When we talk about Web 2.0, we talk about establishing and maintaining relationships. As a web professional your job is not only to attract visitors but to encourage them to become frequent ones. With the importance of social media on the web, Mr. Rohit Bhargava came up with the term Social Media Optimization (SMO). While Search Engine Optimization is about making your site visible to search engines, SMO’s concept is to optimize your site in order to make it visible on social media searches, easy to be linked to, visible on internet search engine for blogs like Technorati and get included on various blogs, vlogs and podcasts. SMO method includes adding RSS feeds, bookmarking and sharing buttons and blogging. You can easily add these buttons by visiting AddThis site. You can enhance your website with third party community functionalities like Flickr photos and galleries or YouTube videos.
Mr. Bhargava has set 5 rules of SMO:-
- Increase your linkability:
Search engine optimization talks about getting relevant backlinks. Social media optimization however emphasizes on the need of making your website linkable. In most cases websites are hardly updated and display limited content. To enhance the linkable feature on such websites, adding blog could be a better idea.
- Make tagging and bookmarking easy:
As I mentioned earlier, you need to add quick buttons to make bookmarking and tagging easier. You can add button. You can include list of relevant tage and suggested notes for a link. You need to tag your pages on popular social bookmarking sites as well.
- Reward inbound links:
The importance of inbound links could not be denied. A better way of increasing links is by encouraging the sites that link to you. You can do this by listing recent linking blogs on your site who link to you. You’ll be rewarding them and encourage others to do the same.
- Help your content travel:
When you have portable content like video files, audio files, PDFs, you need to let them travel. You can do this by submitting them to relevant sites. YouTube is one of the best ways to promote your videos online. When you submit your content on other sites you’ll be promoting your site and get links back to your site.
- Encourage the mashup:
In the process of establishing and maintaining relationships on web, you need to be more open and let others use your content. RSS feed is the best example for this, by syndicating your content others will be able to create mashups and promote your content.
Along with these 5 rules it is important to keep few more things in mind:-
- Original Content:
Coming up with new ideas and content that are interesting works well on social media. People are not interested in things they have already read somewhere. So come up with innovative stuff and entertain the group you are targeting to.
You need to make your site interesting to engage the users and encourage them to explore your site. For this your site needs to have attractive and well planned outlook, useful information that are up-to-date and easy to comprehend and avoid engagement barriers like boring flash intros and slow servers.
Social media is about two way communication. You need to participate in various conversations to let the buzz out. You need to listen to other people, drop your opinion and let them give their opinion as well. Participation helps you get your message spread faster.
Social media optimization is all about building relationships. You need to build trust, make the readers feel at ease and provide interesting content to make them return over and over again. You need to be creative and enjoy you social life on the World Wide Web.
September 5, 2008 ISSUE #26