As video strategists and creators, we have been competing for marketing budget with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services for years. Many in the SMB technology sector we serve can only afford one. The ones with more budget obviously do both.

The thing with SEO is that it costs money and offers hope, but not always results. Don’t we all wish we could bill someone for 6 months before they see anything, and say that’s just the way it is? It’s a race for something that oftentimes companies don’t actually need (top page ranking)

 We are going to make some comparisons, but first some definitions. 

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) uses tactics like

  • Keyword optimization – words your customers search
  • On page elements strategy- the way a page is arranged and tagged
  • Backend improvement- make your site fast and flows well
  • Content creation – blogs are full of desired keywords
  • Link Building – links to other powerful sites ranks yours higher
  • Monitoring – making sure your plugins don’t fail, do updates

Goal: These tactics are all meant to organize your website to help it rank better in search results. 

Cost: These services cost between $1500 to $5,000 per month in 2022. 

Adoption rate: According to The Pollfish survey commissioned by UpCity says that 44% of businesses currently have an SEO strategy.

End game: The day you stop your SEO strategy, your site starts to rank lower.


Video SEM (Search Engine Marketing) uses tactics like

  • Stunning visuals – to hook the user
  • Engaging stories- makes the content personal
  • Keyword research – Making videos rich with keywords
  • Fast information delivery – Video communicates faster than reading
  • Easily consumed content -people would rather watch than read
  • Voice and text in videos – help page rankings
  • Targeted Ads – on platforms where the target audience can be found
  • Inbound links – are created when people share the video

Goal: These tactics are all employed to help solve a myriad of business problems. Problems like recruiting, lead generation, sales enablement, branding, awareness, onboarding, testimonials, and more.

Cost: These services cost between $1,200 to $5,000 for a 1 minute video. With no promotion. For a top level production video it can cost $50,000 or  more. (FYI our video club starts at $850/month)

Adoption rate: According to Hubspot, 86% have video in their marketing mix.

End game: The day you stop Video SEM, you still have custom videos that will serve you for years. 


  • If you have a specialty SEO company that gives you leads that you live on, you may be overpaying, but keep doing it. 


  • If you have the budget, it’s ok to do Video SEM and SEO.
  • Just use Site Optimization, as it’s much cheaper. It keeps your site running fast and stays updated and indexed properly. You can update your web pages as needed.


Keep your site optimized only, (I have a guy) and try video SEM instead of SEO for 6 months and see the difference.

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