At first glance, SMO is just another in the endless line of acronyms digital marketers use on a daily basis. In this case we have some actual use for our acronym, SMO. Why? Optimizing your website and your social media practices is a great way to increase the flow of traffic to your website, product or offer.
Here we offer some suggestions to make social media and your website work better for your business. After all, you’re most likely on social media already, so why not get the most out of it?
What is Social Media Optimization, and what are some of the ways it can help your business?
The main concept of SMO is to implement changes to optimize a site so that it is more easily linked to, more highly visible in social media searches and on search engines, and more frequently included in relevant posts on blogs, podcasts and video blogs.
The other side of SMO is implementing changes to your social media page and/or posts in order to better engage both with your target audience and the social media site’s search algorithm.
Below are suggestions separated into two sections: website SMO and Facebook best practices.
Optimizing Website Content for Social Media
Link to Facebook
Add a Facebook button to each blog post that links to your Facebook page.
Adding a “Share on Facebook” button would be even better
It requires downloading a WordPress plugin. While someone sharing your Facebook post is fantastic, someone sharing to his or her page via your blog creates the added benefit of the valuable-for-SEO back link.
More info on WordPress social share plugins here: http://www.bloggingwizard.com/top-wordpress-social-sharing-plugins-2014/
Contact Info in Blog Posts
Add contact info to blog posts, or at least a link to your contact page to make it as easy as possible for a potential customer who clicked through via a Facebook post to call or email.
Yoast Social Tab
If your website or blog was built with WordPress, use the Yoast plugin “Social” tab, when applicable, to optimize the blog for Facebook sharing. You can choose the exact title and description you want. Sometimes the blog article blurb used by Facebook does not contain the type of keywords you want to use.
For example, you could add geo-keywords (useful when boosting a post, described later).
You can choose which photo will show on Facebook. This is useful if the blog post has multiple photos.
UXO – User Experience Optimization
Optimize the blog post for “user experience” (UX), which is the implemetation of user-friendly structural and experiential factors and features that help improve your site for the general user.
User experience optimization (UXO) is relevant here because it has shown to be an effective way to engage your viewer for longer.
Once you get them to your site/blog, the longer you keep them there the better, for both SEO and conversions to customers. In addition, it is an important way to tell the search engine that the given page/article is relevant and useful for its users. Some methods include:
Using relevant, keyword-rich blog titles.
Using lists, bullet points, and H2 and H3 Headings to allow easy skimming.
Breaking up longish paragraphs so they are easy to scan.
Call to Action
Marketing studies show – it is beneficial to add a subtle call to action to the blog (or Facebook) post whenever it is possible to do so tactfully.
Facebook Best Practices for SMO
Advertise on Facebook
Boosting posts tactfully and strategically is a very cost effective way to get your business in front of new potential customers’ eyes.
Depending on the number of people you want to reach, $25 – $50 would expose your business to possibly thousands of people who could be potential customers.
During the setup of a sponsored post, you have the opportunity to target specific towns, demographics and even interests. Facebook analytics are useful; they even offer A/B testing.
Use relevant keywords in posts, as well as in the blog titles and Facebook descriptions (covered above).
Keywords are important for your website, blog content, and your social content. This also helps keep your content relevant to your target audience, especially in searches. Finally, it helps with SEO.
Use hash tags when appropriate – they are searchable.
Remember that Facebook is a search engine as well as a network.
Interact with your target audience on Facebook
Reply to all reviews (and on Yelp). Like other people’s and businesses’ posts, share the occasional post by a customer.
Optimize your Facebook cover photo
Facebook displays the cover photo at 828 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall on computers and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels tall on smartphones.
The word out there is the best way to size your photo is to make it 851 x 315 pixels.
Keep mobile in mind. The photo will be automatically cropped.
It’s best to use people or even animals in the photo – that has shown create an emotional connection. Example here is Purina’s cover:
Include Links In Image Captions
This is sometimes overlooked, but image captions offer another place to add a link. It’s a small detail, but it can help add a bit of traffic back to your blog or website. This goes for your cover photo too.
Upload Video Directly To Facebook
Video has exploded in terms of importance for content marketing, with YouTube dominating as the online video platform of choice. Facebook has taken steps to be more competitive as a place to find prime video content. For this reason, Facebook prioritizes and favors video posted directly into Facebook, versus video shared from YouTube (or somewhere else).
Please don’t hesitate to contact Optimize Digital if you have any questions about social media marketing, or if you would like more information or training on social media optimization.
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