SEO is in ever flux, and today, more complicated than ever. A Google result page contains ads, organic search results, real time search results, social search results and possible personalized and localized search results too.
“SEO + SMO = Amplified Findability” says Brian Solis, who in the article “Social Media Optimization: SMO is the New SEO – Part 1” argues that social search and hence SMO, will play an ever growing part of online marketing efforts of the coming years, SMO will be the SEO of the future.
SMO will undoubtedly become more important and probably hyped too, but it will not replace SEO, rather I think the two will melt into a new form of search marketing.
Search marketing also includes advertising, so SEA (Search Engine Advertising) and SMA (Social Media Advertising) must be considered too. What interests me the most, though, is how to create synergy from SEO and SMO in terms of strategy and practical implementation of findability, how to amplify findability to a larger extend than the two parts, or how dynamic implementation and engagement will result in adding to the process.
Today Twitter search results hold prominent placements on Google result pages and no doubt, Google would love to give space to Facebook results too. Bing do have deals with both Twitter and Facebook but Bing don’t have the market share of Google.
Search engines do mix social and thus human based results with search results based on the Google search algorithm, which is a step toward the fusion of SEO and SMO. Also the search result page media mix of text (sometimes enhanced by rich snippets), images and video also form new challenges for SEO.
Search marketing strategy
The easy answer to the question of how to approach this development in search marketing is to say that you must think of everything. In a way, you must, but in practice this is impossible for most of us, even huge corporations don’t think of everything. So do some research and find out where exactly to put your effort.
The choice of one or two social media platforms, a blog, and SEO for your web site is required but the social media you will engage with must be the one where your customers are.
5 Dynamics of SEO and SMO
1. Keyword Research. In SEO, keyword research is to find the most searched words and phrases concerning your products. In SMO keyword research is to find out what your customers like to talk about, combine the two tasks.
2. Market Research. In SEO your focus is largely on your competitors, in SMO your focus is on your customers, these two can work in conjunction.
3. Reputation Intelligence. In SMO you must be informed of what others say about you, your company, your products and this knowledge is useful for SEO.
4. Link Building. The more popular a blog grows, the more links it will attract, the more quality comments you leave on other’s blogs or social profiles, the more recognition you get, and the more links you get (even if they are nofollow) which starts the ring over again.
5. Visibility Enhancement. Writing posts on your blog does have benefits for both SEO and SMO. The SMO part mainly results in social value for your Facebook, Twitter or whatever profiles. The SEO side benefits from more indexed pages, more articles (link bait), higher internal link value, etc.