So you want to be a PPC Manager? I’m taking a look at what that looks like in today’s digital marketing industry.
I’ll walk you through some of the key skills you need to become a successful PPC Manager. If you’re already working in PPC you’ll likely already have some, if not all of these skills. My guide is here to help you to pull out those useful pieces of info to make your CV stand out.
It may seem like an obvious shout, but having an analytical mind is key when working as a PPC Manager. There is a vast amount of data that needs to be analysed from search engine interfaces, so being able to sift out the important stuff and ultimately make the right decisions is what makes the difference between good PPC Managers and great ones.
Using data to be able to solve problems and develop strategies for improvements is all down to being a great analytical thinker. Interpreting the data and reporting it back with actionable recommendations is an impressive skill. Not only are PPC Managers able to get deep into the detail, they can step back and view the whole picture. These are two very different ways of thinking that need to come together to be an effective PPC Manager.
- Good with data
The devil is in the detail! Attention to detail in the data is the PPC Managers bread and butter; it goes without saying that no stone must be left unturned when it comes to PPC. With more and more competition in the online space, it’s becoming more important than ever to ensure data is correct and in a format that can be analysed.
- Competent on Excel
So you’ve got all of your data, but how do you work from it or turn it into something that’s easier to understand? In the world of PPC, Excel is your friend. Having the skills to make the data work for you is key. Not only does it save you a lot of time, it’s bursting with functionality from heat mapping to pivot tables, Excel is your lifeline helping you to make your data better
- Manage Budgets
Knowing when and where to spend your budget and maximising its effectiveness can be a tricky balancing act. Improvement in ROI is what the stakeholders want to see whether they are your team or your clients. Translating the budget into a plan that delivers, is a key skill for a PPC Manager's CV. It’s not just a case of being good with money and allocating it across the year, it’s a case of being shrewd with your spend backed up by a great bidding strategy.
- Ability to report on channel performance
Most PPC campaigns are likely to have a multichannel approach. It’s vital that a PPC Manager is able to report on these interactions, understand them and ultimately influence them for improved ROI. A solid understanding of all the channels and their reporting tools is a must for any PPC Manager worth their salt.
With all of the above your left-brain is in full play, loving the methodical, analytical tasks, but you may need to use the right-brain too. The creative side can be drawn on when coming up with those strap lines or bits of ad copy that make it jump out from the page. It may be you have a copywriter, but if you’re a running solo it’s good to have a bit of creativity to draw on too.
If you’re just starting out in your PPC career or you’re on the road to becoming a PPC Manager, it’s worth working towards these Google Accredited Qualifications too, there are more but these are the most common:
- Google AdWords Fundamentals
- Search Advertising
- Display Advertising
- Mobile Advertising
- Shopping Advertising
Not only are you investing in yourself, these qualification will help you to;
- Structure and manage PPC campaigns to increase the number of high-quality visitors to your website.
- Learn how to develop PPC campaigns that increase clicks and reduce costs.
- Understand effective retargeting and set key performance indicators that boost your PPC performance.
There’s no denying that experience can often outweigh education, but if you’re keen to progress into a PPC Manager role, displaying your initiative and setting yourself apart from other PPC marketers by gaining additional Google Qualifications where possible, could help you get there. Check out the Institution of Data & Marketing where they explain more about their courses and how to sign up.
PPC channels include: Paid Search, Paid Social, Display, Affiliates and Re-targeting.
So what does a PPC Manager do and how do I get there?
A PPC Manager role can come in various forms, in a range of businesses and can be very different from job to job.
PPC Manager roles and what they look like
My main tip for those wanting to become a PPC Manager would be to immerse yourself in the industry, by attending industry events; particularly PPC and digital advertising related ones and gain as much hands on experience as you can. The role of a PPC Manager can be more hands off with more strategic duties or it might be much more hands on, it all depends on a persons background and which brands they’ve worked for.
You could be more strategic and work closely with an external agency to plan and deliver paid search activity or lead on the full PPC strategy from planning through to implementation. It’s important to be in the detail when it comes to PPC, from setting up and optimising campaigns to then reporting on campaign performance.
Know your businesses
Depending on the size of business you work for, or want to work for, it will determine the amount of PPC accounts you work on. This will differ from in-house or agency roles, for example, if you work for a large eCommerce business operating in the UK and on a large international scale, you will probably manage multiple accounts per territory. But if you work for a lead generation business you may only manage between 2-4 accounts, but these may vary in size.
Each business is unique in terms of how many PPC accounts they have and how they operate - this is due to the target audience and demographic, which results in the amount of campaigns that are run. Depending on what you’re targeted against, your aim when running PPC campaigns will essentially be to maximise ROI (Return on Investment), based on ad spend, decrease CPA (Cost per Acquisition) or decrease CPL (Cost per Lead). Each business will have their own individual KPI’s and these will differ subject to what their commercial objectives are.
In terms of PPC recruitment, compared to the start of last year, a lot of our clients are now looking for paid media candidates rather that purely paid search. Pure paid search roles still exist of course, but paid search and paid media do go hand in hand, so many businesses have combined the two skill sets into one role, which is interesting as paid social can be much more creative than paid search.