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Spot the difference! All you need to know about SMO and SEO…

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Optimization (SMO) are both strong marketing techniques, but they can get confused. In world full of great tools, techniques and expertise, you often see wealth of jargon. SEM, PPC, FB…it can be tough to keep in touch will all the many marketing acronyms, but in this blog we’re going to focus on the difference between SEO and SMO.


Both SMO and SEO involve optimization

The clue’s in the name – both terms are all about making your content work harder by optimizing it. However, where SEO focuses predominantly on optimizing your website, SMO revolves around your social media channels.

Social media optimization helps to make social content shareable, encouraging users to share links and engage with your posts. Search engine optimization, on the other hand, looks to make your content more visible by making life easy for search engines. Keywords indicate what your topic is all about, and optimizing additional elements such as title tags and meta descriptions signposts what your content aims to deliver to both search engines and users.


SEO is…

  • All about increasing site traffic
  • Focused on improving search rankings
  • A long-term mission


SMO is…

  • Building a loyal and engaged customer base
  • Human-centric. You’re trying to appeal to real people, not search engines
  • Helped by adding social link buttons to your brand’s website or blog to encourage social sharing


The most important elements of optimization

Think keyword research is just for SEO? Think again! Social media keyword research will help you to determine popular trends and find out what your audience is talking about. This will help to spark content ideas that will appeal to your social followers.

Where you’ll focus on optimizing your website for SEO, you should consider optimizing your social profiles too. Choose a highly relevant username (usually your brand name) and optimized bio that clearly states what your business does and weaves in a few important keywords, too. Enter as much information about your company as you can to boost visibility. Users will want to know where you’re based, how to get in touch with you and what services you offer – just as they would if they visited your website.


How are SMO and SEO connected?

Social media channels, forums and groups help generate traffic to your site. Though this may not necessarily result in improvements to your backlink profile, brand mentions are still an important way to amplify your message and strengthen your digital footprint. It’s simple: if your content has been shared across hundreds of different authoritative social media handles, it will be recognised as quality content and Google’s algorithm will take this into account when determining your ranking.

SMO enhances the presence of your organisation, boosting your online reputation and thus your brand’s authority and trustworthiness – key elements of strong organic SEO. Google recognises and ranks relevant, shareable content too, so optimizing your social media channels is a great way to ensure all elements of your marketing mix contribute to your SEO efforts.


Creating a harmonious marketing strategy

SMO and SEO both focus on driving traffic to your website. However, they use extremely different methodologies to do this. SEO requires in-depth keyword research, skilled copywriting and technical skills. Success lies in creating content that appeals to both human readers and search engines.

SMO must spark a user’s imagination, driving them to share your content with their own connections. It requires social media users to take proactive action, which they’re much more likely to do if they’re totally invested in your brand and trust your content.

Understanding your audience and how they interact with content is key. Is your demographic keen to share viral hits, such as memes or funny gifs? Or are they driven by informative, engaging research and reports? Knowing the best way to appeal to your audience will help you to deliver quality content tailored to their interests.

Both SMO and SEO revolve around understanding the best way to get your brand’s message out there. Whether it’s an optimized blog, a viral tweet or a complete website rewrite, you should always create content with your user in mind. Ask yourself how you want both existing and potential customers to interact with your content and what action you’d like them to take, and then tailor your marketing strategy accordingly.


Our specialist content division RICH is all about creating content that both search engines and real people appreciate. Get in touch to find out more about optimizing and amplifying your brand’s content.

The importance of an optimized press release

Digital newspaper readership has been on the rise for years. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this digital transformation, with many readers turning to apps and articles on their mobiles in order to access the latest news.

As PR specialists, it’s our job to tell great stories and get our clients’ names out there. In an oversaturated world of online articles, getting heard amongst the noise requires skill and creativity.


Digital PR and traditional PR go hand in hand

Print coverage, broadcast features, podcast placements, backlinks… the list of PR options goes on. Whilst your brand might focus on a specific area of marketing or the media, you’ll need a healthy mix of both traditional and digital marketing channels to ensure overall success.

PR experts often work across a number of channels, including working with journalists in different ways, to amplify your brand’s message. People might hear about your new product while listening to the radio, spotting an experiential stunt on their daily walk, reading an article in the local paper (print and digital) or noticing an Instagram post about it. The key is understanding where your audience is most likely to be and focussing your energies on those channels.


Digital PR isn’t all about securing links

It’s about securing the right links. You should never be thrilled about securing a backlink from a site with a lower Domain Authority than your own. Achieving links from authoritative, relevant websites should be a priority.

Digital PR should also be measured by digital campaign impact as well as link growth. Some of the most powerful PR campaigns in recent months have stemmed from viral tweets or photo stunts. Brand mentions online, particularly on social media, can be extremely powerful. Repurpose relevant stories across all channels, including your blog and social media feeds, to ensure you make the most of your content.


Top tips to get you started with optimizing a press release for SEO

  • Write with your desired audience in mind

Every press release should be topical and relevant to your target audience. Understanding what subject matter and trends have the potential to be a newsworthy story is key. This is becoming increasingly important for search engines, too, as understanding user intent plays a huge part in the way Google delivers relevant search results. Focus on creating high quality stories your audience will have a genuine interest in.


  • Follow SEO best practices

You might be used to writing SEO optimized blogs (the RICH team are our in-house experts), so why not use similar tactics for SEO optimized press releases? Incorporate keywords, internal and external links and a strong relevant header. Follow SEO writing best practices such as varying sentence structure, keeping paragraph lengths short and incorporating bullet points to enhance readability.


  • Think about links

It’s unlikely a journalist will link back to your site’s homepage without good reason. Housing a whitepaper or infographic on your website will encourage journalists to point readers in your direction. Creating a campaign page or microsite adds value to the end user, meaning journalists are much more likely to send readers there.


  • Get attached

In most instances, you should link to additional resources such as whitepapers or reports. However, images or documents including specific (perhaps region-specific) information might often be attached to an email alongside a press release. When naming your files, use keywords and phrases that are relevant to your press release. No one wants to see ‘Image01’ slide into their inbox.


  • Consider your format

Take time to perfect the title and introduction of your press release. As the title is most likely to be used as the meta title of your page (which Search Engines pay close attention to), try to get the main message of your story across in around 60 characters. It’s a challenge, but incorporating your brand name and keywords could prove beneficial.


With digital PR such a key part of your marketing mix, it’s important you don’t let SEO slip through the net. Our search savvy experts know how to grab attention using keywords and key messages, landing us coverage and links for our clients.

Travel trends set to take the world by storm in 2021

Finally, the end of lockdown is in sight! With government plans in place to start easing restrictions, travellers are already planning their next big adventure. Now we have a lockdown roadmap, is it time for a road trip? Here are the luxury travel trends we’re expecting to see later this year…


  1. Ready for the trip of a lifetime

For over a year, people’s travel plans have been up in the air. Trips have been cancelled, holidays postponed and future plans indefinitely delayed. It’s no wonder, then, that people are planning on blowing their budget on the trip of a lifetime in 2021. In fact, 62% of 18-24-year-olds plan to spend more on their holidays.

Instead of planning a series of smaller trips, the trend seems to be spending on one epic, indulgent luxury holiday. These are likely to be longer trips and more extravagant. Why stay in a three-star hotel, when you can luxuriate in a five-star?

Longer trips also provide a great opportunity for travellers to reconnect with friends and family. People have been kept apart for so long, and a “bucket list” holiday is the perfect opportunity for loved ones to spend some quality time together.


  1. Private experiences

Whether it’s staying on an island, partying on a private yacht or spending the night in a countryside cottage, private destinations are proving popular. People love exclusivity and feeling like a true VIP. The old saying “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” is also true of private holidays – they provide a haven of security and reclusiveness that travellers love.

Private holidays are also experiencing a boost this year as holidaymakers look to book a COVID-19 safe trip. A family or group can book a getaway without worrying about interacting with others outside of their social bubble, making private bookings an attractive prospect.

One of our favourite luxury trends is the rise of private island takeovers. A word of warning, though, your group will need to find at least £100k to book a three-night stay.


  1. Sustainability

Sustainable travel is most definitely on the rise. Holidaymakers are looking to minimise air travel by enjoying rail holidays and cruises, with many moving towards booking longer holidays rather than several small trips for this reason as well.

Being conscious of sustainability doesn’t stop there. With nearly two-thirds of people believing travel companies should ensure holidays help the local people and economy, it’s clear travellers are more aware than ever of the impact their trip could have on local communities.


  1. Wellbeing

Who doesn’t need a bit of rest and relaxation right now? Travellers are dreaming of luxury spa breaks and long days spent by the pool. People will be on the lookout for sanctuaries that offer peace, calm and the perfect setting for a moment of mindfulness.

Zoom fatigue has well and truly set in, so those looking for a digital detox will be either heading out to exotic, faraway locations or seeking out a close-to-home spa to relax and take some time to themselves.

We’re more aware of our own health and wellbeing than ever before and, for this reason, luxury travel destinations will be placing emphasis on hygiene. Hand sanitising stations and masks may be here to stay and are expected to be subtly amplified in the luxury market this year.


  1. Travelling with purpose

So many people have found new hobbies or enhanced their skills during lockdown. With nothing to do but explore home-based activities, people have had time to learn new languages or rekindle old interests. Now’s the time to put them into practice.

Travellers will be heading out with a new-found vigour. Whether they’re travelling to a conference, to meet like-minded hobbyists or to embrace different cultures, people will be trying to add real meaning to their trip.


  1. Working from holiday

Debate around the future of working from home remains rife, but what about working from holiday? Keen travellers are swapping their home offices for exotic destinations. Working with an ocean view ahead of you surely sounds far more idyllic than a makeshift home office desk. Tourist destinations are already capitalising on this trend, promoting the opportunity to work from their stunning luxury location.

If you’re a keen traveller with kids, you needn’t miss out on this exciting new trend because Schoolcations are on the rise too. When homeschooling ends, the school of life is set to start, and parents will be keen to enrich their holidays with amazing life experiences. Some tourist destinations such as the Puente Romano resort in Marbella are bolstering this with on-site tutoring too, so families will be able to work and be educated abroad.


  1. Glampervans and staycations

Luxury holidays don’t have to happen overseas. Those looking for a close-to-home holiday are booking VIP UK experiences, including glampervan roadtrips and even canal holidays. People are looking for unforgettable experiences, and what’s more memorable than touring the UK on a barge?

High-end staycations come with a hefty price tag but offer all the home comforts and none of the hassle of travelling abroad. This summer, the travel industry expects to see a rise in people sticking to their home country and exploring all there is to offer on their own doorstep.


  1. Opportunistic travel

We’re all no doubt dreaming of our next trip, but there are no definite confirmations as to when we’ll be able to head off on our future getaways. The travel industry has had to adapt. Many airlines are offering travellers the option to change travel plans without incurring a fee. This is encouraging people to book trips away, knowing they won’t be charged if travel advice changes and they have to rearrange their holiday.

Sprint bookings – super last minute holiday bookings – are also set to be popular in 2021. When travel corridors re-open and restrictions are finally lifted, the industry is expecting a huge surge in same-day trip bookings. Travel brands and tourist destinations are bracing themselves for the surge, ensuring they’re ready to entice travellers with irresistible offers.


Is your travel brand ready for take-off?

With travel at the top of people’s post-covid bucket list, we expect travel brands and tourist destinations to be busier than ever before. With demand comes competition. Ensuring your voice is heard amongst the noise will be key to securing bookings and boosting your brand. Get in touch with our team today.