If your new to the internet, or at least new to the world of search engine optimization, you may be wondering what all these acronyms stand for. Here is a brief run down on each acronym with a Wikipedia reference for each one.
[source]Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results for targeted keywords. Usually, the earlier a site is presented in the search results or the higher it “ranks”, the more searchers will visit that site. SEO can also target different kinds of searches, including image search, local search, and industry-specific vertical search engines.
In a nutshell, by defining keywords and optimizing them for a website we tell the search engines what each site is all about. Each website that link to pages act as a ‘vote’ for that page. Search engines use a formula (algorithm) to rank pages based on the relevance to a search term and the number and quality of the ‘votes’ received.
[source]Search engine marketing, or SEM, is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs). According to the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, SEM methods include: search engine optimization (or SEO), paid placement, and paid inclusion. Other sources, including the New York Times, define SEM as the practice of buying paid search listings.
Search engine marketing is, as the name suggest, a marketing tactic to gain traffic through the search engines. The lines between SEO and SEM are always blurred with many SEO experts including PPC type advertising in their SEO strategies.
[source]Social media optimization (SMO) is a set of methods for generating publicity through social media, online communities and community websites. Methods of SMO include adding RSS feeds, adding a “Digg This” button, blogging and incorporating third party community functionalities like Flickr photo slides and galleries or YouTube videos. Social media optimization is related to search engine marketing, but differs in several ways, primarily the focus on driving traffic from sources other than search engines, though improved search ranking is also a benefit of successful SMO.
Where SEO and SEM concentrate on telling the search engines all about a website, SMO is all about telling the people about a website, its owners and its products.
SMM or social media marketing is often another term used to describe social media optimization. The major difference between the two is that social media marketing concentrates more on the interaction on social sites. In simpler terms, SMO uses the resources available from social media whilst SMM is a process of being involved with a community.
A careful combination of all of these strategies can see your web page traffic increase significantly. Many SEO consultants now incorporate many components from these strategies to provide sites with more rounded exposure to the various users on the internet.
Acronyms can be confusing; however this simple guide will hopefully clear the air in relation to those terms. In case you you’re still confused, you start with a little SEO before moving on to a little SEM all the while your dabbling in some SMO and SMM