Fifteen years ago, people considered SEO some sort of “black magic” on the internet and now it is a growing profession.  PPC specialists are also frequently misunderstood. Who are PPC specialists? What do they do? Is it a difficult profession to learn? To answer any and all of these questions we need to start from the beginning— the very beginning!

The birth of the PPC specialist 

Pay per click (PPC) all started with the revolution of the internet in the 1990’s. The first record of a PPC advertisement was in 1996 which revealed compelling results as just one year later, more than 400 major brands actively used PPC Advertising. With 69% of adults in the United States using Facebook and 74% of those users visiting daily, its easy to understand why one of the most common forms of pay per click advertising is found in campaigns on Facebook. It is very difficult for businesses to organically be found on Facebook. Does this come as a surprise? Think of all of the ads you see on Facebook daily.

So, what is a PPC specialist? 

The job description of a PPC Specialist takes many forms depending on the specific needs of the company a PPC specialist works for. Overall, a PPC specialist is an expert in internet advertisement and online campaigns. This could mean experience in many different digital marketing aspects including, strategy, analytics, campaigns and more.

The overall purpose of this role is to use ad campaigns (Google, Facebook, etc.) in order to increase the traffic to a company’s site and generate revenue and sales. How a PPC specialist does this is a whole other tale to tell. Let’s jump into the skill sets one would need before understanding the technicalities of the job description.

The surprising skill sets of a PPC specialist 

Many careers under digital marketing (like PPC specialist) are not official degrees at universities. Due to the young state of this career path many universities do not offer digital marketing as a major. With over 5,000 different colleges found in the United States, there are only a handful that offer digital marketing degrees.  Though PPC specialists and many other digital marketing careers are hidden under majors such as Communications, experience in statistics, research and analytics is crucial to be successful at this role. Other critical skills include:

Critical thinking: PPC Specialists need to always be thinking 10 steps ahead. As the internet changes constantly, this position requires creating campaigns that are data driven and easy to adjust due to problems and the ever-changing environment of online advertisements.

Analytics: Ever heard of Google Analytics? Maybe you’ve heard of the confusion that many of your peers have had when trying to learn as a beginner. This is one of many data analysis platforms that PPC Specialists depend on for success. You don’t need to be a “mathematician,” but you do need to understand data and what all the numbers mean in this job role.

Creativity: There is not one set way to perform a PPC advertising campaign. Businesses and professionals experiment with new campaigns daily. Though you may rely on numbers and research, you also need to know how to creatively tell a story with these numbers to your bosses and use research to innovatively create better results.

Customer-centric: You need to not only create and manage ads for your target audience but also formulate everything around your prospects. You need to be obsessed and consumed with wanting to know every detail of the key public you are targeting your campaigns to. Every advertisement must be different and specific to each audience; research and analytics can help with this concept.

Love for learning: In this ever-growing field you need to constantly be learning and experimenting with new theories and campaigns. Follow key influencers in digital marketing and learn from their faults and successes. Discover the plethora of information found in this field and how you can use it to bring success to your company (meaning more money to pay off your student loans).

A passion for innovation: If you are attempting the same concepts and tactics then you are not doing your job! PPC specialists need to think outside the box and analyze the data to see what tactics are failing them and creatively discover new, innovative ways to bring successful results.

Images courtesy of Unsplash

Know the PPC Language

Do you like what you hear? The next step to understanding if this is the right profession for you is to first understand the language of PPC. Like any other career, pay per click has a vocabulary that may be difficult for certain people to understand. If your profession is creating ads and analyzing them all day, you need to understand that a single word can make or break your success with advertisements. Having a button on your advertisement that says “Click” vs “Click Here” can be that one-word difference. Which example makes more sense to you?

Understanding your target audiences and how they position themselves on the internet is crucial. If you are writing an advertisement that is perfectly suited for an older generation but post your ad on a Facebook page, your ad is being seen by the wrong generation. According to Pew Research Facebook has grown fastest among the younger generations of “millennial” and “Gen Z.” Your ad may be perfectly suited for a Facebook user in the “baby boomer category but will only be seen by a “millennial. Sorry to say, but your ad is pointless.

Keyword research—the fine art of researching keywords for optimal click through rates— is vital for PPC. Page designs and aesthetics are necessary to keep people from bouncing off of your page instantly. Do any of these concepts sound familiar? It may take some time to learn the language but if you truly enjoy all of the facets and excitement that comes behind successful pay per click campaigns, it will be well worth it in the long run.

The PPC specialist job market

The salary of a PPC specialist is specific to the location of employment and years of experience but averages to $56,500 annually. The market for PPC experts is growing larger every year. Professional PPC managers and specialists with great experience are difficult to come by. If you can master the art of this field, you can find yourself in a never-ending count of opportunities. Consider searching for PPC specialist in your area and discover all the opportunities and positions that companies are wanting to fill.

If a PPC specialist is something you are strongly considering, discover your opportunity of learning and success here.


Katelyn · November 21, 2019 at 4:40 am

The world needs more PCC Specialists! I think colleges should offer a program for this.

Greg Klecker · November 21, 2019 at 12:20 pm

Loved the article Emily Klecker. Thank you for the great information.

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