When I was new to PPC, it was interesting and challenging.
But I did not completely understand the depth and breadth of what it was and what it would evolve into.
What follows are a few things I wish someone had told me when I was new to PPC.
1. Take Advantage of Learning Opportunities
In the past, learning opportunities were scarcer, and a new PPC manager had to be an ambitious researcher to locate programs.
Now, PPC platforms offer a lot of sophisticated training.
Certification programs are available that increase knowledge and dive deeper into PPC.
They also help secure career opportunities.
Here are some top paid media platforms that won’t steer you wrong in terms of honing your skillset:
- Google Ads
- Microsoft Ads
- Facebook Ads
- Pinterest Ads
- Amazon Ads
2. You Will Make Mistakes & That’s OK
Learning from your mistakes is important in life.
In PPC, mistakes can be costly and derailing.
Luckily, we don’t often see full-blown immediate implosions.
Monitoring performance real-time and acting quickly can help to identify and prevent paid media catastrophes before they happen.
Here are a few areas to focus on to avoid costly mistakes:
- Incorrect budget and bid settings that can cause the account to overspend or lose spend on irrelevant clicks.
- Disorganized account structure that doesn’t line-up with the intended strategic direction causing goals to not be met.
- Too many keywords or wrong match types that can hinder reaching the right customers.
- Expanding into additional audiences or expanded targeting that may not be timely or appropriate.
And in PPC, it’s better to learn from others’ mistakes.
PPC training resources usually train you in what to do, but not in what to avoid.
This is where collaboration with other industry peers, doing your research, and reading a lot come in.
Industry articles, podcasts, and in-person networking are good places to hear about PPC war stories and use them for learning what to do and what to avoid.
3. Educate Others on PPC
Early on there was a lot of confusion and misinformation for those in PPC.
How much is a click? What is an auction?
Why does a Quality Score matter?
And the scariest, most mysterious of all was the information surrounding click fraud.
Challenging questions that could not be easily answered, so there was always an ongoing process of learning and updating for us before.
One benefit of the growing popularity of PPC over the years is that companies and new advertisers have more base-knowledge than ever.
Furthering their skills will be taking a deeper dive into technical tasks or strategic approaches, which is more fun.
Had I known this before, I would have kept a better library of resources at the ready to explain, defend, and garner excitement about the next new PPC campaigns.
4. PPC Platforms & Features Are Always Changing
Someone should have mentioned that our work and learning in PPC is never done.
The constant releases and updates to platforms and feature sets by our friends driving innovation on paid media platforms will always keep us on our toes.
Sometimes these changes require the PPC manager to simply make a tweak or two.
Other times, changes can require shifting/restructuring entire campaigns or accounts and taking the time to communicate and “sell” the change to your company or client.
You will also have to thoroughly explain the changes, project-manage, implement, and monitor performance impact.
This constantly changing environment makes the PPC manager’s job more challenging.
And it’s a whole different ballgame if you work in ecommerce.
5. User Behavior Is Ever-Changing
It’s a certainty that user behavior is going to change, it is just a matter of how and when.
Many years ago we saw a shift from desktop searches to mobile.
Then we saw a shift from keywords to audiences.
The most extreme example of this are the changes we have seen since the pandemic outbreak.
It has changed the way we live, work, go to school. It has changed how users search for products and services.
There are several tips on managing PPC during the coronavirus outbreak.
Many factors can affect user behavior.
Here are a few (with simple examples) that you may want to take note of:
- Platform usage shifts: Users of certain demographics moving to TikTok from Facebook.
- Social trends: Celebrity gossip, sports.
- Search habits: Adding “near me” to search queries.
- Device usage: Wearables.
- Global trends: Climate change, disruptive technologies.
- Political trends: Elections, court cases.
6. Become Part of the PPC Community
After starting your PPC career, it doesn’t take long to feel the sense of camaraderie with others working in the PPC industry.
Meeting online and conference events help grow your PPC network a lot.
Mutual interests and good old “shop talk” often lead to learning new tips, strategies, and detailed platform information.
Now, many of those opportunities have gone online temporarily, but they also offer unprecedented access, sometimes for free.
LinkedIn groups, Twitter chats, Facebook groups, and professional organization memberships are great ways to be part of the rich PPC industry community and collaborate with peers.
Many of the things no one told me about center around the constantly changing industry of PPC and how to navigate those situations.
Those, too, are the reasons why I’ve really enjoyed and why PPC has kept me challenged and excited to be working in this marketing field.