Everywhere you turn you see the term SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. This is the art (a questionable term at this point) of using keywords and phrases in your content which will be picked up by the spiderbots crawling the web and make your pages jump to the top the search results.

Google has made improvements to its algorithms over the last year or so which are making the current SEO practices (read: low quality, stuffed with keywords) more and more obsolete. This is a good thing, because it is causing the content quality to go up, but what are the next steps to improve your results with potential eyeballs?

SMO, or Social Media Optimization, is a lesser-used term, but it is altogether more important and potent than SEO. The reason for this is that social media has moved beyond the point of being a destination site here and there and become the threads that tie the content on the web together. It’s a ubiquitous part of online interaction now, so how do you manage it?

A Proper Mix

The key to great results is a mix of great content and proper exposure. Please understand this: the great content is a prerequisite. You can get short-term exposure with certain tactics, but if you want a long-term ROI then you have to have something worth reading.

Now that you understand that you need sharable content, you can move on to a strategy for getting it shared. Like I said, sites like Facebook are no longer purely destination sites. What I mean is that the Facebook experience stretches well beyond the site itself. What was the last page you surfed that didn’t have a “Like” button on it? Facebook is not alone here either – you see “tweet this” buttons, “Pin It!” buttons, and “+1” buttons on almost every page as well.

You should have a presence on the big four at the very least: FB, Twitter, G+, and LinkedIn – and I wouldn’t leave Pinterest out either if possible. Managing all of this can be a nightmare if you don’t keep things simple.

Keep It Simple

There are two things you can do that will make your social media life a lot easier. First, concentrate on sharing things that people want to see. This will grow your base quicker than any SEO strategy ever could. Second, learn how to manage your presence. Doing this by visiting every site every day is not optimal. It’s the most time-consuming way to do it. What you need is a central location for sharing and monitoring, and a good social media dashboard is the best solution.

The right software will let you share to all of your sites from one place, not just two or a few of them. It will also tell you which of your posts are actually getting through to people. If you keep posting about the same thing but no one is reading or sharing it, you are wasting time – and time is money.

If you centralize your command post and put out quality content, they will come and you will know it. This may be a quaint paraphrase, but believe it or not it’s the truth. Any “guru” who tells you otherwise is selling snake oil. Or SEO services. What’s the difference?

I’ve got a user whose login failed so I sent him the URL to reset and he then paid for a business plan. Logged out and it’s failed again- any ideas what it could be?

Gavin Hammar

Tech entrepreneur, software developer and founder of Sendible.com.

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