The Pittsburgh SEO industry is a new one, but it is one that is generating explosive growth as businesses and individuals vie for top placement on search engine results pages. In this comprehensive volume of search engine optimization terms, we've discussed everything from anchor text to referring domains. In this installment of the Pittsburgh SEO Jargon series we'll detail exactly what a SERP is, and outline the differences between SMM and SMO.
Pittsburgh SEO and the Almighty SERP
When it comes to organic traffic, nothing is as important as what occurs on a Search Engine Results Page. When a user enters a query related to your industry into a search engine, if your website doesn't appear on the first page of results, it might as well not exist at all. This can be especially difficult for new or small websites that require a substantial amount of time to gain ranking for key terms. Fortunately, the SERP is divided into two segments that allow more control over whom, how and when traffic comes to your site:
1.) Organic traffic – harder to rank for key terms, requires a long-term, consistent effort
2.) Paid Search – generally more expensive than organic, but allows even new websites to immediately compete for traffic
Most successful websites use a combination of both organic and paid traffic for maximum exposure, coupled with a comprehensive content management system.
While SEM refers to paid search campaigns, SMM is paid search for social media. For example, any qualified user can have their ads featured in the sidebars of the mega-site Facebook. These ads are targeted dynamically based upon user interests and ad settings. Payment is triggered when an ad is clicked, or when a specific action is taken, such as "liking" a page or initiating a download.
Social media marketing offers the distinct benefit of marketing to a demographic that is part of a specific social group. In this environment, the phenomenon of social proof sets in – "monkey see, monkey do" – and in some cases the power of viral marketing has made overnight successes of otherwise obscure businesses and individuals.
SEM is to SEO as SMM is to SMO . . .
In order to properly optimize a website for SEM purposes, you'll need to use basic SEO principles. Likewise, if you intend to generate publicity or revenue from social media marketing, you'll need to understand SMO principles.
SMO or Social Media Optimization refers to the practices employed to make a social media profile, fan page or business page as prominent as possible – both within social media networks and among the major search engines. Some of this involves search engine optimization principles such as the use of keywords, but a great deal of it relies on visually attracting a specific audience. And because each target market has different barriers to entry and operation, consulting with a professional Pittsburgh SEO firm is widely recommended.
Social media is the fastest growing collective of people in human history. Online communities such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, YouTube and thousands of others are a focal point for the meeting of people of nearly every type. This means that niche businesses and niche marketing can exist in a way that has never been seen before – and as a result even micro niches can realize millions of dollars in profit per year if social media is used correctly.
But despite the fact that social media is such a powerhouse of marketing potential, it's only one of many tools available to prepare your company for a long stay at the top of your markets. To learn more about terms related to the Pittsburgh SEO industry, please read on for the next installment in this series.
But if you're ready to take action now, you'll end up at the top of the pack earlier – and the sooner you get there, the easier it will be to stay there. Find out for yourself by calling us for a free, confidential consultation now.