Search engine optimization in simplistic terms can be explained as the method through which the website or content writer uses ‘specific’ words in the content so that the search engines such as Google or Bing or any other engine lists the link in the top 10 results. Google being the most used engine and the market leader is the first choice for neitzens. Google doesn’t show paid results in its free links. It shows paid results in the sponsored category because of the “don’t be evil” policy of its two founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page. So the only way for content providers to be listed in top 10 would be through SEO
Similarly Social Media Optimization (SMO) is a concept where we do changes in the content of the website so that it is more visible in social media searches on search engines.
Here are 5 rules we should do to help clients do SMO for there website:
1. Increase your linkability – make the website dynamic so that the crawler of the search engine comes frequently to the website to update. If the website is static, then it will not appear in the top results. This is known as the Linkability of the site. Adding a blog is a great step, however there are many other ways such as creating white papers and thought pieces, or even simplyaggregating content that exists elsewhere into a useful format.
- Make tagging and bookmarking easy – Adding content features like quick buttons to “add to yahoo” are one way to make the process of tagging pages easier, but we should go beyond this. Making sure pages include a list of relevant tags, suggested notes for a link (which come up automatically when you go to tag a site), and making sure to tag our pages first on popular social bookmarking sites (including more than just the homepage)
- Reward inbound links – Inbound links are used as a barometer to measure the success of blogs or websites. They should be clearly visible to the user. From using Permalinks to recreating similarly listing recent linking blogs on your site provides the reward of visibility for those who link to you
- Help your content travel – When you have content that can be portable such as PDFs, video files and audio files, submitting them to relevant sites will help your content travel further, and ultimately drive links back to your site. This is like the intensive distribution of the content to make it as widely available as possible.
- Encourage the mashup – In a world of co-creation, it pays to be more open about letting others use your content (within reason). YouTube’s idea of providing code to cut and paste so you can imbed videos from their site has fueled their growth.
There are many other “rules” and techniques that we are starting to uncover as this idea gets more sophisticated. In future, we may see advertising taking a back seat and we will have O&Ms, McCann Erickson’s of SEO and SMO and they might be a subject in Management colleges.