Working at Elite SEM | Glassdoor

Elite SEM Overview

New York, NY
51 to 200 employees
Company - Private
Advertising & Marketing
$25 to $50 million (USD) per year
ELITE SEM IS AN AWARD-WINNING performance-driven digital marketing agency. Founded on search engine marketing (SEM) – both paid search and organic search (SEO) – in 2004, Elite has evolved alongside client needs in the ever-changing online marketing industry ... Read more

Mission: "Great Lives for Great People."

Glassdoor Awards

Best Places to Work: 2018 (#35)

Top CEOs: 2018 (#12)

Elite SEM – Why Work For Us?


ELITE SEM IS AN AWARD-WINNING performance-driven digital marketing agency. Founded on search engine marketing (SEM) – both paid search and organic search (SEO) – in 2004, Elite has evolved alongside client needs in the ever-changing online marketing industry, with further expertise spanning Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), Performance Display Advertising, Paid Social, Shopping & Feed, and Mobile Strategy. Our teams develop and execute on strategic plans for clients that reach the right audience to generate sales and/or qualified leads at a cost-effective rate.

What sets us apart?

Elite SEM brings a unique business model to the market that ties account performance to account managers, and rewards our teams for continuous performance and satisfied clients with a share of company profits.

  • All account teams have skin in the game — Elite SEM account managers are all stakeholders whose prosperity is dependent on the success of their clients because we understand that Elite SEM succeeds only when our clients succeed.
  • Our agency treats each employee like a business owner – providing free lunch, unlimited vacation/sick days, full benefits, and a share of company profits.
  • Elite attracts and retains top talent, creating tenured teams with experience across multiple verticals and industries.
  • Clients of Elite feel confident knowing they have dedicated, consistent teams working on their campaigns, with account managers who know their business inside and out.
  • Boasting unprecedented 97% employee and 94% client retention rates, our commitment to people and performance has cemented our position as one of the top digital marketing agencies in North America.

GET UP AND LIVE IS AN ELITE SEM PROGRAM developed in 2010 to help give back to our communities. Previously known as Elite Cares, our program was renamed in 2015 in honor of a beloved employee and friend of Elite, Zachary Ciperski who lived his life to the fullest and encouraged everyone to be happy, to get out there and live (he was also a huge Bob Marley fan).

As part of this program, Elite offers free SEM services and support to Non-Profits through Google Grants. We also provide free SEO training and consulting for charities and select Non-Profits. In addition to utilizing the Google Grants program for non-profits, we are also known for our hands-on community service.

We have monthly volunteer meetings to help plan and organize annual holiday food drives, breast cancer walks, women’s shelters, Kidney Foundation fundraising & walks, etc. Each of these activities stem from someone on our volunteer board or another Elite employee who has a personal connection with the organization.

In March of 2014, we launched our annual Elite Week of Kindness, which encourages employees throughout all of our offices to carry out random acts of kindness every day for a week. From buying someone’s coffee or lunch to helping someone complete a project they’re working on, these actions are meant to inspire everyone to be great, kind people who contribute to their community.

We also have several Elite team members who serve as adjunct professors at NYU for the digital marketing continuing education department, in addition to many other prestigious institutions. We strive to share our knowledge of Digital Marketing with both clients and the marketing community.

Our community will always be important to Elite SEM as we continually give back to the areas where we work.

Why Work at Elite?

We are built on the core purpose of creating “great lives for great people,” which extends beyond our great employees to our clients, partners, and supporters. This guiding principle informs every decision we make, attracting a diverse body of intelligent and talented people who in turn reinforce these values just by being themselves.

Over the past few years, Elite SEM has won several prestigious industry awards for both our culture and performance:

  • AD AGE Small Agency of the Year: Best Agency Culture
  • ENTREPRENEUR #1 Top Company Culture
  • FORTUNE #1 Best Workplace for Millennials
  • BING Independent Agency of the Year
  • US SEARCH AWARDS #1 Best Agency (3x Winner!: 2013, 2014, 2015)
  • CRAIN’S NYC #1 Best Place to Work
  • INC. 5000 Listed Since 2007
  • MASHABLE #1 Best Tech Companies to Work For

Elite SEM survives and thrives by the mantra “great lives for great people” — this includes employees, clients, partners, vendors, fans, and everyone that crosses our paths. Our core values (Love What You Do, Circle of Education, Attitude of Gratitude, Strive for Greatness) help foster this goal each and every day.

401k Match
Elite SEM matches 100% of an employee’s contributions, up to 4% of an employee's income.

Executive Benefits for All
Disability, Life, Health, & matching 401k contributions. We provide all employees with the peace of mind that they are fully insured and saving for the future.

Unlimited Paid Sick/Vacation
Work/life balance is important to us & we encourage all employees to take as much time as they need knowing their “team” will back them up. They deserve it!

Free Lunch & Snacks
Elite SEM provides all employees free lunch Monday-Friday of their choice and always have cabinets stocked with healthy snacks.

Continuing Education
Elite SEM provides each employee $500 per year to take courses, attend seminars, etc. If it's important to the employee, it is important to the whole agency.

Profit Sharing Compensation
Our Account Management Team receives over 50% of the gross profit on the accounts they personally manage. This provides them with the highest compensation levels in the industry.

Equity from Day One
Each employee is given an ownership stake in the company from the first day they start.

Elite SEM Reviews

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Approve of CEO
  • "ELITE Practices what they preach..."

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Coordinator, CRM & Email in Denver, CO
    Current Employee - Coordinator, CRM & Email in Denver, CO
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Elite SEM full-time (Less than a year)


    Elite is one of the best companies I have ever worked for. What they say they represent, they ACTUALLY do. The culture is amazing, the resources are available to you, you colleagues are always willing to help, benefits are amazing... I could go on and on. Also, best leadership and management experience I have had from a job EVER!


    Not too many cons working here at Elite! I can't even think of any!

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great work.

See All 125 Reviews

Elite SEM Photos

Elite SEM photo of: Company Fun Day 2011
Elite SEM photo of: Elite Retreat 2013
Elite SEM photo of: SF Office Oyster Tasting Day
Elite SEM photo of: NYC Office Dodgeball League
Elite SEM photo of: Elite Retreat 2012
Elite SEM photo of: ATL Office Breast Cancer Walk
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Elite SEM Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Helpful (2)  

    Internship Interview

    Anonymous Employee
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Elite SEM in December 2016.


    Resume Review, Phone Screenings, Group Interview. When you apply for the internship program, after they months you take a test and have a presentation with the Director and Sr Lead.

    Interview Questions

    • If you could leave the house with one item that is not your wallet, phone, or keys, what would it be?   1 Answer
See All 31 Interviews

Elite SEM Awards & Accolades

  • Best Company Culture, Ad Age: Small Agency Awards, 2015
  • Best Agency, US Search Awards, 2014
  • Best Agency, US Search Awards, 2013
  • Fastest Growing Company, Inc. 500/5000, 2015
  • Fastest Growing Company, Inc. 500/5000, 2015
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