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Digital Marketing: The difference among SEM, SEA, SEO, SMM, SMA & SMO

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Graziana Zappalà, Author of the Article.

Author: Graziana


Connect with Graziana

Date of Publication: 21/10/2022

There are different types of online marketing.
Digital Marketing is one of the most popular online marketing strategies.


Digital marketing is one of the most popular strategies in recent times and also one of the most effective! In order to better implement digital marketing it is necessary to know its characteristics. Let's find out together!

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing.

WHAT IS SEM (Search Engine Marketing)?

SEM (Search Engine Marketing) has two parts: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Advertising (SEA). As you can see from the titles, all these have to do with bringing traffic to your website.

  • SEM: it concerns the method to generate traffic (free and paid) to your website from search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, or other search engine networks.

  • SEO: It is about the business that brings free traffic from the search engines. It is the set of strategies and practices aimed at increasing the visibility of a website. This happens by making its position better in search engine rankings, actually in results without payment, called "pure" or "organic".

  • SEA: includes all the activities that generate a greater influx of qualified traffic to a website. Actually, this can happen through keywords and through the creation of paid ads on search engines.

SMM stands for Social Media Marketing.

WHAT IS SMM (Social Media Marketing)?

SMM (Social Media Marketing) consists of Social Media Optimization (SMO) and Social Media Advertising (SMA). Here we purely talk about ads but solely on social media platforms.

  • SMM is ideal for getting traffic (free and paid) to your website from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google or other social networks.

  • SMO: is useful for getting free targeted traffic to your website from various social networks and activities. For example, by joining discussion groups and sharing posts and stories you can attract visitors and of course potential clients..

  • SMA: Social Media Advertising means advertising via social media platforms. Paid ads appear on LinkedIn,Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other networks trying to promote various brands, products or services.

In a nutshell, these layouts will help you understand how to make a digital strategy. Actually, it’s pretty easy now to spot the differences between these terms. In this way, you can choose those that can benefit your company most. In fact, you can also combine all these strategies together or choose just a few for better results. Everything depends on what you want to achieve!


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