Don’t we web marketing professionals just love an acronym? Is it because we want our clients to think we’re oh so clever? Why not just say it as it is?
Well the main reason for these acronyms is that the full terms are just so long and clunky! But we in the web industry do need to remember that not everyone speaks the lingo.
To clear up any confusion, here’s an explanation of each, and what it should mean to you, in plain English:
SEO = Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation can be summed up as ‘Carrying out activities on the web with the aim of getting to the top of Google (and other Search Engines) for the keywords that are most important to you.’
The first thing you need to know when you look at search engine optimisation is how the search engines work. Once you have an understanding of that then you can go out and tweak your website accordingly.
It’s all about relevancy. If you are trying to rank highly for ‘washing machine repairs’ then you need to make sure that your website actually talks about washing machine repairs! And then try to get other sites that talk about washing machine repairs to link to your website.
It’s slow work but will be worth it in the end – promise.
SEM = Search Engine Marketing
This includes SEO and also PPC – another acronym! PPC stands for Pay-Per-Click and covers Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing and Microsoft adCenter (Bing).
In a nutshell, ‘You appear towards the top of the search engines for the keywords that are most important to you, and you only pay when someone clicks on you’.
This can appear to be a really easy option, but it pays to be careful. It can cost you a fortune for little return if you don’t pay attention to how you set up your campaigns. Read this great econsultancy article about the seven deadly sins of PPC.
We wouldn’t advise setting up your own PPC campaign unless you’ve already had some experience or training – although once its set up you should be able to manage it yourself with a quick training session.
SMO = Social Media Optimisation
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, blogging, Flickr… the list is endless. This is all about using social media to drive traffic to your site and build up relevant content that points back to your website.
You might not be able to use them all, indeed some of them might just not be relevant. Don’t beat yourself up about this, you only have so many hours in a day and not everything suits everyone.
Start with just Facebook and Twitter and see how it goes - you might surprise yourself. Make sure you keep linking back to your website from your tweets (Twitter updates) or your Facebook wall – this will help with SEO. And try to engage with your followers / likers rather than just talking at them – you’ll get a much better response.
Need help with your SEO, SEM & SMO?
Well at least you now know what they mean!
You can do the basics of all of the above yourself if you have the time, but it can get quite involved and time-consuming. If you need help with SEO, pop into our office in Basepoint, Ipswich for a chat and a cup of tea or drop us a line.
(More about what we do - Search Engine Optimisation Ipswich)