You hear SEO, SEM, SMO, and Digital marketing as terms all the time. So, what does it all mean? We’ll explain that in a bit. As a matter of fact, we’ll explain what the difference between SEO, SEM, and digital marketing experts as well, because they are the most common acronyms and descriptions when it comes to your marketing and online presence campaigns today.

What is SEO, SEM, and Digital Marketing?

SEO is simply search engine optimization. SEM stands for search engine marketing. Social media marketing is known as SMO (This covers sites like YouTube and Facebook, and even Google advertising methods here, profile pages, business listings, and more). When you use search engine marketing, you’re getting website traffic by putting ads on sites like Google while search engine optimization is getting the traffic solely from the content, and natural search results that you would get for free (word of mouth, backlinks, quality content, etc.)

Is one better than the other? Not necessarily. In today’s marketing campaigns for your business, it’s generally a good practice to utilize both of these in order for you to have a successful business marketing presence online which increases revenue and traffic properly for your strategic business placement in the world.

SEO Before SEM

Without a properly optimized website, you will be hurting with your online presence. You could spend a fortune on advertising right off the bat, and end up getting yourself in debt and “in-the-hole” faster because you didn’t have a good SEO campaign that brought you the users.  This can also apply to SMO, which is optimizing your business accounts on social media outlets. Make sure before you start advertising, that you are getting plenty of revenue by word of mouth, local traffic, and even external traffic first. If you’re starting to get clients and end up having more profit than expenditures by a good amount, you may want to start looking into advertising in order to keep your company on top and growing.


The common misconception is that you can get paid for advertising. While you can get paid for advertisements that are clicked on if you are hosting other advertisers on your website, this is a common practice which can help increase things such as site maintenance costs, and more, cost per click advertising is actually the opposite. You pay search engines and other sites in order to get unique traffic to your site, backlinks, and visitors. This is why we mentioned what we did about SEO above. By utilizing this, you can definitely increase your revenue, and search traffic, but generally you pay a fee per click, or per so many clicks (known as CPM advertising). This does do a great deal of good to your already somewhat established online presence though.

Conclusion: Digital Marketing Experts

A really good digital marketing expert is fluent in all aspects of the SEM, and SEO campaign aspects. They’re well-versed in YouTube monetization, video campaigns, and SMO to optimize your company’s keyword battles on Google. Make sure your expert uses only white hat SEO tactics (ethical) and not black hat SEO (bad). Look up the two, and start your SEO journey today!