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SEM Specialists (Search Engine Marketing), also known as search marketing strategists, work on behalf of organizations to ensure that when audiences search for specific and relevant content using Internet search engines, the websites for the organizations they work for appear within the top results.1
Search engine marketing uses techniques such as website and search optimization as well as paid Internet marketing methods such as pay-per-click advertising and paid directories; SEM specialists must know the various different search engines used by consumers and the different search and ranking techniques of each.2
As E-marketers, SEM specialists may also assist in planning and managing online advertising campaigns, updating websites with new technologies that drive search results such as blogs and RSS feeds, and make business cases for further SEM expenditure.3
An SEM Specialist’s duties include creating strategies with prominent search engines, developing and testing new keywords, managing Pay-Per-Click campaigns, analyzing click-through data and conducting research.
SEM specialists should have technical skills such as writing and editing HTML, manipulating cascading style sheets (CSS), and an understanding of website design and usability. As marketing experts, SEM specialists should also have a thorough understanding of marketing principles and be able to apply these to Internet marketing.4
Most positions in E-marketing and SEM require a bachelor’s degree and some work experience, although organizations may offer beginning SEM specialists internships or training programs as researchers to start this work experience. Since the technology field changes rapidly, SEM specialists must be lifelong learners to keep abreast of changes, which includes tracking trade journals and potentially taking further marketing and technology courses as Internet marketing practices develop.5
A Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Specialist earns an average salary of C$45,001 per year.