Last Updated: November 4, 2020

Businesses today need strong web visibility to gain new customers, inform others about what services are available, and drive interest about the products they offer. Modern online marketing practices revolve around strong search engine marketing strategies, requiring businesses to hire specialized professionals to streamline online efforts.

Search engine marketing specialists help businesses increase their rankings on search engines like Yahoo, Google, or Bing. They bring strong analytical and critical thinking skills to a company, assisting with website design, and providing consultation on how to best reach the top of the search page.

What do they do?

Location and Opportunity

According to, several locations are most in need of search engine marketing specialists. Candidates are most likely to find jobs at companies located in areas such as:

  • New York, NY
  • Chicago, IL
  • Atlanta, GA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA

To provide companies with worthwhile advice and research-backed strategies, SEM specialists must have a strong understanding of how search engines rank different pages.

Using statistical software and analytics, search engine marketing specialists look at website traffic patters to determine which parts of a page work, and which parts need adjustment. Search engines typically rank pages on the quality of their content, their keyword usage, how many backlinks a page has, and how many similar sites exist.

Search engine marketing specialists then take this knowledge and help companies determine how search engine optimization strategies, pay-per-click advertising, and social media marketing will help a company expand their online presence.

To reach the top of a search engine, these specialists work with a variety of other strategists and Web experts. Some of these include:


Our Recommended Schools

  1. Grand Canyon University (GCU)

    GCU's Colangelo College of Business offers leading edge degrees that address the demands of contemporary business environments.

  2. Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)

    Explore the bond between business and consumer behavior with a degree in marketing.

To become an SEM specialist, most professionals conduct original research and keep up-to-date on new changes to search algorithms and strategies. Search engine marketing specialists sometimes start off as SEO specialists, eventually moving on to the broader SEM field.

Most SEM specialists earn at least bachelor’s degrees in marketing or computer science before entering the field. Schools may offer specific courses in search engine marketing, though many do not.

Becoming a Search Engine Marketing Specialist

Usually search engine marketing specialist earn salary ranges between $45,000 and $65,000, though this differs depending on how much experience and expertise a specialist brings to a company.

If you’re interested in learning more about how a career in search engine marketing can help companies thrive in the digital age, contact schools offering degrees in marketing.