In this day and age, it is very important to have an online presence. Business owners are now integrating their entire business to an online shop in order to avoid overhead costs, as well as to get in contact with a larger client base. Many business owners who make this move, however, do not understand the complexity of search engine optimization or the importance of social media marketing. If you are one of these business owners, read carefully! This is an introduction to the world of SEO and SMM. There are a number of advantages when using search engine optimization over other forms of advertising, if used properly. Most forms of advertisement rely on the element of surprise or a level of trickery/deception. In contrast, SEO allows you and your customers to find each other on a mutual basis. This also opens the door for you to have a consistent placement in front of a specific demographic. Naturally major companies like Google, Yahoo! and Bing will not let a brand new company simply step up and be on the first page of their search engine results. This makes SEO strategy a necessity. While some companies have offered quick fixes that will shoot you up in the rankings, they will not exist much longer. These days, SEO is all about public relations. At the start of 2010, Google revamped their search engine in order to limit the ability of SEO companies to work as quick fixes. Instead, Google has made the rise in the rankings only possible through quality organic growth. Because of this, SEO consulting has taken a major step over SEO services as a solution for online businesses. The best way to look at the shift from SEO services to consulting is this: SEO services don't know your business the way you do, and therefore cannot create the public relations and buzz with other people in your industry that you can. But now the problem arises, how do you make a buzz around your company? The best way right now is through social media. Using websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Digg, you're company has the ability to get in contact with people that are in (or are interested in) your industry. By simply building a network through people you know from your industry who are online, and meeting others who are online in your industry, you can promote your business virally, which is what search engines like to see.