How to Become a PPC Specialist: Could Google Ads Be Your Vocation?

In Paid Search by Kaomi Team

PPC (pay-per-click) is a fast-growing marketing strategy that shows immediate results. For those with some experience in this digital marketing platform, there is a great career to be found. Could a career in PPC be your vocation? We dig into how to become a PPC specialist.

What is PPC?

Before outlining the PPC job description, we’ll first run you through what it means. PPC is a form of digital advertising whereby the client only pays for the advert when someone clicks on it. This makes it both an affordable marketing technique, as well as one that yields tangible results. 

In terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), PPC is an effective digital strategy which helps an advertiser elevate in ranking, attract new leads and boost sales. It is reliant on effective keyword use for enhanced visibility, but advertisers benefit from a high return on investment.

PPC Specialist Job Description

A PPC specialist is tasked with managing the entire pay-per-click (PPC) internet advertising campaign for an organisation, usually through Google AdWords or Bing Ads. Advertisers will pay an agreed-upon fee every time a user clicks on the advert. As with any advertising campaign, this will include:

  • Strategy outline including analysis of target audience
  • Advertising design 
  • Crafting SEO
  • Implementation of the campaign
  • Analysis of the advert performance
  • Provision of feedback to the client

A PPC specialist requires a particular skills’ set to run an effective digital campaign. This makes specialists in this industry hugely in demand. You are able to work privately, or inhouse within a marketing department, managing several client campaigns. A PPC specialist can also have the following titles:

  • PPC analyst
  • PPC manager
  • PPC executive
  • PPC account manager
  • PPC account executive

PPC Specialist Roles and Responsibilities

While every PPC role will vary to some degree, depending on the organisation within which you work, as well as the particular campaign you’re working on, there are certain day-to-day duties you can expect:

  • Campaigns: You’ll plan to develop a number of PPC campaigns across several digital channels.
  • Landing page: You’ll also be responsible for designing the landing page where the advert directs consumers. A strong and engaging landing page makes all the difference. 
  • Keyword research: When it comes to online ads, keywords form a major part of PPC specialist responsibilities. You’ll have to constantly research what keywords the targeted audience is likely to input, updating these where necessary. 
  • Trend watching: The ever-changing SEO trends will need to be monitored as changing algorithms will require you to update your advert. Social and consumer trends will also need to be monitored so that keywords on the landing page can be adjusted. 
  • Copywriting and editing: The PPC specialist is also tasked with writing engaging advertising copy to enhance click-through-rates, as well as proofreading and editing copy where needed. 
  • Advert optimisation: You’ll also analyse existing adverts, optimising where needed in terms of keywords, placement, and demographics. 
  • Performance review: Once an advert campaign is underway, you’ll continue to monitor the performance and present these to the client through weekly and monthly performance reports. Some of the performance indicators you’ll analyse include trends, goals, and other opportunities. 

PPC Specialist Skills

To meet the role requirements, a PPC specialist will have to acquire and master a series of job-specific skills. 

  • Analytics: To develop and review a comprehensive ad campaign, you’ll require an analytical mind with a knack for statistics. 
  • Organisational: You’ll be required to keep on top of a number of tasks, especially if you have several campaigns on the go. 
  • Creativity: As with any marketing or advertising positions, a PPC specialist will need a creative drive that can be translated into an effective campaign. 
  • Consumer insight: For each ad campaign, you’ll have to have an understanding of the brand as well as the target consumers. 
  • Technical expertise: You’ll require the necessary technical insight in terms of deciphering and tracking codes, and trend tracking, among others. 
  • Innovation and adaptability: As the trends change, you’ll need to switch focus and come up with impactful ways to keep your client in demand. 
  • Communication: This is a key skill as you will need to communicate a brand to an incredibly wide audience, as well as communicating your campaign ideas with the client and your team.  

PPC Specialist Course

If you’re looking for a job in pay-per-click advertising, you could look at completing a Bachelor’s degree in the following:

  • Marketing 
  • Business 
  • Communications 
  • Computer Science 
  • Information Technology
  • Technology-related fields 

There are also PPC specialist courses and certifications that will cover the various facets of pay-per-click including display advertising, conversion optimisation, web analytics, bidding methods, ranking algorithms, performance measurement, ad platforms, lead generation improvement, and SEO. 

Within the PPC specialist field, you’re likely to find individuals with backgrounds in English, physics, music, maths, science and engineering – all of whom will have excellent analytical, creativity and communication skills. Beyond formal education, however, experience and general know-how will count a lot on your CV as this is a practically-driven career that requires a lot of self-teaching and on-the-job training. 

PPC Specialist Salary

Salaries will obviously differ from company to company and geographically, but an average monthly salary for a PPC specialist in South Africa is around R25 000. Experience will also be a major contributing factor to salary amounts, and there may also be salary boosts such as commission or performance-based bonuses. 

Tips For the PPC Specialist

Once you’ve qualified as a PPC specialist, there are a number of techniques you can incorporate to take it to the next level. 

What Will Set You Apart As a PPC Specialist?

1. Focus on one network at a time

After specialising, it’s time to decide on a network to use. While PPC networks have similarities (AdWords, Bing and Facebook) mastering them all will take you time, minimising the time you’d need to master skills elsewhere. Once you’ve mastered a network, then tackle the next one. 

2. Metric Comprehension

Pay-per-click advertising requires you to master certain metrics for a successful campaign. These will include: 

  • Click-through rate
  • Cost-per-click
  • Return-on-ad spend
  • Quality score
  • Cost-per-conversion

3. Elevate Writing Skills

A major part of being a PPC specialist is copy writing, including headline and general content creation. To get this correct, writing practice and constant research is key. Start by checking out what writing techniques leading competitors are using and then start generating your own. 

4. Guard Against Fraud

Click fraud is fast becoming a dangerous online trend with 1 in 4 clicks on pay-per-click adverts performed by bots. By implementing some form of PPC protection, you can be assured that the hard work put into an advertising campaign doesn’t go to waste. 

Why is PPC Important?

If you’re still considering whether becoming a PPC expert is for you, here’s a look at why PPC is becoming the leading advertising technique. 

  • Trackability: Businesses are able to effortlessly track, not only how many people are clicking on the advert, but also where they’re going after clicking. This gives valuable consumer insight that can be leveraged. 
  • Brand promotion: PPC marketing is able to give even the smallest competitors market share through an effectively-run campaign. This means return-on-invest from early on. 
  • Businesses pay for what they get: Unlike with other marketing formats that require exposure payment, pay-per-click will see businesses benefitting from a much more targeted marketing technique. 
  • Quicker website traffic: Mastering SEO will generate leads and drive traffic in time, but some businesses cannot wait for such traction. PPC marketing pushes rankings and facilitates first-page exposure in a day. 
  • Less SEO disruption: Although PPC advertising is subject to certain SEO changes, they are not as frequent as typical online SEO content. 

Digital marketing is a growing industry, making PPC specialists an increasingly sought-after position. If you have a real passion for online marketing and analytics, it’s likely you will succeed in such a role, but it’s important to have a thorough foundation in the field. Getting the necessary certification and experience will set you apart in this highly-competitive industry.