SEO vs SMO: The Key Differences You Need to Know

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SMO (Social Media Optimization) are common words that you’ll encounter in digital marketing. How are they different? How can you use each of them effectively? Do they work well together or do you have to choose only one? In this article we will learn all about SEO vs SMO.

In this article

  1. SEO vs SMO: Key Differences
  2. What is Search Engine Optimization?
  3. 5 Key Elements of Search Engine Optimization
  4. Why Social Media Optimization?
  5. Why is Social Media Optimization Important?
  6. 6 Basic Social Media Optimization Strategies
  7. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  8. Effectively Using SEO and SMO Together
  9. Related Reads

SEO vs SMO: Key Differences

To understand SEO vs SMO you first need to know that both digital marketing strategies. However, they have very striking differences that set them apart. Here are a few of them.

1. Platform

When it comes to SEO vs SMO the starkest difference between the two is where they take place. SEO happens in search engines and SMO happens on multiple social media platforms. SEO helps you get your brand noticed on search engine result pages, or SERPs, and SMO helps in increasing brand awareness on social media platforms.

2. Direction of Content

With SEO, you’re optimizing the content so users are driven to it through SERPs when they search for relevant keywords. For SMO, you’re creating content for your target audience so that they can see it on social media even if they’re not actively looking for it. 

3. Goal

The goal of SEO is to increase the traffic that goes to your website. It uses multiple strategies to help you rank higher in SERPs and attract organic traffic to your web pages. The goal of SMO is to connect you with your target audience and your potential customers. It’s more focused on creating relationships with your target audience and establishing trust. 

4. Speed of Results

SEO is more of a long-term strategy. It may take time before you can see any results from your SEO efforts. In contrast, SMO can show you faster and more concrete results through engagement and analytics.

5. Networking

In SEO, you can create a high-profile domain simply by creating good content that is useful and helpful to users. In SMO, you may need to associate yourself with profiles that have a high following for you to build your audience. It’s more heavily reliant on networking than SEO. 

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization is the process of improving your website to increase your online presence. In doing so, you’ll rank higher on SERPs and attract more organic traffic to your website. 

5 Key Elements of Search Engine Optimization

SEO can be quite tricky when you’re trying it out for the first time. Here are a few key elements of SEO that you need to know if you want to start.

SEO vs SMO - Key Elements of Search Engine Optimization

1. Keywords

Keywords are one of the main foundations of SEO. It’s how you bridge users’ queries to your content. It’s imperative to be able to identify the keywords that your target audience uses to find your content. Then, proceed to use these keywords in your content so that it appears on SERPs when people search for it. 

2. Mobile Optimization

This is the process of making sure that your website looks good on the small screens of phones and tablets. The texts, fonts, and images must all be clear and readable. Finally, all the elements present in your web pages must be responsive on smaller screens. 

3. Link Building

This is the process of getting links that lead back to your content from different sources. This can be done through various link building strategies like guest blogging. 

This is the process of writing content for other websites and inserting your link so that users will be directed to your web pages. It removes the burden of creating content for the website you’re writing for and you get to have high-quality backlinks from good websites. 

4. Internal Linking

Internal linking is the process of linking your own content to other parts of your website. For example, you’re writing a lot of blog posts that are interconnected with each other. You can link helpful blog posts in keywords that you would like to expound so that you can direct users to content that they may find useful.

What this does is it helps users find relevant and helpful content within your website. As for search engines, they’ll see this as a sign that your website is helpful because users are spending a lot of time on it.  

5. Page Loading Speed

This is another incredibly important aspect of SEO. According to Think with Google, there’s a 32% increase in the chances that users will bounce from your webpage if it takes 1 to 3 seconds to load. Bounce is a term that describes how users leave web pages without doing anything else on your web page. 

Why Social Media Optimization?

Social Media Optimization is the practice of using social networks to grow your brand’s online presence. It’s a very useful strategy for the following tasks:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Advertising products and services
  • Creating relationships with customers
  • Overall managing information about your brand 

Why is Social Media Optimization Important?

Social media has become the primary channel for communication today. According to statistics, there are 4.7 billion social media users as of July 2022. As a comparison, there are 5.03 billion internet users at the same time. 

Not being able to tap a market as large as this will have significant effects on your brand. That’s why being able to establish an online presence where your market socializes and interacts is important. You have to be where your market is for them to get to know you better. 

Social media optimization is complementary to your SEO strategies. The more people see your brand online, the more they get familiarized with it. When they start getting curious about your brand, you have links that will direct them to your website, directing more traffic to you.

Additionally, if your links are attached to high-quality and shareable content, your ranking will be boosted. On top of that, the engagement you get through your social media posts is also taken into account by search engines. The more engagement you have, the higher the chances that search engines will see your content as helpful and relevant to users. 

6 Basic Social Media Optimization Strategies

It can be a bit overwhelming if you’re trying out social media optimization for the first time. To help you get started, here are a few things you need to keep in mind.

SEO vs SMO - Social Media Optimization Content Strategies

1. Create Engaging Media

Sharing information through videos and photos is one of the best ways to create content for social media. It makes it easier for users to understand what you’re trying to communicate and it delivers your message in a manner that is immediately engaging. On top of that, it’s also easy to share with other users. 

2. Create a Content Calendar

Consistently creating content for your social media platforms will help you grow your audience. It will also help you create a relationship with them while establishing trust and authority on the subject.

A content calendar will help you do just that. It helps you organize your content so that you can plan which content you’ll be releasing on what day to increase engagement. This also helps you plan content that is much more relevant in specific days, weeks, months, or seasons. 

Additionally, it helps you evenly distribute the content that you’ve already made into different days so you consistently have something to post. 

There are online tools that you can use to create your content calendar so all of your team are synchronized. Some of these include Trello, StoryChief, Semrush, and many more. 

3. Find the Right Time to Post Content

For this, you’ll need to get a better understanding of your target audience. You need to know what time of the day they are most active and view multiple social media accounts. 

For example, if you’re posting content on YouTube, the best time to do so is on Sunday. To get more engagement, post on Friday through Saturday since people usually have lots of time during these days. It’s also a good idea to post on Wednesday because it’s the middle of the week and a lot of people are bored. 

4. Create Engaging Content

Creating engaging content is always a priority when it comes to social media optimization. If you create shareable content that is relatable and engaging, then you’ll be able to increase brand awareness and grow your target audience.

A few examples of engaging content are conducting polls and surveys. These are great ways to include your audience in the conversation and make them feel seen and heard. It’s also a great idea to post questions every now and then, encouraging users to comment, sparking discussion in the community. 

5. Use Relevant Keywords in Your Profile and Content

Keywords are still highly relevant in SMO. These still function as a way for users to find what they’re looking for when they’re searching on social media platforms. Your target keywords must also be placed in your profile description so your whole profile pops up when people look for you. 

6. Optimize Hashtags

Hashtags are a way to increase your reach and deliver content to your target audience. It’s one of the easiest ways to make it easier for your current audience to spread your reach to new users. 

Hashtags also make it easier for users to find you and your content. They’ll be able to see updates and posts more easily when they search for hashtags related to your brand.

Additionally, hashtags help you increase engagement. In a study conducted by Hubspot, they found that hashtags correlate with a 1,065% increase in engagement

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which is more effective, SEO or SMO?

It’s not really a contest on which of these two strategies is better because they each focus on different things. Together, they work hand in hand to give you a more holistic digital marketing strategy. 

2. Are these digital marketing strategies cost-effective?

These strategies are one of the most cost-effective digital marketing strategies. This is because it takes little resources to create, execute, and manage effective and efficient campaigns. They are cost-effective because you don’t need to pay to advertise yourself in search engines and social media. You just naturally appear when people look for you or when they browse their social media. Additionally, your efforts can have long-term benefits for your website. 

3. Can you create content that you can use for both strategies?

Absolutely! What’s great about using both of these strategies together is that you can create content that can be used for them both. For example, infographics are an excellent way to share information in an easy-to-understand format. You can use these infographics in both your blog posts and social media posts.

Effectively Using SEO and SMO Together

SEO is highly focused on optimizing your content so it ranks higher on SERPs. This, in turn, will help you attract more organic traffic to your website. It’s centered on making good content to draw people in. 

In contrast, SMO is more focused on creating meaningful relationships with your target audience while building trust and authority. Compared to SEO, it’s more user-focused. SMO brings your content to people even if they’re not actively looking for it.

Allowing for these differences, using SEO and SMO together in your digital marketing strategy is the best course of action. These two strategies work well together because they are both focused on increasing brand awareness and ultimately attracting traffic to your website. 

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