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The future of SEO has to include SMO. That should be clear by now, if not clear relatively soon. The rise and dominance of such technologies and sites as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Digg, YouTube, Sphinn, (etc.) have ensured this future. Like telling our kids that the future is in their hands, so we are telling the users – not the companies – that the future of the Internet is in theirs.

What is SMO?

SMO, or Social Media Optimizing, is the newest and most sought after branch of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It’s taking what was once all about writing, codes and web design, and expanding to include social networks, the media and the camera. In fact, by definition it’s using these additional tactics for the purpose of boosting visibility and traffic through social media, online communities and community websites.

How does SMO work?

There are many methods of social media optimization, but they generally break down into two types: on-page and off-page. Both work together in cooperation to build your network and stimulate traffic to your site. They combine to increase visibility, adapt and refresh your site’s style and voice, and build a greater fan base.

On-Page SMO

Some of the greatest and easiest methods are done on your website. The goal of performing on-page SMO is first and foremost to create a greater “linkability” for your page, especially for the content. A great first step is blogging. When you connect your site with a personal or corporate blog, you immediately speak to a different circle. Blogging offers an informal space for you to inform, engage and discuss your company. The better the blog, the more traffic you’ll have.

Also important is adding content to your site that makes tagging and bookmarking easier, not only so a user can remember and return to your site, but also so that he or she can share your site with others. Social bookmarking websites like have made sharing sites easy and popular.

Off-Page SMO

Working off-page is important also for boosting traffic and visibility. By sharing content with other social media sites you can expand your network and target audience beyond the search engines. The first step is to create sharable media like .pdfs, video files and audio files. Then, you can submit them not only to your site, but also to the media sites. Again, the better the content, the more traffic you will receive.
Two examples of social media sites are Twitter and Facebook.  While Twitter was originally just a way to keep in touch and update friends on what you’re doing, it’s now much more than that.  Businesses have begun using Twitter for company updates and information, as well as getting immediate feedback from customers and clients.  Twitter isn’t for posting ads; it’s for engaging and building your audience (i.e. potential customers).

Facebook and other sites such as LinkedIn, are excellent places to expand your network.  Whether this means making friends, meeting others interested in your particular niche or creating strong B2B relationships, adding these sites to your SMO efforts can achieve several purposes; back links to your site, increasing awareness of your site or product, public exposure and creating interest in your brand are just a few examples of what using these sites can do for you.

As the Internet changes so does SEO. It’s no longer simply about writing and coding, but about blogging, videos, networks, conversations and, most importantly, engaging your target audience. Marketing and networking are now just as important and effective; SEO must transition into, and turn toward, SMO.  As you continue building your site along the Internet highways and byways, ask yourself: What are you doing to get your SMO on?

Update on this article thanks to Lee Oden – 16 Rules For Social Media Optimization Revisited

Comments (12)

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    Phoebe Reply

    Great post! Do you mind if I share it with some prospects I’m targeting for a social media campaign?

    April 3, 2009 at 6:44 am
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      Gabriella Reply

      I encourage you to share, use, entice, engage, etc. anything we write. There are many ways to slice an apple.. or something to that effect. lol Thanks for dropping by.

      April 3, 2009 at 9:42 am
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    Marcus Reply

    Thanks for sharing this one. And the fact that I found this article via a friend on twitter ads to its truth. 🙂

    April 21, 2009 at 11:12 pm
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      Gabriella Reply

      Humm yeah I guess it does work. It’s all about getting your stuff out there. I like promoting the small guy, maybe deep down inside I see it as promoting myself… truth be told lol Again thanks for dropping by!

      April 22, 2009 at 6:14 am
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    Frank Dickinson Reply

    Great post – and so very true. If you are not in the SMO game – you are being left behind. I love SEO, but it is only part of the equation needed to get your stuff noticed. Remember: whoever commands the attention, commands the action – and Social Media is where peoples attention is focused.

    Excellent job!


    June 8, 2009 at 9:58 am
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      Gabriella Reply

      Another SEO Geek I love it. Bottom line is you have to be more than an SEO provider if you intend to keep up with the competition, and hopefully understand “whoever commands the attention, commands the action – and Social Media is where peoples attention is focused.” I couldn’t have said that better! Thanks Frank your comment and kind words are one of the reasons I keep this blog going.

      June 8, 2009 at 10:11 am
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    travistasset Reply

    Great post. Thank you & I will be sharing this…

    August 2, 2009 at 5:11 pm
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    Travis Tasset Reply

    SMO is Where SEO is Going

    August 2, 2009 at 5:20 pm
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    Level343 Reply

    Frank Hallelujah! 🙂 Isn't it freaking amazing? I mean the power of “we the people” starting to actually account for something. Thanks

    August 3, 2009 at 4:04 am
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    SEOcopy Reply

    Hey Travis I know that's the truth. I have SEO people telling me SEO is king, but hey I come from a Marketing background …. & I have to tell you if you don't mix it together like a well seasoned “antipasto” then you have a lot of cold cuts 🙂 Thanks for dropping by Travis!

    August 3, 2009 at 4:06 am
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    Lee Odden Reply

    The way I look at it, “If it can be searched on, it can be optimized.”

    Traditional SEO benefits greatly from social media via content and links. SEO can help social networks grow through search based discovery. They go together.

    Search Google for “social media optimization” without quotes and you’ll find a good article by Adam Singer on that revisits the 16 rules Rohit Bhargava inspired when he coined the SMO phrase. Are they still true today as 3 years ago? You decide.

    January 12, 2010 at 4:04 am
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      Gabriella Reply

      I especially like #4, 8, & 9 in those 16 rules which I updated in the article. I don’t disagree with the others I just do believe that building links take time and one should not get links for the sake of links and page rank. After all who am I fooling? We all want better page rank but at the end of the day I would rather have 10 people interested in what I have to say than 100 visitors that happen to click on the link with no real intent. Then again this would open the discussion into what is intent and that is for another article. Thanks Lee and please stay warm 😉 we need your wonderful input.

      January 12, 2010 at 6:55 am

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SMO is Where SEO is Going