How I Stumbled Into PPC
It was the first day of my Spring semester internship at one of the big advertising agencies here in Boston. In the application process I was asked to specify my top three choices of departments in which I’d like to work. My choices? Account Management, New Business, and Content Marketing.
The listings were handed out to the 40 interns, and most people sighed a breath of relief when they found out they were granted one of their top three choices. I breathed a sigh of anxiety when I saw the department in which I was placed. Yes, you guessed it! – Search Marketing. I had only briefly learned about SEO and SEM in a marketing class at Suffolk University. I barely knew the difference between organic and paid search results.
Fast forward about 5 months, and I began to realize how lucky I was to have stumbled upon this field. I learned many valuable skills not only regarding PPC, but advertising in general. I was handed my diploma, and reality was staring me dead on. I searched tirelessly for a job in advertising, sales, marketing, and even real-estate.
Fast forward again to mid-June. I was walking in the doors of 177 Huntington Ave. for my first day at WordStream, and more importantly my first stab at the “real world.” The goal of my post today is to convince you (yes, YOU, recent college grad) why you should consider PPC as a career path.
Why You Should Consider a Career in PPC
Traditional advertising is dying. Fewer and fewer individuals are reading the newspaper or listening to traditional radio stations. On the contrary, digital advertising is growing by leaps and bounds, as depicted by the following graph:
As you can see, radio, newspaper, and even TV advertising spending is decreasing, while digital ad spending in areas like search and mobile advertising is increasing steeply.
Clearly, we live in a digital world. What does this mean for search marketers? More business opportunities!
If the above information is not good enough reason for recent college graduates to get into search marketing, then consider this: Most people working in PPC are young, energetic, and enthusiastic about their careers. No matter which company you land in, you’re very likely to work with a great group of people.
Characteristics Needed to be Successful in the PPC Industry
If you’re convinced of the huge opportunities in paid search marketing and want to start looking for a job in this field, here are some of the key traits and skills you need to get started with a job in PPC:
- Openness to Change – PPC is an ever-changing field. There is always a new beta feature or some new policy change that Google AdWords users need to adjust to. In this industry, you cannot be afraid of change. Even the best of the best here at WordStream are still learning.
- Willingness to Make Friends with Numbers – While this career is not completely analytical, there are definitely some calculations you’ll need to understand. Among these numbers are metrics like click through-rate, conversion rate, and cost per acquisition.
- Creativity – Having an active, creative mind is certainly a plus. A good portion of the job is being able to write clear, effective, and creative ad text. In a sea of paid search ads for mattresses, how can you make yours stand out?
- Efficiency in Excel – Many paid search campaigns are built out in Excel. It’s okay if you don’t know every shortcut, but knowing a bit beyond the basics is desirable when applying for a job in PPC.
- Eagerness to Learn – I learn a lot from reading blog posts on sites like ClickZ, Search Engine Land, and of course the WordStream blog! Another great place to get started is PPC U.
Think You've Got What It Takes?
If yes, look no further! WordStream is looking to add bright, driven, and enthusiastic people to our growing team. You can submit your cover letter and resume to ServicesJobs@wordstream.com. (Here’s a bit more information regarding the job description.)
If you need any tips about successfully landing a job in PPC, check out this recent blog post on getting a job in PPC by Erin Sagin, who is a Customer Success Manager here at WordStream – she explains how to prepare before you apply, how to nail the interview and more. Also, be sure to check out WordStream marketing intern Brett McHale's recent post about how to improve your LinkedIn profile!
About the Author
Helen Edwards is a Paid Search Coordinator at WordStream. This past May, she graduated with highest honors from Suffolk University with degrees in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Outside of PPC, Helen enjoys bonding with her dog and trying out new restaurants. Additionally, as a former competitive figure skater, she still closely follows the sport. Feel free to connect with Helen on LinkedIn.