I argue that SEO is becoming social media optimization (SMO). We devote a lot of attention to details to gain high rankings in search engines. Of course, this process is known as organic search engine optimization. But, when people search on a keyword in a search engine are all the search results limited to web pages? No!
A new organic SMO strategy is all about being found on the web by people who want your products or services. It’s great to be found by people doing a Google search. But, I don’t want to limit relevant traffic to my website only to those doing a Google search. I also want people to visit my website who are engaged in online conversations on the social web and visit it simply because of a referral by someone or a link from interesting content on the social web.
When I study my website analytics over the past 30 days I see the top referral source is Google organic, followed by a recent link building blog post on Hubspot and referrals from Twitter and Facebook.
How do I work at organic SEO? I still focus on relevant content and all the SEO basics pertaining to search engine friendly website architecture and organic link building strategies. These SEO fundamentals help get Google rankings which are still very important and very desirable.
But, as evidenced above Google is not the only valid referral source of traffic to my website.
When I find good content on the web I share it with others. On average for every 10 links to good content that I share, 9 of them are links to interesting articles from social media industry experts such as Hubspot, Lee Odden, Andy Beal, Paul Dunay and Chris Brogan among others. About 1 out of 10 links that I share are to my own blog posts because I sincerely believe that I provide interesting content too. I can say this with humility based on comments received from people on the social web.
The point I’m making is that organic optimization on the web is not limited to being found in search engines. Marketers who focus all their attention to being found in Google are potentially limiting their traffic.
This is more true in some industries than others. But, in most industries you’ll find people having online conversations, sharing links to content and generally engaged in communities on the social web. If your organic web strategy includes being engaged and found by these communities then it qualifies as a social media optimization (SMO) strategy.
So what’s your organic web strategy?