What is SEO, SEM and SMM? Today’s Digital Marketing Strategy

Content writer is a common job in the digital era like now. There are many people who list their experiences as content writers on their LinkedIn profiles. Even though it is very common, becoming a content writer is not as easy as many people imagine.

Content writers are not only tasked with compiling words into sentences, then combining them into paragraphs and a coherent piece of writing. Content writers must also develop a strategy so that the content they create can be reached by many people, especially digital readers.

Therefore, in the world of copywriting , three important terms are known, namely SEO, SEM and SMM. The last two may not be so commonplace, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important, you know.

SEO is a technique for maximizing content so that writing can appear in searches on the top line, by doing a few tricks on the content.

SEM and SMM are also the same, it’s just that they do it in a different way. SEM is done by advertising on search engine providers such as Google Ads, while SEM is by marketing through social media. Still confused? The following is a comprehensive explanation.

A. Know What is SEO?

1. Understanding SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a technique for managing a website so that it can work optimally and get the top ranking in search results.

This top ranking will help boost the number of visits to the website so that it will generate profits. The application of SEO in managing a website is not only aimed at achieving high traffic, but also to help reach the intended audience.

When creating a site, the creator must have certain goals with a certain audience or readers, the existence of SEO will help so that the content on the website can be the right target audience.

SEO as a technique for getting high traffic and reaching the desired target audience cannot be done without paying attention to a number of indicators. Creators must be able to understand how SEO works, understand all the indicators that can help maximize content, including understanding how search engines or algorithms work on Google, Yahoo!, Bing or others.

Understanding SEO also means understanding how search engine algorithms work. Search engines like Google will place certain content as the top ranking based on its compatibility with the algorithm they apply.

For example, Google will display certain sites on the top page based on their match with certain keywords that are most searched for, the more the same keywords, the more relevant they will be and displayed on the top line.

Since 2011, at least Google, as the search engine most used by the world’s people, has made eight changes to its algorithm provisions. Therefore, a creator who wants to maximize SEO is required to always update regarding the latest algorithm indicators. In the case of a creator still following the old algorithm pattern, the content he creates will not be effective.

2. SEO indicators

The SEO indicator is the main criterion that determines whether the technique used will work optimally, this is by taking into account a number of components which also still have a close relationship with how Google’s algorithm determines. Therefore, every time Google changes the terms of the algorithm, the indicators or components of SEO will also change.

a. URL structure

The shorter and simpler the website URL structure, the greater the chance to appear on the top page. This is because URLs are used by search engines to identify sites and content that is relevant to the search keywords.

A short and simple URL structure can be just the site name and content title. For example, https://websitename//content . Conversely, the longer and more complicated the URL of the website you are creating, the more difficult it will be to display on the top page.

b. Use of SSL/TLS

Secure Sockets Layer (SSC) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) are components used by Google to mark which website is safe.

Meanwhile, sites that do not activate these two things are indicated as pages that are not secure , so they often do not recommend users to reach websites that do not enable SSC and TLS.

These two components are related to the transfer of visitor data, because sites that have activated SSC and TLS will encrypt all visit data on the website.

An easy way to find out if a website has SSC and TLS enabled is to cross-check its domain address. If the website address starts with HTTP then this has not activated SSC and TLS, while what has been installed is the one with the HTTPS address.

c. Search Intents

Google often directs users to shopping services when typing the keyword ‘ bag ‘. This is known as search trend, which means the majority of Google users type the word bag to search for bag shopping sites.

On the other hand, sites that contain information related to bag theory, such as understanding, types or materials of bags, often do not appear at the top if you type the same keywords.

This is because most internet users will type the keyword ‘ understanding of bag ‘ or ‘ types of bag ‘ when looking for an explanation about bags.

d. Content Topic

Google tends to place sites in the top rankings, if the content on the site is complete and interrelated. If you type the keyword ‘tips for making spicy macaroni’, a site that specifically discusses food recipes will be more likely to appear in the top rankings than a general site that discusses not only eating, but also automotive, lifestyle and so on. This is because sites that specifically provide food recipes tend to have more complete content about ‘ making spicy macaroni ‘.

Therefore, to maximize SEO you need to build a website that has a clear purpose. If you want to focus on the topic of traveling, manage the website to only focus on discussing food, travel, lodging. Combine several sub-topics to make website content more complete and comprehensive.

Also have the following book entitled “Good at Making Websites and SEO” to understand more about the world of SEO.

e. Content Structure

Google pays attention to the comfort aspect of its users or user experience . Websites that are usually on the top page have a structured content composition. The easier it is for readers to access content on the website, the more visitors the website will attract. Therefore, keep content as simple as possible so that it makes it easy for readers to find the answers they are looking for.

One of the tricks to make the content structure on a website interesting is to pay attention to the headings and sub-headings .

These two components will guide the reader to understand general to detailed or specific information. Another trick is to use bullet points so that visitors don’t get tired of reading text that is too long.

f. Meta Tags

A blog usually has a special section that requires the creator to include a special tag and will usually be displayed at the bottom or at the end of the post.

The tags in question are keywords that represent the contents of the entire content. Tags usually consist of one to three words, for example the content you create is about corruption cases, the tags that are included can use ‘ corruption ‘, ‘ corruption in Indonesia ‘, or ‘ corruption history ‘.

g. Off-Page SEO

Backlinks are links that refer to your website, or more commonly understood another website quotes information that comes from your content. The more people who cite or backlink to your website, the more credible and original your status is, or in other words, the more likely you are to appear at the top of Google’s rankings.

However, websites that link backlinks to your site must also come from sites that also have good quality or reputation.

h. Performance & Speed

An important indicator that many creators ignore is the loading speed of the website. Google for the last three years has included aspects of loading speed as a consideration to increase website rankings.

This is also still related to user experience satisfaction, a website that takes too long to load will be boring and make visitors bored. Meanwhile, Google is very concerned about aspects of user satisfaction and comfort.

3. SEO division

There are two types of SEO implementation in maximizing website performance. The two types are on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

a. On-Page SEO

This type tries to maximize website performance through the application of a number of techniques in the content. Simply put, on-page SEO is the application of SEO in content that is created so that the writing can reach a large audience. So generally the implementation of on page SEO is done by changing some parts of the content and adjusting to ideal conditions.

Some of the common ways of implementing on-page SEO are using simple permalinks that are the same age as the keywords, using attractive titles that contain several keywords as well, using headings and sub-headings, pasting images at the right size, putting keywords in 100 words. first on the content, and so on.

b. Off-Page SEO

This type tries to maximize website performance through the application of a number of provisions outside of content. Simply put, off page SEO is the implementation of SEO outside of content or external factors which of course can also support optimizing website traffic.

These external factors are generally in the form of using backlinks or the more links to your website, the better the assessment from Google. Apart from that, other factors include the use of Google Business, rating or reviewing visitors to maximizing social media as a place for promotion.

B. Know What is SEM?

1. Definition of SEM

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a technique for maximizing a website by way of advertising the website. This method is usually done by advertising to search engine companies such as Google Ads (adwords), ads on Bing, Yahoo! etc. The advertising methods used also vary, one that is widely used is pay-per-click (PPC). This method advertises a website, but the website owner will only be billed for advertising if the ad is clicked or a user accesses the website via an posted ad.

The easiest example, when you type the keyword ‘car rental’, the website that appears on the top page is the website of several car rental companies that offer their services. These pages can appear on the top page because they advertise to search engine providers such as Adwords.

SEM is almost similar to SEO, because both of them aim to optimize the performance of a website. However, the way the two work is very much different.

2. SEM characteristics

Here are a few things that can help differentiate SEO and SEM.

a. Effectiveness of reaching audiences

The SEM method is more effective at reaching audiences than SEO. This is because SEM utilizes advertising by search service providers, where when placing an ad they can set which target audience they want to reach, for example age, location, type of device, gender and so on.

On the other hand, SEO tends to be more vague because to be able to analyze audiences, a creator usually has to upload content first and then analyze its performance to find out which audience to target.

b. Speed ​​to hit the target

The SEM method is simply to maximize the website through the help of third parties who are usually search engine owners, so this method tends to be more instantaneous to reach the desired target than using the SEO method.

When implementing SEO, a creator must upload as much content as possible and then analyze and maximize it, on the other hand, thanks to the help of advertisements, websites can be filled with traffic more quickly.

c. Time period

The SEM method can indeed help maximize websites in a short time, but the consequence is that it only works for a limited period. This period is very dependent on the amount of paid advertising, the greater the advertising costs, the longer the chance for a website to appear on the top page.

Conversely, SEO tends to take a long time to be able to maximize the website, but the optimization can last a long time because it is done without advertising and is carried out with strategies that can support website sustainability, such as improving content quality, website quality and so on.

d. Click Potential

The SEM method guarantees that the website can appear on the top page of search engines, although this does not guarantee that visitors will click on the website page.

Psychologically, someone will not be interested in clicking on a website even though it appears on the top line, this is because there is an ‘advertisement’ sign on the page.

People are usually not interested in visiting websites that advertise because they tend to have content that doesn’t match what they are looking for. They will perceive that the website is not much different from ordinary advertisements that are worth ignoring.

e. Cost

SEM methods require costs that tend to be more expensive, this is reasonable because they incur costs to pay for advertising providers. On the other hand, SEO is usually free because there are no specific expenses. Even so, SEO may also require costs through developing content by recruiting competent creators or digital marketing consultant fees.

C. Know What is SMM?

1. Definition of QMS

Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a method for maximizing visits to a website by maximizing digital advertising functions through social media. Social media is now an important part of everyone’s life, and almost everyone must access social media.

This trend is used by creators to market their content through social media so that the potential for visits to their website will also be higher. The most common example, news websites such as detik.com, tribunnews, kompas and others have social media to advertise their content. People prefer to read news through social media, therefore these news media companies usually share their content on social media and then link their website links so they can be visited.

Even so, this SMM method does not only link website links on social media to reach a wider audience and then harvest traffic but also for other purposes.

Usually website owners use social media as well to build social networks through the follow feature on Instagram or add on Facebook. In addition, social media is also used as a medium to represent the company that owns the website in cyberspace. The more fans you have, the more credible the account tends to be.

Currently, there are many types of social media that are developed and used by the community. Starting from the type of social media to share messages, such as WhatsApp or Line. There are also types of social media sharing images, such as Pinterest and Instagram, sharing short videos such as TikTok and Snapchat or audio-visual sharing such as Youtube.

The success of advertising a website through social media is greatly influenced by many things, such as strategies in SEO. Even SMM can be categorized as part of off page SEO , because optimization is done outside of content. However, there are a number of aspects that differentiate SMM from SEO and SEM.

2. Characteristics of QMS

a. Effectiveness of reaching audiences

The SMM method is almost similar to SEO, it cannot specifically determine which audience you want to reach. This is because social media owners usually have to upload some content before they can analyze it. Conversely, the SEM method is more effective because they can immediately determine it the first time they are going to advertise.

b. Speed ​​to hit the target

The SMM method is slower than SEM but better than SEO. This is considering that social media is developing quickly, so reaching audiences will be even faster.

c. Time period

The SMM method takes quite a long time to build a follower base on social media, but several ways can also help to increase more instantly, for example by endorsing programs and so on.

However, basically the time needed to maximize promotion on social media is the same as building consistency in SEO methods.

d. Click Potential

The SMM method tends to have less click potential than the SEM method. This is because most social media users are teenagers who have a tendency to prefer audio-visual content over writing. Therefore, even if you link a website link on social media, the number of visits via this method will not be very effective.

No wonder many social media users often only read the title part of the news instead of reading the full news by clicking on the linked link.

e. Cost

The SMM method does not require a lot of money, this is because the advertising process on social media is carried out independently. However, in some cases website owners advertise to social media owners in order to reach more audiences, there will be additional costs.

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