When someone is looking for a product or service that you offer, they’ll inevitably turn to a search engine to find it.

What is SEM?

Search engine marketing is one of the most effective ways to get your business, products and services in front of the right eyeballs. It is the practice of using paid strategies to appear as one of the results marked with [Ad] at the very top of the search engine results page (SERP).

There are generally between one and four ads listed at the top of a Google SERP. Sometimes they are simple text ads, at other times they are rich media ads like product carousels. In order to secure their position, advertisers bid on relevant keywords that they’d like to be displayed for, and only pay when their ad is clicked (hence why they are sometimes referred to as pay per click / PPC ads.)

Why is SEM important?

Search marketing is unique in that it instantly puts your product or service in front of a customer who is ready to buy at that exact moment, something no other form of marketing can offer. With 84% of Kiwi internet users searching for products and services online, and 70% actually buying those products and services online, paid search drives no less than 28% of all trackable website traffic, and results in millions of direct sales in NZ every year.

Unlike search engine optimisation (SEO), which aims to organically position your business at the top of the SERP for specific queries, good SEM guarantees that position. When SEM is done well, you can be confident that the person who searches for your product in your location will be met with a result that points to your business. When you begin your search marketing journey SEM can somewhat cover for SEO while you’re laying the optimisation groundwork, and in the longer term it can be used to complement your SEO efforts.

More advanced strategies can test hypotheses to get real time validation. This can help steer search marketing strategies and ensure time and resources are applied to the highest ROI keywords and topics.

What’s more, SEM is:

  • Very cost-effective
  • The fastest way to attract a targeted audience to your site
  • The fastest way to test whether a product sells
  • Integrates well with other digital marketing channels and facilitates retargeting

Our approach to SEM

At Growth Partners, we see growth as more a journey than a destination. Our SEM approach is built upon our values of honesty, impeccability, passion, respect and kaizen; change for the better through continuous improvement.

We use a series of proprietary technologies to bring efficiency, effectiveness and clarity to the process, including forecasting its ROI. We give our clients market-leading insights, clear roadmaps, and expert advice on the SEM investments with the greatest potential.

We felt inspired, and expanded in our vision from our meetings with Growth Partners. Definitely have a clearer path to accomplishing our goals, and clear actions to take!

Jennifer Rumore
Metalworks Wanaka

The team at Growth Partners listened to my situation and accurately identified the area I needed to direct my efforts to, with a long term view of my business.

Steve Couper
Stealth Films

The advice provided confirmed and or added value to our continuity plans. The team were empathetic, professional and genuinely wanted us to succeed. Highly recommended.

Zeprina Fale

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What SEM services do we offer?

SEM strategy

We use paid search strategies to ensure that you’re always top of mind (and top of page) for anyone who is looking for the products and services you offer.

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO)

Through the use of A/B testing our experts will identify your most effective advertising options, significantly increasing your ROI.

SEM Analytics

Every aspect of our SEM efforts is quantifiable. We closely track meaningful metrics, and regularly report back to you.

Mobile marketing for SEM

With internet users trading desktop for mobile, we can craft a mobile-optimised SEM strategy.

How SEO and SEM can work together

At Growth partners we see SEO and SEM as two sides of the same search marketing coin. We have found that one complements the other, and the most effective strategy - the one that will see you sitting atop the Google SERP - is to use both SEO and SEM in combination. This can:

Maximise your SERP coverage: By displaying as both a paid and an organic result on the SERP, your brand will take up a large amount of prime real estate, highlighting your authority and relevance to the query. Even if a potential customer skips over the ads, they’ll see you in the organic results.

Deeper keyword insights: Good search marketing relies on good keyword research, which in turn relies on good data, and plenty of it. Because it offers immediate results, SEM data is incredibly valuable in identifying the keywords you should target in the initial stages, while SEO will offer fantastic value in the long term.

Analysing performance: How well are your search strategies performing? By committing to both SEM and SEO marketing, you can measure the performance of one against the other, giving you greater insight into what is and isn’t working, and allowing you to optimise your efforts faster.

A typical SEM journey

At Growth Partners our approach to SEM can be summarised in four steps:

  1. Gather and analyse information.
  2. Uncover barriers and build solutions.
  3. Discover and evaluate new opportunities.
  4. Formulate and prioritise plans.

There’s arguably a fifth step too: enjoy the results and grow your business.

Is SEM good for every business?

No matter what you sell or who you sell it to, it’s now guaranteed that the vast majority of your potential customers are on the internet using Google. In a post-COVID world this is truer than ever; both time and reliance on the internet has increased, forcing swaths of businesses to undergo full digital transformations to capture a growing audience.

SEM is an accessible and cost-effective way to reach that audience, making it perfect for everyone from Fortune 500 companies to the local corner store.

To ignore SEM is to allow your potential customers to go directly to the websites of your competitors, meaning that SEM is not just good for every business - it’s vital for every business.

What budget do we need to start SEM?

SEM is one of the most customisable and cost-effective digital marketing strategies available, and you can invest to whatever degree you’re comfortable with (keeping in mind the greater the investment, the greater the potential reward.)

For transparency, some industries have far greater cost per click (CPC) metrics than others, so your budget must reflect your industry and the average order value of your product or service.

At Growth Partners our expert team can craft an SEM strategy that suits your budget while also meeting your goals. Simply advise us on your proposed spend, and we can work with you to develop KPI, track progress and achieve tangible wins.

SEM Testimonials

“Growth Partners brings a lot of energy and passion to the table, along with experience and smarts. I have no hesitation in recommending Growth Partners to any SME trying to get ahead and noticed in their market.”

- Ash Collins, Managing Director of Tuff Stuff Australia.

“Growth Partners move at a fast pace and have quickly gained the trust of my team.”

- Colin Samson, CEO of Corporate Cabs.

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