize your profile real estate. 

Be sure that you put exactly what you do and where you work. This will help others to find you and know at a glance if you can help them.

Step 3. Create Relevant and Valuable Content

Get to know your future clients and customers. What are they interested in? How can you help them? 

This is how you’ll get the shares that will improve your reach and engagement online. Each platform has different types of material that get shared more often. Different platforms drive different traffic differently.

Facebook shares are all about emotion (“6 Lessons My 6-Year Old Taught Me About Life”). While on Pinterest users are searching how to do something (“6 Lessons About How You Can Be a Better Mom”). These might lead to the same article, but you need to tailor your headlines to target the right audience in the right location.

Step 4. Participate in the Conversation

From Reddit to Facebook to Instagram your audience is having conversations online. And you need to become a part of that conversation. Get out there, get yourself seen, offer advice and tips, you need to be active and talk with your potential clients.

People want to do business with other people they trust. More millennials are more willing to do business with someone they know and trust over being brand loyal as the generations before them. 

Step 5. Rinse and Repeat

Keep doing steps three and four every day. You need to learn your audience, learn what they want to see, and then provide it for them. Then continue to participate in the conversation and build relationships with your clients and customers. 

Once you master one platform then you repeat the process on another social media platform. Then continue to rinse and repeat the full five steps on each platform until you’ve built up your following and mastered each one.

Remember your ultimate goal is to increase brand awareness and drive traffic to your website. With a fully optimized website, you can then increase conversions with that extra traffic.

Don’t Go It Alone

Are you worrying that you won’t be able to successfully run a successful social media campaign while also running your business? SMO and SEO need constant updating and you need to stay on top of the trends. 

Instead, bring on an expert who loves to stay up with the ever-changing algorithms. Don’t worry about spending countless hours networking on social media. Let us do that for you so you can focus on your business. 

And when you’re ready to take your SEO and SMO to the next level with paid advertising, we can help you with that too. SEM takes your organic reach to a new level and you can easily incorporate paid marketing on both social media and with Google Ads.

In Digital Marketing, You Don’t Need to Choose, Instead Use SEO and SMO Together

So the question might not end up being should you use SEO vs SMO? But rather how can you create a strategy that combines them both beautifully?

As you grow your business, you might be wondering if you should focus on social media or your website. And we believe you should do both. However, you don’t have to be the one to do the work of building your profiles and website. 

As a busy business owner, it might make more sense to hire an expert to run your digital marketing campaign. And as you’re learning all about what is SMO, it will be nice to have an expert in your corner. This will help you build your following and improve your ranking as you build your brand awareness.

If all of this seems overwhelming or daunting, consider outsourcing your optimization to professionals. You have a business to run. Creating and implementing a consistent and successful digital marketing strategy is a full-time job in itself. 

So, if you’re ready to take your digital marketing to the next step, schedule your free consultation today and let us show you how we can take your business to the next level.