Last month my esteemed colleague Adam Henige wrote a blog post about the desired skills to get a job in the SEO industry. I thought the post brought out some great points about job skills in that industry. This is also the time of year when many students have December graduations from college and are looking for jobs. Additionally, the first of the year always brings about those looking for a new career change. So if you want to try to compete for a job in PPC, what skills should you possess?
High comfort levels with spreadsheets. Yes – sounds ugly, but this is a hard skill and you have to be able to create, manage, and interpret spreadsheets to be successful in this job. Why? Because if you are going to manage large campaigns – I mean large campaigns with thousands of keywords – you need to be able to work with the data to spot trends. While you don’t need to have pivot tables for breakfast, you will need a good working comfort level with spreadsheets.
Tenacity. Having tenacity is nothing new to success at any job. However, you need tenacity to be successful in PPC. Success is in the attention to detail – with ad copy, destination URLs, keyword matching, extensions, analytics, etc. When dealing with larger campaigns, it can be easy to lump a bunch of keywords into one ad group and call it good. No! If it means you create 19 different ad groups with 2 keywords in each you must do it. That is what will enable you to generate relevant ad copy. You want to be active in your testing and tenacious in your follow up to clients as to how campaigns are performing.
Process oriented. Process is extremely critical in PPC. This is especially pertinent to launching campaigns, but also in week-to-week management. You have to create a process and stick to it. You have analytics goals, billing procedure, landing pages, remarketing code, test ads, keyword research, banner ad compliance, client campaign checkpoints, destination URLs, phone extensions, and more. There are lot of moving parts to a good campaign. Having a very solid process that you add to over time and STICKING to that process puts you in a position to run successful campaigns and keep your clients informed.
A lack of complacency. Complacency is the evil of all AdWords campaigns. If you have a campaign that achieves success, that is good! However, don’t walk away from it and check it once a month. You must keep monitoring it and also realize that no click-through or conversion rate is high enough. What else can you do to move the needle forward? A good rule here is to always be testing ads against well performing ads. Additionally, many times it is a good tactic, no matter how successful a landing page is, to be testing another landing page or a slightly different version to measure conversion. A good PPC manager is also always studying keyword query reports for any additional exact, phrase, or negative keywords to use! There are always things to test, so don’t let complacency get to you.
These are a few hard and soft skills that you will want to possess and demonstrate when trying to obtain a position in the world of paid search. Hope it helps, good luck job hunting!