18 March 2014
Sanand Sule
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SEO, SMM and SMO: An Introduction

Profitability is the aim for every business. To achieve this, businesses across the globe invests a sizable proportion of its working capital into marketing. Marketing helps the business to reach the masses. Better reach brings in higher number of leads and thus increasing chances of conversion.

With the advent of the internet and cellular technology, businesses are creating their online presence and thus are becoming global and potentially available 24×7. This has created a new playground where businesses are trying to get more users to visit their online shop and push sales. As a result, the domain of marketing has morphed itself into a new form via online marketing.

With the explosion of number of websites, marketing teams faced with a technical challenge. They were seeking a way to show their website to the user before its competitors’ website showed up.

Search engines offered a good platform for all websites to make their presence felt. As search engines got smarter, they began to follow a certain algorithm to study candidate websites and create an order to display on their results page. This ranking algorithm would then determine the relevance of a website to a user’s query and show up websites in a descending order of relevance.

The next challenge that the marketing teams faced was to make their website relevant for any search engine queries that are remotely related to their domain. They began to tackle this by studying the behavior of search engines. Teams of techies began to come up with a list of improvements to the website that boosted a website’s relevance and hence it’s ranking on search engines. As time progressed this process got formalized and was named as “Search Engine Optimization (SEO)”.

During the first decade of the twenty first century, the world saw a boom in social networking websites. Marketers saw this as another platform that could take their business closer to people. Thus again many teams of techies and strategists began researching on ways to make themselves heard on social media. This gave rise to “Social Media Marketing (SMM)”. In turn, websites were then improved with newer technologies and started pulling crowds from various social networking websites. The improvement process was named as “Social Media Optimization (SMO)”.

One can easily observe that there are many search engines and social networking platforms. Each of these “systems” works with their own rules and algorithms. Thus every process of attracting leads to the business has to be carefully created around each of these systems. This has, in a way, extended the marketing domain to include a new field of SEO, SMM and SMO.

There are many instances where these processes were abused for quick results. But search engines and social networking systems have got stricter and smarter over time to thwart such abusive approaches. While doing so, they are now encouraging overall quality improvement by showing high quality websites up in their rankings.

Applying these processes require a deep understanding of the underlying systems and the domain under consideration. With time, these techniques drastically improve the quality of information that they offer to their potential customer, thus attracting traffic to their website and boosting conversion rates.

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