Top Performing Industries for SEM

SEM is one of the most popular digital marketing tactics, and for good reason. In 2022, Google’s ad revenue peaked at $225 billion US dollars. So what companies are spending money on SEM? And what companies are a good fit for SEM?

In this blog we will discuss the definition of SEM, what companies are a good fit, and what are some of the top performing industries in the market.

What is SEM?

Before we go any further, let’s make sure we understand what SEM is. SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. Have you ever done a search on Google and saw ads at the top of the results page? Those ads are from an SEM campaign. SEM is a way for a business to pay their way to the top of the search engine results page when people are searching for specific keywords. As you can imagine, this is a very powerful tool for many businesses.

Is SEM a good fit for every company?

No. Generally businesses using SEM will generate an average of $2 for every $1 they spend; but that doesn’t make it a good fit for every business. Would it make sense for a fast food restaurant that sells $5 burgers to invest in an SEM campaign that costs $4.50 cost per click? Probably not. But a roofing company that installs a $10,000 roof can really benefit from this! Point being, there are companies SEM makes sense for, and some not so much.

What industries find SEM beneficial?

Below are 3 notable industries that are popular SEM candidates: (Please note that SEM is for many industries, but we would like to highlight these three.)

  • Service: The service industry is a very wide net that can incorporate a variety of professions. Some of which include lawyers, real estate agents, construction services, HVAC, insurance agents, etc. This business type usually costs quite a bit of money, so it makes sense to invest a few dollars to get a qualified lead using SEM.
  • B2B (Business to Business): B2B companies love to utilize SEM because it can be very difficult for them to advertise to their target demographic by other means such as display ads. SEM is a very ‘intent purpose’ strategy that reaches people when they are in the mindset of converting, making it a perfect fit for companies that need to reach business decision makers.
  • Retail: It’s not uncommon for larger retail businesses to spend millions of dollars on SEM. But SEM is good for small and medium sized businesses as well. Furniture stores, consumer electronics stores, and clothing stores are all good examples of businesses in the retail space that SEM would be good for.

All three of these industries have one thing in common, and that is the potential for great ROI (return on investment).


Everyone reading this blog has a tool at their disposal to see who are adequate candidates for SEM, and that tool is Google. If you would like to see for yourself who is running SEM campaigns, go to Google and type in some keywords like “plumbers near me,” “project management software for my company,” “furniture store near me,” etc. and see who pops up at the top in the ad slots. Make a mental note of who is showing up and why you think they thought SEM would be beneficial for them. Maybe you know of a company that would be a good fit for SEM but aren’t currently utilizing it? If so, get in touch with us and we would be happy to help!

About the Author

Bronson French - Senior Digital Media Strategist

Bronson French is one of our talented digital media strategists. He has been in our organization since 2018 and has made a huge impact on our clients since then. Bronson’s primary focus is to help our clients succeed online by executing, monitoring, optimizing, and reporting on a variety of paid digital tactics. In his free time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, spending time with friends and family, and playing with his dog, Bunny.
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