Social Search Optimization
The new buzz words among people who use the Internet are: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Search Sptimization (SSO), and Social Media Optimization (SMO). All three are fairly technical terms that basically describe the same concept or idea. In fact, all three are so closely related that it’s difficult to tell the difference between them.
You can think of them as three different cars, and the driver has a specific destination in which he wants to go. For example, SEO might be a Porsche, SSO an Audi, and SMO a BMW. All three cars are headed to the same place (a certain website), but they are each taking different routes to get there.
All three (SEO, SSO, and SMO) accomplish the same goal, which is to drive network traffic to your website and create more visibility for your real estate business, and the vehicles that you use to drive traffic are the three above-named methods of search optimization.
Social Search Optimization (SSO) works on basically the same principles as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and both techniques provide you, as a real estate professional, with more visibility and more “hits” (or number of visits) to your website. The main difference lies in the fact that SEO uses search engines to accomplish its goal, while SSO uses SEO and social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well.
On the other hand, Social Media Optimization (SMO) implements changes to your website so that people can create links to it (by making it more visible to social media outlets). So, Social Media Optimization works much the same as Social Search Optimization—they’re two different terms that accomplish the same goal.
In fact, people often confuse SSO, SEO, and SMO because they sound the same, and all three apply the same principles and techniques. However, at the end of the day, these strategies provide you with more visibility on the major search engines, and more visibility means more money.
Why is search engine optimization important?
Put simply, SEO is the process of gaining network traffic from organic (or free) listings on the major search engines, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others. Search engines are important because the three optimization strategies can’t operate without them.
As the name implies, you use the search engines in order to optimize keyword searches. The main goal here is to keep your name, brand, or product on the “top of the list” in search results. So when a potential buyer wants to look at property listings on the Internet, he/she would enter the keyword “real estate” in the search field. Google then pulls up literally thousands of real estate listings on the search results page.
Now, Google has a set of rules it uses to “rank” web pages, based on a number of different criteria, such as informative content, keywords, and more. In our example, the local real estate listings are ranked based on what Google considers most relevant to users, and the top listings appear at the top, while everything else is ranked second, third, fourth, etc.
For the sake of more exposure, visibility, and more money, you need to be at the top of the list. That’s where business people spend all their time, money, effort, and resources. Using a complex algorithm, Google makes a judgement, and then puts the best listings at the top. However, the algorithm changes almost every day, and it’s like trying to hit a moving target.
SEO, SSO, and SMO: The Three Amigos
Here’s where the Three Amigos come riding in. You can use them as an aid to obtain those coveted, high-ranking listings on Google and other search engines.
In order to take full advantage of the search optimization, you really need to boost your social media profiles with glossy layouts, fancy formatting, professional pictures, and impressive/relevant/consistent content. Put on your best suit (not your birthday suit), and write a great profile that sets you apart from everyone else in the same business.
For the most part, people use social media websites like Facebook or Twitter in terms of social content rather than as a way to promote their business. If you’re trying to advertise your real estate business, potential buyers and sellers don’t really care that you like fly fishing or that you attended the last KISS concert. Just remember to keep it professional.
Most importantly, SSO (and the other two Amigos) act as a way for you to market your services, product, or brand on the Internet in order to remain at the top of the search engines.
When it comes to higher rankings on Google, good content is also an important factor. You can set yourself apart from other REALTORS® by posting relevant real estate blogs and engaging content that “wows” your audience. Google also judges the visibility of your post and website based on factors such as popularity and other criteria.
Also, social media sites have indicators of your fellow users’ approval of your website and its content (for example, likes, dislikes, and favorites).
Now that content is becoming more popular as part of a searchable database, tagging them with strategic keywords is also very important.
Social media sites, along with the three search optimization techniques (The Three Amigos), are becoming more important in the success of your business. So be sure to use them to your full advantage!
Karin Gage works for Summit Sotheby’s International Realty in Park City, Utah, and has been in the luxury markets of Park City and Deer Valley for over 20 years, contributing much of her success to her online presence. Check out her RESAAS profile ›