CAREER ADVANCEMENT / JUN. 09, 2014
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How to Combine SEO and SMO to Quickly Boost Website Rankings

Many people think that when they type a word or phrase into their favorite search engine, it immediately searches the entire internet to give them their results.

If you think about the millions of websites out there, you would quickly realise that there is just simply no way this is possible in the short amount of time it takes for you to get your list of results. Instead, search engines actually have a database of websites. They compile these databases by sending out web crawlers, most commonly referred to as spiders, to collect information from websites.

They check things such as page titles, headings, and the content contained within the pages of the site. They then rank these sites in the database based on relevance to given keywords and phrases. Then, when someone searches these words or phrases, the rankings of the database determine the order websites are displayed on the search results page.

What is on-site and what is off-site optimisation? 

The more relevant your site is to a topic, the higher the spiders will place them in the database. Therefore, it is essential that you use the proper keywords and phrases on your website. At its core, improving your ranking is as simple as that.

In order to rank higher, you need to have better on-site and off-site optimisation than your competition. The process of having better optimisation is referred to as Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO. SEO can be broken into two main categories: on-site and off-site. On-site has to do with your actual website, things like titles and meta descriptions. Off-site has to do with links and social signals.

Now that you have a general understanding of primary SEO components, let's see how they can be used with social media.

Social media optimization and SEO

Social media optimisation (SMO) is a term that was started by Rohit Bhargava. His views about social media were not meant to replace SEO, but instead to use the tool as a platform to increase awareness of a brand, event or product. SMO and SEO work together seamlessly due to the fact that search engine algorithms take social media websites into consideration.

When it comes to updating posts, tweets or any other information on social networking sites, it is very important to optimise the content with a relevant keyword for better performance of the content. More specifically, the practice has to be of continuously optimising social posts to extend their reach, making them visible and engaging to more people; prompting viewers to interact with the post in some way.

5 SMO guidelines you should be following:

SMO includes the use of social news, bookmarking, integration of various social media websites and RSS feeds. This type of optimisation deals a lot with issues surrounding online reputation management. SMO follows five guidelines regarding the sustainability of social media websites.

Make sharing easy

There are several ways to do this. First, make social sharing widgets readily available for every page or post. This can be done by installing simple plugins, if you’re using WordPress. Next, make your content short and more frequent. This can increase engagement, which can lead to sharing. Don’t forget to mention that your brand is available on other social media platforms so your audience can exercise their preferred method of sharing.

Reward engagement

What does your audience get if they participate on your social page? Most people are more willing to be part of a community if there is something in it for them. That’s why holding contests on social media is so powerful. Companies take advantage of this by providing incentives for “likes” and surveys.

Proactively share content

This one is the most direct way of optimising your social media efforts. Scour the internet with quality content that your customers like. Make sure you share at least three types of content on a regular basis. Make sharing unpredictable by including videos, photos and quotes.

Create shareable content

When it comes to social media, shareable content really comes down to getting your customer’s attention. You may not want to post an entire article on social media. Instead, use a catchy headline with a controversial image that links to the post. This can make your content more shareable. Short and direct content works better compared to boring social media posts.

Encourage mash-ups

Mash-ups bring different social media platforms together. You could easily use your Facebook campaign to boost your Twitter followers by linking content. Another great way to do this is by diverting replies to posts and engagement to other social platforms. This works well for example, for directing Twitter followers to a Reddit page.

To conclude, with the advancements of social platforms, SEO isn’t a one-sided digital marketing strategy anymore. In order for your business to be successful online, you have to focus on connecting multiple strategies, similar to omnichannel, instead of treating them all separately.

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