SEM Strategist

Job Description

Do you love digging into the results of a well-executed campaign? Are you always learning how to better connect with consumers online? A position as a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Strategist may be the data-driven, rewarding role perfect for you.

SEM Strategists make recommendations on how to grow brand awareness, increase engagement, and drive sales online after tracking how consumers find and interact with a client’s webpage. They work closely with the marketing team to create a content strategy to achieve these goals.

SEM Strategists must be experts in analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) of websites, such as time on site, clickthrough rate, conversion rate, cost per click (for web ads), and bounce rate. Tactics an SEM Strategist might recommend include paid search (PPC), email marketing, paid social ads, and more.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities

  • Determine target demographics and campaign goals
  • Establish and report KPIs throughout digital campaigns
  • Collaborate with web developers to optimize the user experience and interface for search engine visibility
  • Develop an online content strategy to increase brand awareness and consumer engagement
  • Work closely with marketing staff to develop engaging, relevant content
  • Identify real-time search trends and social media topics
  • Research emerging industry trends and analytics tools to improve search engine

Education and Background

The position requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science, digital marketing, integrated marketing communication, or a related field.

Skills and Competencies

  • Ability to identify KPIs for campaigns
  • Strong knowledge of web analytics tools
  • Expertise in search engine optimization
  • Excellent problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
  • Expertise in traditional and digital marketing channels
  • Solid communication skills


According to Payscale the median annual salary of an SEM Strategist with

1 Year of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $62,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $70,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $70,000
  • Miami, Florida: $65,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $85,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $62,000
  • Houston, Texas: $70,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $74,000
  • New York City, New York: $80,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $85,000
  • Overall: $74,000

5 Years of Experience:

  • Orlando, Florida: $72,000
  • Tampa, Florida: $83,000
  • Jacksonville, Florida: $83,000
  • Miami, Florida: $75,000
  • Atlanta, Georgia: $90,000
  • Chicago, Illinois: $70,000
  • Houston, Texas: $80,000
  • Los Angeles, California: $85,000
  • New York City, New York: $90,000
  • Seattle, Washington: $95,000
  • Overall: $83,000

Similar Titles

  • Search Marketing Manager
  • SEM Coordinator
  • SEM Director
  • SEM Specialist
  • PPC Specialist
  • Digital Marketing Strategist

Career Path

The road to starting a career as an SEM Strategist begins with earning a bachelor’s degree in a computer science or digital marketing field, such as information technology project management or integrated marketing communications.

The skills and knowledge needed to develop a robust search engine marketing strategy require years of formal education and training to obtain. Some universities and colleges offer SEM certification courses for candidates to further prove their bona fides to potential employers. Becoming Google Ads certified is a great way to demonstrate your expertise advertising on the world’s most popular search engine.

SEM Strategists must stay on top of the emerging tools and trends in search engine optimization. Attending search engine marketing seminars and conferences (on and offline) is an excellent way to sharpen your SEM skills and stay relevant in the industry.

Position Trends

Connecting consumers with engaging, relevant content is essential for any SEM Strategist, but how users will find that content will keep evolving as Google perfects its search engine algorithm. Voice and visual search — as well as programmatic advertising and artificial intelligence (AI) — look to change the way SEM Strategists think about consumer engagement.

With its changing algorithms and best practices, search engine marketing can be a difficult channel to master. SEM Strategists will continue to follow the industry and share their expertise.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, all advertising, promotions and marketing manager jobs are projected to increase eight percent — faster than the national average — through 2028. As companies look to gain a competitive edge in an increasingly crowded online marketplace, SEM strategy will continue to be a vital piece of any integrated marketing campaign.

Typical Hours

The work hours for an SEM Strategist are typically from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in an office setting. However, longer or different hours may, at times, be necessary.

Where You Can Find Jobs

  • 4 Corner Resources
  • Career Builder
  • Glassdoor
  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Monster

Are You Interested in Becoming an SEM Strategist?

We will connect you to one of our headhunters or recruiters to see if you are a perfect fit for one of our job openings. If a job opening does not suit you, we will always keep you in mind as new positions open up. We have vast experience connecting professionals with some of the most well-known organizations in the country. Your next job or career path can be right around the corner. Check out our latest job openings and our blog for career advice.

Feel free to contact us at any time.