The Secret Pleasures of a PPC Manager


The Secret Pleasures of a PPC Manager

I’ve been doing PPC, in some capacity or other, for nearly ten years. That’s a fair chunk of time. When I started, AdWords looked quite a lot different (though I’ve gone blank as to what it did look like back then) and the benchmark statement we used of bids being, “about a pound” wasn’t too far off the mark.

An awful lot has changed since then and yet I’m still here, working the keywords, mining the searches. Fundamentally, the reason that I continue to be passionate about PPC is that there is a lot of enjoyment to be found in managing PPC campaigns – and a lot of scope to be creative too, if you’re doing it right.

Problem solving in PPC

One of the satisfactions of doing paid search is the problem-solving side of things. This problem-solving takes many forms from broad campaign performance improvement to specific challenges relating to all individual aspects of the account.

Wherever you look within an account, there’s likely to be a PPC puzzle waiting to be discovered. Raw numbers aren’t necessarily fascinating but data feedback absolutely is – find a puzzle, solve it then sit back and see what the results say. Continually learning from data and getting the results you’ve been aiming for is very satisfying.

It’s not all puppies and petals and certainly there can be a lot of frustration but when you act and the results show improvement and clients experience results they really and truly never thought possible – it’s definitely a back-patting moment.

Persuading with the written word

The other semi-hidden pleasure of PPC that seldom gets talked about is the enjoyment that comes with writing a nice turn of phrase in an ad text. This can be quite an infrequent occurrence but when it makes sense to stand out from the pack, it’s something I enjoy that can also help clients to engage potential customers more effectively. Validation is a large factor in PPC ad writing and a clear call to action is key – successfully making the most of that small window of opportunity to capture attention is as vital as it is enjoyable.

When you add in the strict parameters brought about by the character limitations, there’s often not a great deal of room for manoeuvre, and of course novelty in ad copy for the sake of novelty is not effective in PPC ads. Funnily enough, since the advent of the expanded text ad, ad writing has become easier but also a little less satisfying – the days of finding a great way to word line two and land it on 35 characters are gone!

Focus and data-driven results

Overall, I find that the deeper satisfaction of paid search comes about in times of immersion. I do enjoy the moments when I can just get on with a task with no distractions – just me, the system and a bunch of data.

Maybe I’m revealing my introvert tendencies there although I suspect we all enjoy those moments in our various roles. I guess I’m lucky because paid search tends to chuck up a lot of tasks that require that approach.

Because of the data-driven nature of PPC, it can be pretty straightforward to show the value of our strategies. Having that clarity about results, and knowing that some of the best outcomes emerge from a tight focus on data, creative thinking and hands-on activity is very rewarding. It’s a clarity I think a lot of other professions don’t always get to enjoy.

Anyway, that’s enough blog writing, I’ve got a search term query report waiting for me to dive into…


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