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What is the difference between SEO, SEM, SMM, and SMO?

What is the difference between SEO, SEM, SMM, and SMO?

A quick tour of the internet will reveal that these four acronyms are being used everywhere and they really seem important, and they are. Not too long ago, I had never heard of SEO, let alone the other three, and then I found out that unless I had my new website SEO-d, I would not have anybody visiting my fabulous expensive new site. If no one visited my new site, then I had wasted a lot of time, money, and energy. I could not afford to waste my resources like this, so I decided to find out about these foreboding acronyms.
First let’s look at the basic meanings of the acronyms and then how each applies to a basic website.

  • SEO- search engine optimization; following some of the Google rules in order to increase the chances of the Google search engine listing your site near the beginning of a list for particular keyword searches.
  • SEMsearch engine marketing; in addition to doing SEO to get to the “top” a website owner can now buy advertising or pay to have an ad at the top of a search engine results list; these can be things like pay per click or Yahoo or Bing ads.
  • SMOsocial media optimization; basically when using social media ( Facebook, Twitter, etc.) you are making your profile more visible, your social network activity and published content can then be found more easily by people searching for resources and information that matches your content.
  • SMMsocial media marketing; in addition to the SMO, you guessed it, you pay to have an ad on the social media. This is how the Facebook ads show up on your page.

As you can see from these definitions, the acronyms work in tandem. Every website marketing plan is going to have an SEO component. It is the granddaddy of all of them and without a solid SEO plan, your business website will most likely get lost and never show up on page one for any search other than a specific search for your business name and location.

Ask yourself, when you do a search, how deep do you go to find a business that you are going to contact. Most of us will never go past the first 10 listings, so showing up on page one is important. A good SEO team can help improve your rankings by making your website more visible. Google openly states several things you can do and a really great SEO team spends time and energy doing all of them. It is definitely worth your marketing money to hire the experts and let them do what they are good at so that you can run your business and do what you are good at.

Jennifer Bailey, a well-known speaker and internet marketing guru goes into more detail in this video. Check it out.

Since I have such good SEO, why would I need to add SEM? As you can see from the definition, this is a definite way to budget advertising dollars into a system that has measurable results- namely you can see when your advertising is on page one and measure the internet traffic going to your site from that ad. How many conversions do you have for those visitors? On the other hand, once again talk to yourself, and ask, how many times do I click on one of those ads and go to those sights? Ask your friends and enemies the same question and decide whether that is a good place for your marketing money. It works well for some businesses and not at all for others.

SMO will definitely increase the visibility of your social media profile. You want that to happen. It is a great way to network and meet potential customers without putting forth a great deal of money or effort. By driving others to your website or blog through SMO, it will be easier to share in their circles of influence, which helps build a community around your brand. Once again there are specialized marketing companies, like CI Web Group who specialize in handling this while they handle your SEO, freeing you up to manage your business.
Do I really need to pay to advertise on social media? SMM broadens your customer reach and allows you to build your brand like you used to with bulk mail outs. SMM is the digital version of the old neighborhood shopper’s guide, only better. Notice that you get an ad right after you searched for an item on the internet. That is because the internet keeps no secrets and what you are looking for lines up with what someone else is advertising. It works out for both parties. You can easily “window shop” for items you want or need and the seller builds his client base within the designated area of his business.

If you want your business to grow, you must broaden your internet marketing base. To broaden your base, you must increase your SEO and SMO strategies and then decide which advertising strategies really work for you, SEM, SMM or both. CI Web Group can help you analyze your internet presence and offer expert solutions that meet your goals and budget. Contact them today to schedule a free consultation.

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