Difference between SEO and SMO

Difference between SEO and SMO (with comparison chart)-2021


SEO and SMO – The Difference between Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing

SEO (Search engine optimization) and SMO (Social Media Optimization) are two of the most important concerns for webmasters and bloggers. They can have a significant impact on how much traffic a website or blog receives. Therefore, it is very important to define them & understand the difference between SEO and SMO.

But, does optimizing your site for search engines impede your SMO efforts (and vice versa), or can they coexist? What are the commonalities and distinctions between the two?

 Let us discuss these topics today, starting from their origin.

When did SEO & SMO come into use in the field of Digital marketing?

If you have been into Digital Marketing for some time now, you must be familiar with SEO, but SMO might be something new for you.

SEO has always been part of search engines, but SMO is a relatively new concept used to optimize websites for social media traffic.

Now, like SEO & SMO, many other acronyms in the online marketing world would leave you confused. Example- SEO, SMM, SMO, SEM, PPC, etc.

The information available on the internet is inconsistent throughout, and you will find some discrepancies with the online content.

Today we will clear your one doubt with the acronyms SEO and SMO. After reading this article, you won’t need to refer to any other online source, and I will clear all your doubts about it.

Though there is a difference of single letters in their abbreviation, SEO & SMO are very different. But before we discuss the difference between SMO and SEO, let us try to decode their meaning.

What is Social Media Optimization (SMO)?

What is SMO Social Media Optimization?
What is SMO Social Media Optimization?

Social Media Optimization is a technique of promoting, disseminating & making websites easily visible across third-party networks or communities’ social media & forums.

In other words, SMO is about optimizing your website for social media. SMO can be categorized in two ways. The inclusion of social networking features in content falls into the first category. RSS feeds, social news, user ratings, polling tools, key sharing, and so on are just a few examples.

In the second type, social media activity is promoted alongside the content itself, including discussions and status updates on social networking sites, as well as blog commenting, and so on.

So, how do you optimize your website so that it is easily shared on social platforms?

 1.   Make sharing easy- Users should be able to easily share content such as blog articles on social media platforms. This can be achieved through social widgets and social links.

2.   Create sharable content- Create content that people want to share & link to. For example- creating a blog post on your website is ideal for SMO. You can provide links below the article to share on social platforms.

3.   Provide value to users- There are two ways to provide value. Firstly, write high-quality content, and secondly, provide links to high-quality content.

4.   Rewarding loyal followers- It involves occasional follow back, replying to comments or contests & giveaway opportunities.

Some of the benefits of SMO:

1. Brand building

2. Strong online presence

3. Better SEO ranking

What is Social Media Optimization(SEO)?

What is SEO Search Engine Optimization?
What is SEO Search Engine Optimization?

Imagine you have a brand-new website with great UI/UX design, standard functionality, and quality blog articles. How would you feel if no one could discover your website& its content ever on Google that you have worked so hard on?

It feels terrible, right? All that effort you took seems a waste of time now. But what if you can rank your website on top of Google? How can someone rank their website on Google and get visitors? This process of making your website rank on Google is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

In short, Search Engine Optimization is the organic technique of ranking a website or a blog article on search engines like Google. The rankings are for the particular keyword you want to target.

 All the SEO rankings are based on search engine algorithm. These algorithms are changed frequently, and therefore SEO seems to be difficult for many. It would help if you worked on it to keep ranking high continuously. Also, it would be best to rank in the top two or three spots as it gets 90% of the total traffic.

There are different strategies that help you rank better on Google SERP. Let us discuss them one by one.

 1. Keyword Research: Identifying low competition & high-volume keywords is the key. If you are a beginner, then try to target long-tail keywords. Tools like Google keyword planner, Ahrefs, Uber Suggest will help you find relevant keywords.

2. SEO optimized quality content: “Content is the king.” Without high-quality content, you won’t be able to retain the user’s attention for a long time. Each webpage should have unique and easy-to-understand content with relevant keywords.

3. Meta Title & Description: Meta title is the page’s title that tells Google about the page. A meta description is a snippet of text that appears below the title in SERP. Each page should have a unique meta title & description with relevant keywords.

4. Link Building: It is linked with website authority. The more backlinks you have from the authority site, the more authority you gain. More authority results in a higher ranking. Note: It is always recommended to have unique backlinks rather than backlinks from the same domain.

5. User-friendly website: Your website shouldn’t be slow and unresponsive

You need to follow all the steps mentioned above to rank higher; if you miss any of these steps, then you won’t rank.

Some of the benefits of SEO:

1. Free organic traffic

2. Cost-effective

3. Improved visibility

4. Improved creditability

What is the difference between SEO and SMO?

ParametersSEO(Search Engine Optimization)SMO(Social Media Optimization)
FlowIt drives the traffic towards the content(Website).It displays content to the target audience.
Type of optimizationBoth on-site & off-siteOff-site
Key stepsIn SEO, keywords play an important role along with title tags, meta descriptions, image alt text, headings, etc.In SMO, visuals play an important role to attract & retain users along with content.
Time periodSEO comparatively takes a longer time than SMO to show results.SMO is more quick & concrete in terms of results.
User-engagementThe scope for user engagement is limited.More for scope user engagement, feedback & update.
PlatformsGoogle, Bing, Yahoo, etc.Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Quora, etc.
FocusContent should be written for the user rather than search engines as previously believed.User-centric quality content leads to more engagement & reach.
MethodologyFind relevant keywords, optimize the page with relevant keywords, build backlinks.Microblogging, video promotion, social networking, RSS promotion.
AnalysisIt’s necessary to know what changes have impacted site rankings.It’s necessary to know what type of content draws user attention.
Difference between SEO and SMO

SEO and SMO: DO they help each other?

 Even though the title of this post is “SEO vs. SMO,” I believe the two works in tandem rather than independently. 

The primary goal of both is to increase traffic to your website. However, no one truly understands how many different factors influence a website’s ranking position.

And though we cannot predict the exact ranking factors for search engines, social signals like ‘likes,’ ‘comments,’ & ‘shares’ indirectly affect SEO rankings. Every “like” on social media platforms is considered an upvote and therefore impacts SEO. A more prominent presence on social media helps in gaining a higher place on SERPs.

Google Hummingbird now places a higher value on content shared via social media. This relates to the idea that the more people who share your work on social media, the more likely it will go viral. 

In fact, in 2010, retweets on Twitter were even described as a ‘new form of link building.’ More recently, another study concluded that having an active and engaged social media presence does help rank better in search engines. Search the name of your favorite brand or company’s page today to see how SMO affects SEO!

Example to show how social media influences the search engine ranking
Example to show how social media influences the search engine ranking

Similarly, suppose you’re investing time and money in SMO, directing people to your website from social media, or attempting to gain links from other businesses through social media. In that case, you should have a high-quality website with a good user experience.

Bringing visitors to a website with a poor user experience will result in a high bounce rate (single page visits). SEO takes into account a website’s usability. As a result, SEO can have an impact on SMO.


The article covers the difference between SEO & SMM while explaining the specific needs for each of the two.

All in all, SEO and SMO are used to enhance site traffic, improve site ranking, increase popularity, and thus site success. To start and manage a successful online business, you’ll need a mix of SEO and SMO.

 If you are looking for specialized SEO & SMO services- Reach out to us through the details mentioned on the contact us page. We help you generate more leads & sales for your business for the ultimate growth.

Also, if you are interested in agency-level service you can visit our website Digeeta and get a quote.

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