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Forward > Blog > Social Media Optimization and Search Engine Optimization: The Showdown
posted by Ryan Magallanes

Social Media Optimization and Search Engine Optimization: The Showdown

5 July 2013

Social Media Optimization and Search Engine Optimization: The Showdown - Forward Solutions

There are various ways to drive traffic to your website. The main “drivers”, however, are the two closely related terms: Social Media Optimization (SMO) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

The showdown

These two concepts sparked debates among social media marketing and SEO companies as to which is more beneficial in promoting websites, brands, products and services. Sometimes, the issue is also about convincing business owners why these are essential in boosting the growth of their company and whether prioritize SEO more than the other, or only focus on one without the other.

Before we proceed, let us first define each term. Social Media Optimization is the process of increasing the visibility and awareness of a brand, a product, or a website through the use of different social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, among others. Over the years, social media has played a vital role when talking about internet marketing. With the use of effective social media strategies, a company can­ connect with a large number of audiences instantaneously giving more exposure and brand awareness compared to other marketing channels. Social media also helps in establishing online credibility and reputation that could mean potential sales and clients.

On the other hand, Search Engine Optimization is the process of amplifying the number of visitors to a website by ensuring that the website remains authoritative or relevant in search engine results pages. The primary goal of SEO is to keep the websites’ ranking high based on the search queries of their target visitors. The challenge in the field of SEO is to make the website search engine friendly as much as possible since search engines, especially Google, penalize websites that do not follow Webmaster Guidelines. As such, search engines push website owners and administrators to observe accepted and standard SEO guidelines or else their websites will end up decaying in search engine slums.

No such thing as “showdown”

The two terms may be defined differently but they intersect at several points. While SEO is related more to search engine visibility and SMO is for social networks, the latter also plays a part because social networks are also crawled by search engines and can add credibility to your website if optimized properly. Whether internet marketers and SEO companies agree or not, both terms entail brand or product visibility, website traffic, potential client and sales leads. So if a company finds success by focusing only on one of these, how much more if both approaches are combined?

To combine SEO and SMO, you should determine your target audience first. Using relevant titles and headers will give way to gaining attention from search engines as they will be more likely to store your website’s URL, helping to boost your overall SEO. Also, matching the metatags, keywords and titles of your social media posts with the contents on your website can increase visibility and viewership across all search engines. Balancing the application of SEO and SMO is important because it can be the key to the website’s success irrespective of the nature of the brand or product; integrating SEO and SMO can start off an effective internet marketing campaign that will attract the right audience.

Do you have any experience integrating SEO with SMO?

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