Quite a few people have questions regarding what the difference is between SEO and SMM. SEO and SEM are inextricably linked – or should be, in any good campaign. So what is the difference between the two and how are they linked together? ?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is really just one part of SEM, or Search Engine Marketing. Think of SEM as a big tree, and SEO as the trunk that everything springs forth from. Search Engine Optimization generally refers to the practice of optimizing your site with keywords to make you more visible to search engines and users. This is what helps your site get crawled, a part of what helps it get ranked, and ultimately what helps you convert. Some of the more common keyword based SEO tactics include:
Keyword optimizing each webpage
Using keyword in titles, subtitles and subheadings
Using keywords in domain names and urls
Using keywords in meta tags, and in alt tags to tag images
SEO also includes good linking practices:
Linking to relevant sites
Securing backlinks from relevant sites
Securing backlinks from .gov or .edu sites
Building other sites or blogs and creating a network of links
Creating a solid internal link structure
Each of these components can be thought of as the branches that grow from the main trunk of our figurative SEO tree. While you can get away without a couple of the branches in the short term, eventually they all need to be present to have a full, healthy tree. Without them, you have what appears to be nothing more than a dead tree. You don’t want your site to look like that.
Search Engine Marketing involves the more sales oriented promotion of your site to search engines. This includes:
Using SEO to make your site appear as relevant as possible
Using article marketing to increase link power and give you added results
Using video marketing to capture the image search market
Using social networks to build brand recognition
Advertising using paid ads, PPC and other avenues to drive extra traffic to your site
The primary goal is to generate high quality, relevant content on both your site and other sites with back links that point back to you so that you are well indexed and crawled. Google and the other search engines use the factor of how many back links you have from original quality content to determine how relevant you should be in Google’s results and page rankings. The more you have, the more relevant you are. The better your content is, the more backlinks you are likely to get.
Spamming services or link sites should not be used to build backlinks. That is as sure a way as there is to get sandboxed by the SERPs. Black hat actions like these cause Google to penalize you and possibly even black list your site. Keep it all white hat, and use proven tactics to improve your rankings and conversions. It takes time to grow a good site just as it does a tree, but if you play by the rules good things will come to you!