What’s the Difference Between SEO, SMM, and PPC?

Trying to understand digital marketing can be an absolute nightmare for those with no experience in the industry. Digital marketing is an industry that is full of complicated jargon and confusing abbreviations, making it extremely easy to mix up terms. Although these terms and abbreviations usually cover similar topics and areas, their meanings can vary wildly and be drastically different. For example, SEO, SMM, and PPC are all relatively common acronyms in the digital marketing world, yet the terms all mean slightly different things. Before working with a company and outsourcing for local SEO services, it’s important that you have a basic understanding of what these terms mean and what they can do for you. So what exactly is the difference between these terms, and how does each one play a part in your digital marketing efforts? Let’s take a look. 

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SEO is an abbreviation that stands for search engine optimization, a concept that revolves around optimizing your brand’s web presence to rank higher in search engine results. Most people don’t look past the first few results from a search query, meaning if you don’t rank in that area, you’ll have trouble getting web traffic. There are plenty of ways to improve your brand’s SEO, making it one of the most comprehensive and complex aspects of digital marketing. For example, you could improve your SEO by optimizing your website’s structure or improving the URLs of your webpages. Alternatively, you could create high-quality content and link-build to improve your domain authority and rank higher that way. SEO is a vital part of digital marketing, and if you want to have any major online presence at all, you’re going to have to engage in SEO practices. 


Another concept of digital marketing that you need to have a baseline understanding of is SMM. SMM is an abbreviation that stands for social media marketing. As you may have guessed from the name, SMM revolves around using social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as a marketing tool. SMM has become extremely popular in recent years, as social media has become increasingly more intertwined with our everyday lives. Many people use social media every single day, with some users even spending hours on various platforms. When trying to reach these users, companies try to post meaningful content that is easily shareable and can add value to the reader’s life. For example, you may post blog articles or news stories from your website on social media platforms, allowing users to easily read and share your content. However, social media marketing is much more of a two-way street than some other forms of digital marketing. Social media platforms can be a great way to connect to and interact with various consumers. Here consumers can connect with a brand, ask questions, and provide feedback. This type of connection is great for the business, as a strong consumer connection will create more brand loyalty and more leads. In addition, the feedback and questions that social media users ask brands can be fantastic advice to improve your product and brand. 


Unlike how SEO generates organic traffic, PPC is something that you buy. PPC is an abbreviation that stands for pay-per click, as you pay for the advertisement when a user clicks on it. When a user searches, there are usually paid advertisements at the top of the results page before the actual results are shown. These are known as PPC ads. You choose the specific keywords you want your ads to display when running PPC campaigns and then bid against competitors. Due to this, you need to conduct lots of research to determine what your target audience is searching for so you can reach them with PPC ads. However, you also need to consider your competition for each individual search, as lots of competition will bid the price up. PPC ads can be fantastic for many reasons, as you only pay for them when a user actually clicks on them. If a user doesn’t click on an ad, you won’t have to pay, meaning you can get free brand exposure. In addition, with PPC, you don’t have to worry about changes to algorithms or optimizing various aspects of your web presence to rank higher. PPC marketing is a fantastic way to improve your brand awareness and generate lots of leads, so this is definitely an aspect of digital marketing that you should brush up on.