SEO, SEM, SMO, SMM: Web Marketing at a Glance

If you’re a small business owner planning your website, chances are you’ve probably heard the term “SEO,” which stands for Search Engine Optimization. However, SEM, SMO and SMM may be another matter altogether. If it all sounds like so much alphabet soup, you’re not alone. Read on to learn how each of these web marketing strategies can help.


Simply put, SEO is what puts your website at the top of the search results page when someone searches for the goods or services or business provides. While the exact methods of achieving the coveted top-of-results-page position can be complicated due to the ever-evolving algorithms used by search engines, producing quality content and quality links will go a long way toward SEO success.

Search Engine Marketing is the use of advertising on search engine results pages. All those ads you see either at the top of the page or to the side are there because of SEM. Pay-per-click (PPC), sometimes referred to as cost-per-click (CPC) is one commonly used SEM method. With PPC, you only pay if someone clicks on your ad. This can be well worth the investment if, once a visitor arrives at your website, you can convert that visit into a sale.


Social Media Optimization not only increases the visibility of your business’ social media profiles and presence but also your published content. SMO is basically SEO for all your social media activity. Effective SMO makes it easier for people to find and share your content, and is an important tool for driving traffic to your blog or website. Adding social sharing buttons to your content is a quick and easy step you can take to help improve your business’ SMO.


You know those ads that appear on the side of the screen when you’re browsing Facebook on your computer? That’s Social Media Marketing in action. SMM is a form of paid advertising and can be an extremely effective way to increase your brand exposure and direct traffic to your website.

Each of these marketing methods is an important part of your overall marketing strategy. An easy way to help remember which does what is that SEM and SMM involve paid advertising while SEO and SMO do not. However, it is well worth the investment to get expert help in order to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.

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