The acronym SEO equates to Search Engine Optimization, which is a facet of SEM, Search Engine Marketing, but SEO is NOT SEM without PPC.
In the end we are talking about “Search”, and what are we really optimizing, a search engine? Not Really.
We optimize text files, (Robots.txt), XML files, (Sitemap.xml), websites, which contain webpages which contain .html files which can contain body copy, images and videos, all CONTENT, which can be “optimized” for advantageous retrieval in a search query.
So What should you optimize? Where are the customers you want to reach in their research process?
They are on their smartphones, this is Mobile, Tablets are also mobile devices, is “optimizing” content different for Mobile and Tablet?
That depends, are they on their couch, in their car? On foot? What are the LOCAL needs of the user?
How do their purchasing and searching behaviors differ?
SEM = Organic AND Paid. – Should we buy ads on Google AdWords? Should we participate in “display” advertising? Should we attach that paid media campaign with behavioral retargeting?
Search really is Simple (notice another S?)
A Searcher either has an association with a brand or they do not. This association could either be based on previous experience with the brand or a connection to the brand on social media. I know, Social Media isn’t search, this is supposed to be about search right?
Do people try and find things on social media? No. They don’t, you don’t, do you? Things find you, then you scroll, hit refresh and scroll again until something.. finds… YOU!
No Social isn’t Search but it is CONTENT, which is what we find when we search.
And all of this decision making above about SEARCH.. is.. STRATEGY.
From the mind of @StevePlunkett
So.. How about… Let’s just change “SEO” to “S”