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The SEM 2.0 Pyramid (SEO + SMO + PPC)

SMM, SMO, and ORM hath heaved up my SEM department. 

As I wrote elsewhere, web 2.0 messed up my job title.  The crazy thing is how much SEO (search engine optimization) and SMO (social media optimization) and ORM (online reputation management) overlap.  Throw into the mix the PR department at our sister traditional agency, and you've got a logistical juggernaut.

So I went to the cocktail napkin, actually the back of a printout of my previous best visual representation of our services, and started sketching out something new.

The more I thought about it, the more I saw that SEO, SMO, and PPC form an interdependent triangle, or pyramid, since pyramids are generally cooler (see Matt McGee's SEO pyramid). I thought, hey, that was a really successful concept, so I created...

The SEM 2.0 Pyramid:


(I threw in an Egyptian, which Matt somehow forgot, because I thought it was funny- well, at least Yul Brenner as an Egyptian is funny.)

I left out ORM, because I don't see ORM as marketing exactly, and it's a more occasional service- or you could look at SMM as the proactive part of ORM, so that takes care of it- and while you're doing SMM, you may notice ORM issues. 

Besides, the SEM 2.0 Square wouldn't be as cool as the SEM 2.0 Pyramid.

The serious explanation of the SEM 2.0 Pyramid:

It's all about relationships, and what each strategy/channel contributes to the others:

Search engine optimization is foundational, because the keyword approach you learn there penetrates everything;

  • PPC uses keywords, and usage of keywords in SMO leads to SEO benefits. 
  • Understanding of inbound links, keywords, and anchor text also helps SMO create more SEO value.
  • SEO also can help determine which audiences, keywords, and messages lead to business results
  • Analytics associating keywords with conversions gives you converting keywords to retarget, and
  • Copywriting tests of meta descriptions also provide intel about which messages resonate with warm prospects. 
  • These converting keywords and messages can then be tested in SMO and PPC.

Social media optimization is an educational process; conversing with your prospects and interested parties in various audiences leads to

  • Discovery of placements you can target in PPC, and
  • Alerts you to ORM issues. 
  • SMO may also tip you off about why various keywords and messages do and do not work in PPC and SEO. 
  • Good SMO inevitably leads to more backlinks for the sites you SEO.

Pay per click advertising:

  • Placement targeting research may alert you of important domains to do SMO on- that is, blogs to have conversations on.
  • And PPC provides a powerful test laboratory in which to try out messages, keywords, and audiences, which can then be tested in SMO and SEO.

Together these three strategies almost form Voltron, but not really.  They do create an incredible synergy in this new SEM 2.0 paradigm. 

Haha, I had to say synergy, didn't I?  Couldn't help it grin

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