SEO vs. SMO vs. SEM?

December 14, 2017

Image Management, a website design agency in Milwaukee/Chicago/Racine, desribes the difference between SEO, SMO, and SEM.


Unless you're a website junkie or a smarter-than-normal millennial, you likely scratch your head when differentiating SEO, SEM, and SMO. Most know these phrases generally refer to the online presence of a brand, but the differences of the three can be confusing.

First, let's start with the formal definitions:

Search engine optimization, or SEO, refers to the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine's unpaid results—often referred to as "natural", "organic", or "earned" results.

Search engine marketing, or SEM, refers to internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages primarily through paid advertising.

Social media optimization, or SMO, refers to the use of a number of outlets and communities to generate publicity to increase the awareness of a product, service brand or event.


Now the important question: do they all matter? The answer: Y.E.S.

As of last year, Google takes all three into account (including social media!) when creating their listing algorithm. Many companies shrug off social media, when in reality it can greatly benefit their website listing! Image Management manages SEO, SMO, and SEM for clients, strengthening brands and boosting visibility, as well as generating leads and increasing sales.

The moral of the story? SEO, SEM, and SMO all matter.

Who handles yours?