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SEO or SMO - What's The Difference?

What is SEO and SMO?


SEO = Search Engine Optimisation

SEO requires the use of numerous methods and additions to help your website rank highly on the search engine results pages. But at the end of the day if your site is ugly, has clashing colours, fonts and weird images, people just won't stick around to see what you do, no matter how good your SEO and SMO are.


1. Keywords & Phrases

Choosing a specific keyword(s) and or phrase on each page of the website, one that is unique to that page or section, is vital to SEO. A clear keyword strategy means pages won't compete with each other for the same search terms as each page will have a specific purpose.


2. Quality Optimised Copy

Each page on the website needs to have it's own unique, optimised copy focussing on a set of specific keywords or phrases in order to rank highly on google. Text should be well-written and easily understood without using complicated words. Readability allows users to efficiently read and take in the information in the text. You want users to be able to read your content and absorb it easily.

3. Meta Title & Description

Ensuring each of your web pages has a unique meta title, this is the title of the page letting Google know what the page is about. The meta description is the snippet of text that appears below the title in the SERPs, also extremely important.


It’s important to know that Google won’t always display your descriptions as intended.


4. Links

The purpose of link building is to gain referrals from other websites. Google loves seeing links to your website from external reputable sources, they are effectively telling Google that the site has ‘voted’ for your website. This alludes to the popularity of the website.


5. User Friendly

Your website needs to be optimised for all devices, mobile and other device viewing, including tablets and varying laptop sizes. When your website is slow to load it makes it difficult to use and visitors will "bounce" away – Your ranking on google won't be good.


SMO = Social Media Optimisation

Social Media Optimisation means engaging your readers/viewers enough to bring traffic to the website. Your user experience will keep them there.


1. Engaging & Shareable Content

Increase social links through SMO by developing content that people want to share, connect with and link to. Creating a blog on your website is an ideal form of SMO, it's easy to link to, share, and encourage others to do so.


2. Make It Easy to Share

Adding share and social link buttons to your website and blog in order to encourage sharing, recommending or bookmarking.


3. Providing Value to Users

This includes adding outbound links into your content even if it doesn’t help drive traffic to your website. This helps your website as you will gain a loyal follower base who will see you as a fountain of knowledge. Valuable content also helps with SEO as Google’s rank brain algorithm decides that useful resources should be at the top of the SERPs.


4. Rewarding Loyalty

you may choose to reward your loyal followers on Social Media with the occasional ‘thank you’, follow back, or even competition or prize. Let them know you value their support, you will have loyal followers for life by doing so.


Do SEO and SMO help one another?

"According to Google’s internal research, 40% percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are now using social media as their primary search engine. In September 2022, the New York Times even proclaimed that TikTok is the New Search Engine.” Meanwhile, Hootsuite's own internal research found that using keyword-optimised captions instead of hashtags increased reach by 30% and doubled engagement".


Users aged 16-24 use social media for researching brands they want to buy from but globally, people of every age group use social media to research brands.

  • SEO mainly focuses on improving your websites ranking and the ability to drive visitors through the likes of Google.

  • SMO focuses on driving traffic via social media platforms.

  • Both SEO and SMO operate in different spheres, but they do impact one another.

But always remember, the priority of both SEO and SMO is to drive traffic to your website, so they really need to be working together to bring as much traffic in as possible. No one truly knows all the secret ingredients that affect the Google ranking position of a website, but it is very clear that social signaling really does affect SEO ranking. It's also generally believed in the digital space that retweets on Twitter are referred to as a ‘a form of link building’. A recent study concluded that a larger social media presence most definitely gains a higher place on the SERPs.


Do a quick Google search on any popular brand and it's highly likely their Twitter or instagram account will be listed within the first 5 results.


Spending time and money on SMO in an effort to direct people to your website from social media, or trying to gain links from other sites, without a high-quality website, doesn't create a good user experience. An outdated, missmatched website or one that is slow to load will just result in a high bounce rate, the user-friendliness of a website is an important part of SEO. AND in our modern tech savvy world, its very clear that SMO does impact your SEO.



It's Teamwork! SEO and SMO Work Together

SEO is a fundamental part of your digital marketing plan and SMO is equally import. With social media becoming a larger part of everyday life, doing one without the other, will result in your business being left behind.


Google ranking factors change frequently, and it's important that your social media platforms are fully optimised. Social signals value will certainly change in the future, and SMO ensures you’re prepared for the shift in value. SMO is a great way to drive traffic and increase brand awareness.

But don't leave SEO out in the back garden, you still need to ensure your website is fully optimised, this is where your conversions happen, your sales, reservations, appointments, etc. SEO is essential and should always be used with SMO - It's Teamwork.


If you stop updating and optimising your social media platforms, your website traffic and ultimate conversions can bottom out quickly. SEO is more long-term. Achieve a high-ranking position for your website through SEO and it's highly probably you won't lose mass amounts of traffic when your SEO efforts are paused for a few days.


Every business marketing strategy should ensure SEO and SMO work together, they're a team that work differently but together to drive traffic harmoniously to your website.


There’s a lot to take into consideration when trying to find the balance between maintaining your SEO and SMO. Fortunately, there are agencies like us at Wicked Web that can take care of that for you. We manage your SEO and social media accounts, regularly updating and monitoring your progress to ensure that your content is fully optimised and is reaching as many people as possible.

We offer designer websites and different services to keep you actively engaged with customers and ensure you’re providing the best user experience possible. If you’re interested in finding out a bit more about how we can help you out, reach out today for a FREE 15 minute online consult.



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