Wednesday, April 22, 2009

SEO, SMO, and why you shouldn't care

So I'm assuming that most people have a general idea of what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is, and the basic concepts of how to use it.

For those of you who don't know, SEO is a tactic that a company or individual will use when building a website to ensure the site shows up in Google results. Which is good.

SMO is Social Media Optimization, which is a little different, but basically the same idea; you want to show up in Social Media results easily.

I do a lot of consulting for Realtors and other small businesses, and the thing they always want to know is, "how can we increase our SEO?"

And I always say, "It's not all about your Google standing!"

The most difficult part of what I do is not explaining how to Tweet or how to link everything together, although that is usually what people are most interested in at first (probably because they think it will help their SEO). The most difficult thing is trying to help people wrap their heads around the concept that "Push Marketing" just doesn't work anymore.

The power is no longer in the hands of the marketer like it was in the 50's, or even the hands of the channel like it was in the 80's and 90's. It's in the hands of the consumer. The consumer is all knowing, all powerful, and they are all talking to each other.

This always scares the people in my classes, but it's not a bad thing. This will make the products higher quality because the poorer quality products will be ripped apart in the blogosphere. Good.

Companies and Marketers need to understand that they are no longer able to put a spin on things that make them look new and shiny. They need to engage in a conversation with their consumers, and trust that the loss of control will result in the gain of momentum.



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