Learn the difference between search-engine optimization and search-engine marketing.

Sign up to watch video


Please answer to view this video:

Do you use BoomTown?

What best describes you?

Please enter your email

More from the Library:

1:30 AdWords Auction

How the AdWords Auction Works

It’s time to place your bid. Learn about the AdWords Auction!

1:28 Why PPC Cost Changes

Why the Cost of PPC Changes

Nothing is immune to the economy. Learn how PPC costs change.

2:37 Why Pay-per-click takes time

Why PPC Takes Time to Ramp Up

Break the myth of lightning-speed pay-per-click in today’s video.

1:17 SEM Stop Googling Yourself

Why You Shouldn’t Google Yourself

It’s tempting to search out your ads, but beware. There are consequences.

Questions this video answers:
  1. What is SEO and SEM?
  2. Should I work on my website's SEO or my SEM campaign?
  3. Which one is better for me: SEO or SEM?

In the red corner, we have the enduring, ever-lasting, and ever-macho Search-Engine Optimization (SEO)!!!! And in the blue corner, to match the wit, with lightning-speed actions, we have Search-Engine Marketing (SEM)!!! In today’s video, we’ll pit these two battling strategies against one another and see who comes out victorious. Which one will be your champion: SEO or SEM?

If you’re a BoomTown user with a question about this video, please contact Support.

Hey guys! Before you jump into a battle between the two, it’s good to know the difference between search engine marketing and search engine optimization. More often than not they are used interchangeably in conversation – so the lines tend to get blurred!

Here are the simple definitions: SEM typically describes any paid search activities. They are meant to actively promote and drive visitors to your website. SEO, on the other hand, is more about earning website traffic through organic, natural, or unpaid methods.

When it comes to real estate marketing and deciphering between the two think of it as renting vs buying.

With SEM and paid advertising you are only renting space for as long as you are paying for it. As soon as you stop paying – the leads stop. You are not gaining equity much like renting. The trade off is that you typically see a quicker return. Now SEO is more like buying. It allows you to begin owning your overall online presence. You work to establish your brand and credibility for the long haul. The trade off here is that it takes longer.

So, while both are keyword or search query related, both are traffic drivers, and they both compliment one-another, they are two completely different things! And the best websites have a strategy for BOTH. As you work to drive traffic and leads now through your SEM or paid efforts, you need to continually be working on how search engines and your audience see your site through SEO efforts.

SEO vs SEM Guide

Learn how to improve both your SEO and SEM strategies with our helpful guide!
Success Management Team

Optimized Lead Generation

BoomTown's search engine marketing, analytics & engineering teams help you hit your target audience, and make sure you’re always optimized for that next search or click.

Learn More