Semalt Unveils The Difference Between SEO And SMM

Most businesses wish to prosper in online marketing. However, to succeed in online marketing, one needs some digital era techniques such as SEO and SMM. The two techniques may sound the same to an entrepreneur who is not conversant with the field of digital marketing. For instance, SEO might involve keywords searches while social media marketing involves paid ads. The two tactics can be beneficial to most online businesses especially if one knows the difference.

Jason Adler, the Customer Success Manager of Semalt Digital Services, presents some key points which can differentiate SEO from SMM:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

These are tactics in web development which aims at increasing the visibility of your website on the search engines, particularly when one keys in a search query. SEO combines many on-site and off-site factors to get traffic from search engines. For a digital marketer. The goal of any successful SEO campaign is to get a favorable spot in the ranking of search engine results for a given set of keywords. This is important because you can defeat your competitor, get new quality traffic and most importantly, increase the conversions. SEO involves the use of strategies such as:

  • Keywords search
  • Website designing
  • Content building
  • Linking
  • Tools automation

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a different approach to online marketing. SEM is the sponsored listing. It involves placing targeted ads on particular user's organic search result pages. The procedure involves bidding. Certain persons on certain demographics will see your ad for a given period. This method is used widely due to its seamless pay-to-click automation.

Social Media Marketing (SMM).

While SEO gathers traffic through search engines, SMM is yet another digital marketing tactic. SMM strictly uses social media as its criteria for getting online customers. Social media targets prominent social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Marketers in this field increase a brands awareness, gather emails, gain links and enhance their profit margins using the numerous ways available to social media. For instance, Facebook has a strategy of paid adverts. These ads will target a particular demographic which has correctly been set by you. Other online marketing channels in social media include:

  • Twitter ads
  • Videos like YouTube or Vimeo
  • LinkedIn following
  • Image sharing like in Instagram and Pinterest.

Traditionally, both SEO and SMM target gaining clients for a website. Despite the difference, they also increase the brand awareness to potential consumers. On the other hand, the conversion of a visitor to a customer is not entirely dependent on them. Other factors like web design come into effect.


Companies wishing to be successful online need digital marketing, However, terms like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM) may become confusing. Both SEO and SMM are digital marketing techniques. Mostly, they aim at increasing brand visibility and most importantly, getting new clients online. However, the two are different in the way they operate. For example, SEO involves increasing the visibility in the big search engines while SMM means increasing brand awareness using social media. Through understanding their differences, both tactics are necessary and can bring long term benefits to a business when carried out correctly.