>Increase your Content Value with Social Media Optimization

25 05 2010

>There’s no doubt that even if you may not be as savvy when it comes to web marketing as you’d like, you’re still probably aware of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is crucial to building your brand and your business’s credibility. But today were going to focus on SMO and how it can aid you in optimizing your content and, thus, your website and your business.

SMO (Social Media Optimization) is using content to directly market to your audience while SEO is marketing to search engines and trying to increase your search rankings. If you’re able to get a good handle on SMO, you’ll be able to increase your search engine rankings. SMO is like the behind-the-scenes work that promotes and strengthens SEO.

Using SMO enables you to build lasting relationships with your customers. It optimizes “your online presence to be more visible in social media searches, sites, and popular search engines.”

In a recent article on the topic, Anton Koekemoer of the AntonRSA blog, notes to increase your visibility, there are five basic rules to follow (trust me, this isn’t brain surgery):

1. Increase your likability. This can be done by using your content in a way that will make people view it as a resource and link back to it.
2. Allow readers to tag and bookmark your content and use methods that make it easier. You can also increase visibility by being sure to add relevant tags to your content.
3. Reward inbound links. Basically, you reward those that link to you by reciprocating and linking back in your content. This should not be forced; the links should coincide with your content. If you find it difficult to link back through content, other ways of rewarding those who are linking to your site is to display pingbacks and comments and add a listing of blogs and other websites that have linked to your site. It’s also a good idea to make sure the blogs and sites listed are not only ones that you frequent and actively contribute to but are, more importantly, relevant to your business.
4. Allow your content to be portable. Allowing readers to subscribe to your site through RSS or other readers (like FeedReader) allows your content to travel across the web.
5. Encourage the sharing of your content—to a reasonable extent. You don’t want to just give away your information and resources but rather you want to make it accessible to others, which will allow them to backlink to your site. Other ways of sharing your content is by guest blogging on sites that are relevant to your business and/or having guest bloggers/contributors on your site.

If you’re going to partake in social media outlets to grow your business, it’s so very important that you focus on optimizing your media content, as well.

Notes Koekemoer , “Every business participating in social media activities should also focus on social media optimization to enhance their profile and to become more visible.”

The reasons are few but immensely important: anyone is able to create content, it increases your visibility and credibility, and you can reach not only locally but globally.

Part of SMO fundamentals is using different mediums to deliver your content—whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or a blog section on your website. Using these avenues builds credibility and a strong readership as long as your content is of value to your business. Creating content that is subject specific will boost your keyword strategies and SEO results.

SMO is the beginning of building loyal, return customers as well as your online brand. From there it’s your job to convert these visitors into long-time, frequent guests/clients.

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