For many years the Google search engine was the most visited web site, and was De Facto standard for searching the web (in most of the Western World). As of last year Google is not the most visited web site any more. Facebook is. And the gap is widening, Facebook is extending its lead.
Historically Google was the site that was bringing the most traffic to any type of the web site (it still is for the most sites). Whatever site or information you have been looking for, you would start your search in Google. Google gave you the best results, and it was always easy to find ANYTHING on the web. Thanks to Google. Then Facebook ‘happened’. We all signed up to it and started sharing information on our Walls called Timelines now. The data in your Facebook account become relevant to you – it is all shared by your friends. It became much more interesting than searching boring black and white Google results.
Facebook started driving traffic, and started driving substantial traffic to some web sites. The amount of traffic Facebook drives is in the direct relation to the activity (the amount and the quality) a Facebook user puts in. The more and the better you are in creating interesting content, sharing it, and contributing to the discussions – the more traffic will you generate on your Facebook profile or page, and the more traffic will you send from your Facebook to your own web site. A new term to define this task is coined as Social Media Optimisation.
Social Media Optimisation
You might ask yourself if that is the good name for what is actually being done? Does it make sense? Well, the short answer is just: No. No there is no one actually ‘optimising’ the social media. What you do really is you make your web site benefit from all the lovely traffic you can receive from the social media. You do it on your web site by publishing great content, easy sharing buttons, etc, and publishing inviting content on the social media web sites – letting people know there is more on your own site.
Will SMO replace SEO?
Well SEO didn’t really work for a list of web sites. The same is true with SMO. The directory listings web site will never have much success with SMO. SEO on the other hand is it’s best friend. Any site can still benefit from both SOE and SMO. Even the directory listing type of a site can benefit from SMO. All that is needed is a separate set of content type on the site –that is SMO friendly. A Blog is of course the easiest to set up and the most likely to succeed in driving SMO traffic. Why? On your blog you can put the content that will easily be shared in social media. Visitors can further contribute to the content generation driving SMO (comments) and SEO (guest blog posts).
Social media optimisation is becoming an important factor for all web sites and their traffic, and for some it will become the main factor in driving traffic to the sites. It will not ‘go away’ and you cannot ignore it.