ppc consultant

What Is A PPC Consultant? And How To Become One In 2021!

Alex Morris

Alex Morris

March 4th, 2021

Alex obsesses over words and keeps himself busy by reading, writing, and marketing. While doing all this he drinks a lot of tea.

ppc protect marketing salary survey

With the digital marketing industry growing every year and pay-per-click in high demand, it’s a perfect time to become a PPC consultant.

It’s one of the most sought-after roles in the world of digital marketing, as businesses need expertly crafted marketing campaigns to sell their products and services.

In 2017, over seven million advertisers invested $10.0 billion into PPC ads, while 79% of marketers say it’s enormously beneficial for business.

Not impressive enough? We have even more PPC statistics that showcase the immense popularity of the PPC industry.

Working as a PPC consultant, you can become a part of this prosperous industry and grow your reputation as a world-class marketer. All while making some serious cash!

But where do you start? And how do you become a PPC consultant in the first place?

Read on and discover the first steps to set you on your journey.

What Is A PPC Consultant?

google ppc network

A PPC consultant is an expert in pay-per-click advertising. Their goal is to plan and optimize online ad campaigns on Google Ads, Microsoft Bing, and other paid networks.

As a PPC consultant, your goal is to provide value through a detailed understanding of paid media advertising, which involves strategizing and optimizing best industry practices to deliver a return on ad spend (ROAS) for clients.

It’s a challenging role with lots to keep track of, but it does pay off with strong freelancing fees and salaries.

If you’re an experienced freelance consultant in the US, you can look to earn between $10 and $500 an hour. And if freelancing is not for you, the average base salary in the US is $58,000 per year. But this will vary depending on your level of experience.

In the UK, freelancers can earn up to £30 an hour. While for entry-level in-house roles, salaries will range between £18,000 to £25,000 a year. The more experience you have, the more you’ll earn.

You may notice there’s a considerable difference between US and UK wages, with the former much higher.

There are many reasons for this, one of the most notable is that the UK has a much higher tax rate.

But for either country rates can vary. The simple rule is the more experience you have, the more you can charge or earn.

While many PPC consultants are self-employed and work as freelancers, some are hired by digital agencies or consultancy firms as part of an in-house team.

For working hours, you can expect a standard 9 to 5 shift. Although this can vary. If you’re a freelancer with multiple clients, you can work more flexible (and longer) hours.

A big bonus? You can easily work from home, should you want to.

A PPC Consultant’s Key Roles

A PPC consultant has many key roles and tasks they perform for clients on a daily basis. If you’re still not sure what a PPC consultant is and what they do, this should give you a better insight.

Develop A Client’s PPC Strategy

As a consultant, you will take ownership of every client’s PPC strategy. This includes what type of campaigns you’ll run for clients, what platforms you’ll use, and what type of ads you publish.

A major aspect of any PPC strategy is keyword research. You need to know how potential customers are searching for your client’s products or services. Keywords help determine this and a client’s overall PPC strategy.

You’ll also need to work out which platforms will suit certain clients. This may be:

  • Google Ads
  • Microsoft Bing
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Or others!

Another big part of strategic development is checking on your competitors. What are they doing? Is their strategy working? Have a look at their ads and see the type of copy they’re using, along with their keyword choices.

The idea behind all of the above is to make the most of your client’s ad budget.

If you’re well prepared in your strategy, then you’ve set the foundations for a campaign that will perform.

Create, Modify, and Optimize Campaigns

Once your strategy is finalized, a big part of your consultancy role is to launch campaigns and monitor their progress.

Day-to-day, you’ll modify and optimize where necessary. This may include:

  • Monitoring results
  • Measuring the performance of campaigns
  • Improving ad copy
  • Updating keywords
  • Finding new keywords
  • A/B testing

This is an ongoing process you should be prepared to track on a daily basis.

Ensure you base every action on the long-term goals of your PPC strategy, this way, you’re aligned with your client’s expectations.

Report on Campaign Performance

google data studio report

Once your strategy is in action, your clients will expect regular insights into the work you’re doing. This is so they can see the performance of their campaigns and the value you’re providing.

Early into your early relationship, you should agree on a reporting schedule with a client. It could be weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Use the likes of Google Data Studio to present your key findings.

Make your data easily digestible for clients. Present important results in a clear way using charts to flag up key developments.

Include a written commentary on which aspects of your strategy are working, plus which areas aren’t.

Remember, communication with your client is an essential part of your working relationship. So keep them updated on your progress when necessary, such as with any crucial developments. 

Identify New Opportunities

You need a creative approach to any campaign, rather than simply letting it continue on its course.

Based on the reports you deliver and the progress of your work, you should always be on the lookout for ways to enhance your campaigns. 

For example, you might spot a conversion rate optimization (CRO) opportunity on a landing page. With some adjustment, this could boost their sales and overall ROI.

You can also look at your competitors to see if you can adapt to their campaigns, or discover new ways to use your client’s budget.

But you can’t head off and make these updates by yourself.

You need to present your ideas to clients and convince them of the value they bring. Support your points with data if possible, such as how much ROI you expect from any updates.

How To Become A PPC Consultant

To become a successful consultant, you’ll need creativity, time management skills, organization, and a solid knowledge of paid advertising networks.

You can start with the basics, which involves you getting your PPC certifications.

Get Certified

ppc certificate

The first step you can take is to complete the various Google Ads Certifications.

You don’t need to do all of them, only the ones relevant to your employer or clients. Although the more you know, the better, so it doesn’t hurt to have a full scope of understanding across all areas of paid search.

The courses you can take include:

Depending on the courses you pass, you’ll improve your proficiency and knowledge of specific paid search sectors.

The courses are all free to take, and you receive a certificate straight to your email address once you’ve passed.

After that, make sure you state clearly on your CV/resume, or LinkedIn profile, that you passed the course.

Improve Your PPC Skills

If you want to take your PPC knowledge to the next level, consider advancing your knowledge through professional development.

There are many Google Ads courses you can complete to complement your skillset.

You may need to pay for some of these, but others are free. If you’re new to PPC, then it’s a good idea to continuously develop your knowledge.

The more qualified you are, the more knowledge you’ll have, and the better you’ll be at completing your job.

Create A Portfolio / Case Studies

ppc portfolio

Build your industry clout by showing your experience and skills. A great way to start is by creating a detailed LinkedIn profile with an eye-catching headline.

You can complement this with a portfolio of your best work.

Clients may ask to see work examples from previous projects, so you can forward them your portfolio as evidence. You can make one for free on a platform such as Pathbrite.

Or you may want to make a website to show off your full range of abilities. You can do this on web hosting sites such as:

  • Squarespace
  • Yola
  • Wix
  • WordPress

If you don’t build your personal brand, it’ll be difficult to sell yourself to clients. But if you’re able to build up your reputation, and include testimonials, then you’re in a good position.

You can even get the ball rolling by offering to work for free. Have a look at Reddit’s r/PPC to introduce yourself and get your name on the map.

Or, if you have any friends in digital, see if they’re able to get your foot in the door for new opportunities to bolster your consultancy career.

Freelance vs In-House Roles

One of your big decisions as a PPC consultant is to decide whether to freelance or work in-house.

Both offer advantages and disadvantages.

If you want to be a freelancer, getting clients can be difficult. Especially when you’re just starting out in the industry.

To network successfully and land clients, you’ll need confidence, and it’ll help if you already have industry connections.

In order to find clients, you can take a look on platforms such as:

  • Reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • Freelancing sites such as Upwork, Fiverr, and We Work Remotely

If you’d rather focus on an in-house role, which is much easier for beginners, then you likely won’t earn as much pay. And you won’t have the same flexibility and independence as freelancers.

But you’ll find a solid environment to gain experience. This can provide you with the confidence to network and, a few years down the line, try out freelancing.

You can search for entry-level jobs to get started. Visit job sites such as TotalJobs, Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn to look for open positions. 

If you have no PPC experience, it’ll strengthen your cause if you complete Google’s certifications before applying for any roles.

After that, show your enthusiasm and willingness to throw yourself into a role and learn. Positive personality traits can help you get into a junior PPC exec position.

Time To Start Your PPC Consultant Career!

PPC consultants have an enjoyable and varied career, featuring a challenging role backed up with a strong wage.

As the paid search industry has been growing year on year for decades, being a part of it can see a rapid climbing of the ranks. As a freelancer, you can become a top name that clients flock to.

Or if you’re in-house, within a decade you can set yourself up to be a PPC Manager.

Remember, if you’re still perfecting your paid search game, you can check out our 14 PPC mistakes to avoid or other educational articles on our blog.

Otherwise, there’s no time like the present. PPC is ever-changing and always on the go.

The best thing you can do is get started now to make an impact in the industry.

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