Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on October 2nd, 2009


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Optimization (SMO) are two very powerful processes to make a website more friendly to both the algorithmic and human users of the Internet. Where SEO’s main purpose is to help a website’s ranking in search results, SMO aims to establish a strong presence and on-going relationship on social media sites.

Both techniques are extremely effective in attracting traffic and brand fans on the Internet. However, the campaigns are run completely different. Let’s look at a comparison between SEO and SMO.


SEO helps build a website’s popularity through link building. The number of inbound links to a website is what helps determine its popularity and rankings in the SERPs. SMO relies on voting. When you share content on social media sites, users have an option to vote for it and pass it on. If your content is engaging and unique, more people will spread it like a virus. And online, viral content is very popular.

On-Page Elements

SEO relies on on-page elements like title tags, headers, image titles, alt tags, and keyword density of content. Search engine spiders emphasize these elements and if you use relevant keywords within them, it will increase your rankings. SMO depends upon tagging. The tags you use for content are extremely helpful for users who read through information on social sites.


An optimized title for SEO content will have relevant keywords used in it for search engine spiders to crawl and index for the SERPs. SMO requires precise and engaging titles to grab the attention of human readers, prompting them to click and engage.


SEO content needs to be relevant for the search engine spiders as well as human readers. Thus, SEO content must fulfill requirements of both SEO and SMO. The primary purpose of the SEO content, however, is to rank well in the SERPs. SMO content is for human eyes only. This content should be used to further establish your reputation throughout your industry.

SEO results rely on what keywords work for rankings and other changes that can be brought about to increase rankings. SMO content focuses on content that gets popular with human audiences. The trick is to implement both campaigns simultaneously and make them both work to enhance credibility of your website.