SEM, SEO, SMO: How Do They Differ?
Even if you are an ordinary internet user, all these terms are of interest to you. For example, have you ever wondered how the first results are determined when you search for “online casino CA“? This applies to almost any type of search: even the results of a simple query like “online slots in Canada” are determined by certain parameters. SEM, SEO and SMO techniques determine which sites search engines will show you and in what order. Beginners may wonder what the differences are between them. We have prepared this article for this purpose. Below, you can find out what these terms you hear often are and how they differ from each other.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”. SEO is a general term for practices that increase the quality and quantity of traffic to your website and the visibility of your brand through non-paid (known as “organic”) search engine results. When you do a search using Google or any other search engine, you’ll see promotional results first and organic results second. Using SEO techniques, it is possible to move any site to the top of these organic results.
These techniques are quite comprehensive and require many optimizations from the content of the site to its codebase. For example, you can add content written using keywords to your site. You can specify meta titles and meta descriptions for each page and create easily indexable content by using the title tags (H1 – H2 – H3, etc.) correctly. At the same time, you need to pay attention to the mobile compatibility and page loading speed of your site. It is not possible to list all the SEO techniques here, but the most important thing you should know is this: by using these techniques, you can rank high in the search results without paying the search engine.
What is SEM?
SEM is the abbreviation of the word “Search Engine Marketing”. When we were talking about search results above, we made a distinction between promotional results and organic results, remember? SEM is simply promotional results, that is, advertisements that you run by paying the search engine. Even if you do not use any SEO techniques, it is possible to make your site appear at the top of the search results by paying money. However, the phrase “ad” will be displayed next to your site’s address, so it will be understood that this is a promotional result.
However, you will still need to use basic SEO techniques to use SEM marketing properly. For example, if you have a site that markets technological products, your site will be displayed only when the user searches for technological terms. With SEO techniques, it is possible to change the number of views and even the cost of advertising. SEM is charged through a system known as CPC (cost per click). In other words, you pay for each user who visits your site by clicking on the ad result on the search engine. When you correctly identify the keywords you need to focus on, you can create SEM that will lead to higher conversions with less budget. In this regard, SEO techniques are still a part of SEM.
What is SMO?
Social Media Optimization (SMO) is the use of social media for the purpose of promoting the content produced for a website. Social media optimization can be done in two ways: by making marketing activities such as blogging, sharing images, sharing links, organizing events and competitions on social media and by including social media sharing buttons in the website content. What is aimed with SMO is to increase the visibility of the brand on social media platforms and interact with its customers. As quality content is shared on social media, organic traffic to the website increases. SMO is, in a way, SEO for social media, but it doesn’t need keywords or code optimizations. Creating organic content is the most important thing for SMO.
Differences Between Them
These explanations have given you an idea of what the differences between these terms are. To summarize:
SEM requires payment to the search engine. There is no such requirement for SEO.
SEM provides faster results, but these results are not permanent. As soon as your advertising budget is done, your traffic will drop dramatically. SEO, on the other hand, gives results in the long run, but the results are more lasting.
SMO, on the other hand, focuses entirely on social media and can be used for both SEO and SEM. It has an organic bond with both, but it should be evaluated in its own special category.
These differences do not mean that one of these techniques is superior to the other. On the contrary, using all of them simultaneously to increase your website’s visibility, traffic quality, and search result ranking will often yield the best results. Most new websites start with SEM for fast results, switch to SMO soon after and keep working on SEO during this process. In other words, they make the necessary investment to retain the traffic they obtain with SEM and SMO in the long term.