+994518959493 [email protected] Azure Biznes mərkəzi

What’s the difference between SEO, SEM, and SMM?

There are many terms in modern Internet marketing that can cause confusion and confusion: SEO, SMM, SMO, SEM, SEA.

What do all these abbreviations mean?
Very often, people who are just starting to delve into the topic of Internet marketing may think that SEO must include the setting of targeted advertising or the maintenance of social networks. But this is not so. These are all different directions, and they called differently.

Let’s take a closer look at how to decipher the abbreviations SEO, SMM, SMO, SEM, SEA, what these terms mean and how they differ.

What is SEO?

SEO is short for search engine optimization, which translates as search engine optimization. This is a set of actions that are aimed at improving the site’s position on targeted requests in organic search engine results, such as Google or Yandex.

The higher the site’s position in the issuance, the more likely it is that the user will go precisely to him and subsequently perform the necessary action from him (ordering a service, buying a product, etc.).

Many factors affect the position of a site. They change over time, but among the relevant now we can distinguish:

  • correct display of the site on various devices and browsers;
  • usability and usability of the structure;
  • optimization of texts and meta-data for targeted queries;
  • the uniqueness of content and its usefulness;
  • link mass building (placing links on third-party resources);
  • user behavior on the site.

Advantages of SEO promotion:

  • Long-term effect – unlike advertising, it can’t just be turned off;
  • The site receives targeted traffic that is interested in your products/services;
  • The number of visitors does not directly depend on the invested budget;
  • The number of queries that can be in the TOP is not limited;
  • More trust among users.

Disadvantages of SEO promotion:

  • The promotion will take time – the effect is not instant;
  • A budget is needed to improve the quality of the site and fill it with content, but this subsequently pays off;
  • Website ranking algorithms may change, but it’s essential to monitor and follow trends.

What is the SEA?

SEA – the abbreviation came from search engine advertising, which means advertising in search engines. This is a way to promote a company by setting up contextual ads using Google Adwords or Yandex. Direct.

Advertising in search engines depends on what request the user entered, as well as on which keywords and region the advertiser set up his ad. Visually, SEA differs from SEO by the adjacent icon with the words “Advertising”.

The most popular payment system when promoting with the help of SEA is formed on the principle of “pay per click” (abbreviated PPC). That is, the payment is per click, which the user made to go to your site.

The cost per click of PPC ads also has its reduction – CPC (cost per click). CPC may vary depending on various factors:

  • niche competition (the higher it is, the higher the cost of paying SEA);
  • region;
  • season;
  • time of day and others.

Advantages of SEA promotion:

  • Instant result, unlike SEO;
  • The ad position is fixed;
  • Flexible customization system and the ability to make changes to the campaign.

Disadvantages of SEA promotion:

  • Short-term effect – while you pay for advertising, while it will bring results. This is the main difference between SEA and SEO;
  • A budget is needed to pay for the context, and it can be many times more than what is required for SEO promotion;
  • If you want to increase the number of requests for which the site will be displayed, you will have to pay extra;
  • Ads can be clicked by bots or competitors. As a result of the transitions a lot, and the conversion is minimal;
  • Users have less trust in SEA.

What is SEM?

SEM is an abbreviation for search engine marketing and translates as “search engine marketing”. This is a comprehensive set of actions aimed at increasing website traffic from search engine results. The goal can be achieved in various ways, including website optimization (SEO) and contextual advertising (SEA).

But not in all cases it is advisable to use SEM to promote the company. For example, in your niche contextual advertising is very expensive and does not pay off at all, then it is better to use only SEO, or you have a short-term project, you do not plan to engage in this business for a long time, you need to sell the goods right now and forget about everything, then setting up SEA will be sufficient.


What is SMM?

SMM is short for social media marketing, which means social media marketing. Unlike search engine marketing (SEM), SMM does not involve the promotion of sites, but of business pages or company communities on social networks.

This is achieved by various methods and depends on the chosen social network, field of activity, and target audience.

Consider what SMM includes:

  • Creation and design of profile pages;
  • Regular publication of content (text, photo, video, etc.);
  • Work with opinion leaders;
  • Conducting surveys and competitions;
  • Setting up advertising in social networks;
  • Communication with subscribers.

Advantages of promotion through SMM:

  • Promotes brand awareness and loyalty among potential customers;
  • The ability to quickly receive feedback from subscribers;
  • Relatively low cost of promotion – you can start work with minimal investment;
  • Due to likes/reposts, the effect of “word of mouth” is launched, which will expand the audience.

Disadvantages of SMM:

  • It is necessary to continually monitor comments, messages, timely publication of publications;
  • In specific areas of business, promotion in social networks can be more difficult;
  • Not an instant result – it may take time to get an effect;
  • In most cases, if a person wants to buy a product or order a service, he turns to search engines, and not to social networks.

What is SMO?

SMO (abbreviation for social media optimization) is a website optimization for social networks. In other words, this is a set of actions within the site to attract and retain users from social networks.

SMO includes such promotion methods:

  • Writing high-quality and unique content that users of social networks would like to share on their pages;
  • Texts should encourage discussion and comment;
  • Use of different types of content on the site, including video or audio;
  • Relink articles among themselves so that the user does not leave the website;
  • Setting social network buttons (likes, reposts, subscriptions, etc.)
  • Connecting social widgets, such as a community widget, a commenting system, creating polls and polls;
  • On the page, you can post links to other sites with similar information or on the topic that is being discussed.

Differences and similarities between SMO and SEO

Unlike SEO, when promoting with the help of SMO, it does not matter at what positions the site will be in the search engine results, it is not optimized for requests. The primary traffic comes from social networks.

But there are SMOs and similarities with SEO. With proper optimization and attracting traffic from social networks, behavioral and social signals will increase, which will positively affect the position of the site.

What is the difference between SMO and SMM

SMO improves the content and site content for an audience from social networks but does not include promotion in the social networks themselves.

What to choose to promote SEO, SEA, SMM, SMO, or SEM?

Each option has its characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. The choice of strategy and methods of promotion on the Internet depends on your field of activity, target audience, budget, and the goals that you set. Most often, companies combine several variations, such as SEO and SMM, SMM and SMO, SEM, and SMM. Therefore, follow the competition and do not be afraid to experiment with new methods of Internet marketing for you to achieve the best result.