What is the role of a PPC expert in online advertising?

No business can survive without online advertising, more specifically without search marketing. We all know this.

From the original Google Ads to Facebook and Instagram ads… 

Smart online advertising is the sure-shot road path to glittering multi-million dollar success.

While organic content marketing and influencer promotions are on the rise, nothing can beat the power of good ol’ PPC campaigns to see instant results.

In fact, according to a Formstack report, PPC was ranked as one of the top three best channels for high-volume leads.

But how does a PPC (a.k.a pay per click) expert fit into this picture? 

Over the years, PPC campaign management has evolved. (Thanks, Google!)

And so has the competitive nature of the PPC market, with every brand vying for the top spot and the hottest keywords. 

Thus, developed the role of a dedicated PPC expert. Or even a team of PPC specialists, with a PPC manager heading it in some cases.

But now we are faced with additional questions.

What does a PPC expert actually do?

Can they make a difference for your business? 

These are the big questions we are tackling today. 

So stick around to find out.

To begin with the basics… Why are PPC experts important at all?

What is the role of a PPC expert in online advertising?

As the name suggests, PPC experts are specialists who are responsible for managing online pay-per-click ad campaigns. 

This might sound simple, but it is a highly challenging role that requires the person to be at their A-game every day. 

The scope of work could include activities like:

  • Trend watching: Involves staying on top of Google’s ever-changing algorithm, social trends, and your target audience’s search trends.
  • Keyword research: Knowing your market’s most popular keywords, doing continual research for new search keywords, and testing them to understand their potential for success… 

All part of a PPC expert’s role.

  • Campaign strategy: Developing smart campaign strategies across a range of digital channels. This involves everything from coming up with a bidding strategy, to planning budget, keywords, and ad positioning.
  • Copy & design: Overseeing the development of compelling ad copy and landing page design that is in alignment with the audience and campaign is essential for success. 
  • Implementing campaigns: This one speaks for itself really…
  • Optimizing performance: The average cost-per-click for a Google ad across all industries is $2.69 as of 2022. 

And if a PPC expert’s role had to be summed up in one line, it would be to maximize ROI and minimize the cost per click. Analyzing ad performance and optimizing the campaign is crucial to achieving that goal.

Will my business need a PPC expert? 

If you’ve got an online business that you want to grow through search traffic, then yes you do. 

Otherwise perhaps not. 

But then, like all situations, this isn’t a black and white solution for all businesses. 

How you hire a PPC expert changes, and what responsibilities you can outsource changes from business to business. It’s something that depends on your specific needs, the scale of your organization, and your goals.

For large organizations, with extensive products and target markets: 

Hiring full-time PPC experts is absolutely essential, and you definitely have the budget for it too.

If you have a jack of all trades doing that job, then you’re missing out on the real results you could achieve! 

Hire a team of dedicated PPC experts to plan, strategize, execute your PPC campaigns, and see the difference in your quarterly reports.

For ambitious mid-sized organizations, with regular campaigns but limited products: 

Hiring an in-house team of PPC experts might be out of your grasp, for now. But that is no reason for you to skip out on the golden potential of a truly successful PPC campaign.

Consider outsourcing it to a PPC or marketing agency to work on having a PPC campaign set up, implemented, and optimized by real experts.

You can hire them for a project, or have them on retainer depending on the number of campaigns you want to run.

Or even better, save some extra dollars by outsourcing your PPC projects to a reputable offshore agency with a solid team of PPC experts

This way, you will get all of the PPC expertise and ROI-boosting results at a much, much lesser cost.

For small, growing businesses that are still learning the ropes:

If you don’t have the scope to hire a local agency, then consider looking outside your local region. 

Many offshore marketing agencies have world-class PPC experts, who can deliver the same results but within your budget.

If even that is beyond your current budget, then consider scheduling just a strategy consultation call with a PPC expert, and then follow through on the implementation and testing yourself.

This way you can still get expert guidance on the crucial keyword research and strategy elements, to guide the rest of your campaign.

Now the question arises…

How to identify a true PPC expert from a pretender newbie claiming to be one?

With no “official” training or degrees in PPC, it can be hard to know or identify a real PPC expert, from someone with barely their training wheels off. 

But here are six questions you can ask them, to ensure you hire a PPC expert who has earned that title.

1. How do you do keyword research? 

Their answer should involve a deep dive into first understanding your industry, target audience, offer, and search intent. 

If they seem to rely on a one-size-fits-all solution or process, they’re probably not as much of an expert as they seem. 

2. What tools do you use?

Any real PPC specialist will have a handful of many tools they use and are comfortable with. 

The trademark of a PPC expert is the ingenuity in being able to cover all possible bases, before calling it a day. If Google Adwords is the only tool they use, you’re wasting your time.

3. Should I remarket my PPC campaigns? If yes, then why and how?

Remarketing is when you target previous (non-converting) website viewers with strategic ads.

If they respond to you with a “yes, because it nudges potential buyers back to your site and increases brand awareness”, then they know what they’re talking about.

As for how to do it… They should answer with a process that involves tracking visitor tags to flag users, so the ads can follow them to other sites.

4. What were some failures you’ve experienced in your previous PPC projects? 

Notice if they comfortably acknowledge and speak about their past failures.

A lot of work in the PPC world involves creating a smart strategy and testing it. So any seasoned expert is bound to have experienced a few failures and learned from each of them. 

(Plus, if they are able to confidently talk about their past mistakes, they will more likely be open communicators with you about how your campaign is going?)

5. How do you test ad copy while running a campaign?

The average click-through rate on Google ads is 2%. So if you have any hope of seeing results, then they should be conversant with split testing and multivariate testing. Apart from that, they should also be aware of all the parts of an ad that can have an impact on conversions. 

This includes things like messaging, positioning, pricing, punctuation, CTA, abbreviations, etc.

6. How do you perform data analysis?

Every PPC expert worth their salt believes in getting as big of a picture as possible while running data analysis to drive better results. 

They probably use intricate spreadsheets to identify trends, discover outliers, and can run pivot tables in their sleep. 

Use these questions to guide your interview process, and you’ll be sure to hire a PPC expert who will transform your marketing results.

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