What Is The Difference Between SEO, SEM, SMM, And SMO?



What Is The Difference Between SEO, SEM, SMM, And SMO?

Think with Google’s Survey 2019, which was based upon Google and YouTube data and research, found out –

  1. Of all the users, 49% say that they use Google to find a new item or product.

  2. All over the globe, about 45% of shoppers first buy online, and then pick it up from store. This gives them  more flexibility on how they wish to purchase and receive the necessaries.

This trend which was seen in 2019, is still carrying on in 2020. It is rather obvious that the customers are looking towards the online platforms for their buying needs. And in similar fashion, businesses are needed to use the same platforms to provide the customers what they want. ‘Digital Marketing’ is the way to go about it. Having a website is nowhere enough for this; rather you need a sound Marketing strategy which will make you visible across all the online platforms. Thus, the most important steps you need to include in your Digital Marketing Strategy should include SEO, SEM, SMM, and SMO. Now the question is what exactly are they, how do we distinguish them, and what differences which sets them apart? Let’s take a closer look, and go for an in depth understanding, shall we?

What Is SEO?

SEO is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of optimizing your website/webpages for the Search Engine. In short, you take various measures so that you create the content as well as design of your website in such a way that your website will rank high on a search engine – mostly Google, because about 94% of internet searchers are done through Google properties (which includes YouTube by the way) alone. The other search engines include Yahoo, Bing, etc. Per day Google processes millions of searches performed by the users, to which results appear in the form of Google’s Search Engine Results Page i.e. SERP.

If your website is able to rank high on Google’s SERP for a selected keyword, you will be visible to those Google users who search on Google for those keywords. Achieving this is neither too difficult nor too easy; the only catch is that there are a whole lot of ways and methods you need to use. When it comes to SEO, remember that you need a user first approach. Wellbeing and satisfaction of the Google users is what Google expects of the websites. So, your website needs to be designed accordingly. For good SEO your website needs – high quality content which is informative and satisfying for the customers, diverse keywords blended within the content which you can rank for, trustworthy backlinks which show’s your website’s credibility to the users as well as Google, minimum loading time so that user is not irritated because of the waiting, well site structure which enables easy navigation and lets users reach any page on your website within 3-4 clicks, optimized images and other multimedia content which can engage readers, etc. SEO is great as it gets all organic traffic to your website i.e. you don’t pay for the visitors you get through SEO.

What Is SEM?

SEM is an abbreviation for Search Engine Marketing. It is a type of internet marketing wherein you promote your website by increasing the visibility of your website on the SERPs – mostly through paid Advertising. SEO and SEM both have the same goal i.e. ranking on the SERPs, the only primary difference is of the method of achieving that. SEO involves organic strategies, while SEM involves paid strategies. In SEM you pay for online Advertising on the search engines so as to increase visibility and direct traffic to your website. Thus, you make use of online advertising platforms such as Google Ads, Bing Ads, etc. and bid for specific keywords which you feel that people may search for. If you win the bid, your Ad will be visible to people, higher on the SERPs. You will be paying for every click on your Ad, which will direct user to your website.

The focus of SEM strategy should be bidding for the keywords which people will actually search for and which will get you visitors with high buying intent, so that the conversion rate will be higher. While it is true that you are paying for advertising, it is still relevant for you to have established your website as having good quality with good content/goods/services etc. The reason being that, the amount you pay per click is depended upon the Quality score of your website. The higher your website’s quality score, the lower the cost.

The major difference between SEO and SEM is that while SEO makes for a good long term marketing strategy, SEM is a good short term marketing strategy. It takes time for the results of SEO to be visible, and SEM on the other hand can be instantly visible. We suggest, SEO is a must, no matter your business. Instead, you should opt for SEM if you have products and services to sell.

What Is SMO?

SMO is an abbreviation for Social Media Optimization. This involves optimizing your business across various social media platforms. Thus, you aim to create and increase awareness or your brand/product/service using different social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, etc. For this you create your business’s accounts on one or many of the above mentioned social media platforms. Your vision should be to develop the content of your accounts in such a way that more audience/visitors are attracted to your account, they engage with you, interact with you, and even share your content with others. You thus continuously put posts, videos, etc. and are visible and engaging, and lead your audience to visit your website, or even buy online from you.

What Is SMM?

SMM is an abbreviation for Social Media Marketing. SMM is similar to SMO, and the only difference is that just like SEM, SMM involves paying for marketing – across the Social Media. Thus, in SMM, you create paid campaigns and run them across not the search engine like SMO, but rather across all your social media platforms. Thus, you pay for your product/service Ads to be visible on the social feeds. SEM and SMM both involve the same means i.e. paying for Ads to reach targeted audience.

Differences Between SEO, SEM, SMO, And SMM:

SEO and SMO strategies as stated above are made for long-term purpose, both take some time to show results and bring in organic i.e. unpaid traffic for you. Also, they have a rather wider reach, which stays for long time, and require more input from you in terms of quality content, etc. On the other hand SEM and SMM strategies are made for short-term purpose, their results are rather immediate and here you pay for the traffic coming to you. They don’t have a wider reach like SEO and SMO, but are great for a reach out to targeted audience, and is may cost you so as to remain for longer time, however it does not require continuous input as required for SEO and SMO.

Now that you understand all the above mentioned strategies, and what are its perks, and restrictions, this insight into these important Digital Marketing strategies should be enough to let you know which one (or more than one as a matter of fact) is required for your business. These basic concepts should be enough to lead you on to explore how you can go about strategizing with respect to your business, and earning more revenue and profits for you.