Digital Inbound marketing is on the rise in 2012 and will continue to rise as more social sites and more business see the value in both SEO and SMO. If you are unfamiliar with these terms you’re in the right place.

SEO Vs SMO war has just begun. Some internet marketers now argue that the importance and dominance of search engines is on the decline, as social media becomes a global force to reckon with.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a technique used by website owners to make their website more search engine friendly. Also using this technique we can make sure that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be found by the search engines like optimization of your website for search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo etc.

SMO or Social Media Optimization is relatively newer and it basically refers to the process of optimizing your website for social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn etc. Social media optimization basically includes placing a website on the various social media networks and social bookmarking sites so that the search engines see more inbound links.

Let’s look briefly at how search engines and social media work, and why internet marketers should use both of them  to improve their contents discover-ability.

How SEO Works?

When relying on Search Engines for your website or products to be found, you’re optimizing the factors that Search Engines use in their organic searches, such as: regularly posted fresh and relevant content, relevant keywords used in search-engine friendly ways, and plenty of back-links to your website placed on other relevant sites. You are looking for increased traffic to your website, and increased sales conversions through customers purchasing your products on offer.

It’s tough getting noticed on the Web. A Web page can give useful information about a popular subject in an interactive and engrossing way, yet still attract few visitors. One of the most reliable ways to improve traffic is to achieve a high rank on search engine return pages (SERPs).

While most search engine companies try to keep their processes a secret, their criteria for high spots on SERPs isn’t a complete mystery. Search engines are successful only if they give a user links to the best web sites related to the user’s search terms. If your site is the best resource on the Web, it benefits search engines to list the site high up on their SERPs. You just have to find a way to show search engines that your site belongs at the top of the heap. That’s where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in — it’s a collection of techniques a webmaster can use to improve his or her site’s SERP rank.

In an ideal world, your site would rise to the top of every search engine’s SERP based on content alone. While it’s possible for your site to take the No. 1 SERP spot on its own, it could take months or even longer. Even worse, there’s no guarantee your site will ever make it as high as the first page of search results.

To improve a web page’s rank in a SERP, you have to know how search engines work. Search engines categorize Web pages based on keywords — important terms that are relevant to the content of the page.

Most search engines use computer programs called crawlers to search the web and analyze pages. These programs read webpages and index them according to the terms that show up often and in important sections of the page. There’s no way for a search engine spider to know what your page is about unless you use the right keywords in the right places.

Keywords aren’t the only important factor search engines take into account when generating SERPs. Just because a site uses keywords well doesn’t mean it’s one of the best resources on the web. To find the quality of a web page, most automated search engines use link analysis. Search engine look to see how many other Web pages link to the page in question. If a search engine sees that hundreds of other Web pages related to your keywords are linking to your Web page, the engine will give your page a higher rank.

How SMO works?

Utilizing Social Media for your marketing means you post information, articles, links, videos, podcasts, comments, or any relevant content, on your profiles at sites where people gather online, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, blogs, forums, and Social Bookmarking sites like Digg, Stumbleupon and Delicious. It is a more active form of marketing, because you’re going to where your potential customers or prospects are, instead of waiting for them to find you in their Search Engine searches. Of course, it’s not as simple as it sounds, because often your content is seen by your Social Media Friends/Followers only, especially on Social Networking sites, so how you select these people is also important, because they need to be a receptive audience. But in many other cases, your content is freely available to anyone on the Internet, and will appear in relevant Search Engine searches too (such as videos and Social Bookmarking content).

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, not only help in generating the free traffic for your website but also help in creating a brand awareness for your site as it is recommended by the people you know. Obviously there will be a difference in your perception when you reach a website using search engines and when you reach it while following one of your friend’s Like on Facebook.

This particular feature, when a post or entire website is shared by people on these social media sites, have potential to go viral even if it is not well optimized for search engines, is a killer advantage of social media optimization over search engine optimization. Even if your site is well optimized for a particular keyword for search engines, you can never assure yourself of getting good traffic from it. And the reason behind is very simple that there might not be many people looking for that information at that moment. But even if a keyword is not in trend, if it is shared on social media sites, is bound to generate good number of visits to your site and if it is carefully drafted, then it may result in huge profits for you.

Why you need SEO and SMO both together

Though both techniques are distinct concepts, we can see that there lies an area where these two merge with one another. In all, both SMO and SEO strive to attract traffic, higher rankings, popularity and site success.

As SMO brings in success in a short span of time, SEO gets in longer lasting success. This is the main reason that a blend of both is highly essential to have a successful website.

Relevant and quality content that is original and useful is the most important factor in SEO and SMO. Both techniques require content for crawling the search spiders or the traffic who will hook on to a page.

Using SMO, one can create the personal feel and appeal that is otherwise tough to create by SEO alone. In other words, SMO offers the chance to talk to the clients and customers on a personal level and answer all their questions to get more business. At the same time, it is also imperative to have visibility in the search engines and that is possible with effective SEO.

Thus, a blend of both SMO and SEO is a great way to grow the business and have a successful website. What actually makes the online marketing plan a successful one is the smart synergy of SEO and SMO.

If you’d like some help with either your SEO or Social Media, or you need some Internet Marketing advice from a professional Internet Marketer, please get in touch.

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