How to get a job in PPC marketing

Considering a career in PPC marketing?  Here’s what you need to know, plus five tips to ace the interview!

PPC: Girl on chair

I have interviewed several candidates straight out of University looking for an entry-level job in PPC marketing. I’ve interviewed the good, the bad, and the unprepared. I’ve interviewed candidates who I thought they may have had potential, but I had to turn down because they just hadn’t come prepared.

So, if you’re looking to find out more about PPC marketing, what it is, and some tips on standing out in an interview, you’ve come to the right place.

What is PPC (Pay Per Click)?

PPC is one form of digital marketing where the advertiser chooses to show their ads on Google’s search engine. They only pay when their ad gets clicked. The advertiser tells Google what searches to show their ads on, the messaging that they want to have in their ads and how much they’re willing to pay for a click.

PPC uses an auction system. The more an advertiser bids and the higher quality and relevance their ad has to the search, the better chance they have of appearing on the top of the page on Google’s search engine.

Screenshot of google search engine ads

What does a job in PPC involve?

Here is a short list of some of the things that a junior level PPC marketer would be doing:

  • Keyword research – you first need to do some research to identify what searches you want your client’s ads to show on and whether those searches have any volume behind them.
  • Create campaigns – you’ll need to create campaigns that are well structured and organized. A good campaign makes it easy to find keywords and makes reporting useful. Think of a very well organised filing system where you can easily find whatever you’re looking for.
  • Write ad copy – writing ad copy that is both eye-catching and pushes the client’s USPs without lying is very important.
  • Reporting – a chunk of a junior PPC person’s job is creating PPC reports and drawing insights from them.
  • Data analysis – PPC requires a considerable amount of data analysis. Campaigns are set live and then refined over time as more data is obtained. For example, you may find that “males over 65” perform poorly and generate less clicks, and therefore decide to not show them your ads.
  • Diagnosing and fixing problems – your client will have monthly targets. If they’re not hitting these targets, it’s up to you to diagnose why.

How to impress in an interview

Impressing in an interview doesn’t just mean doing a few things an hour before the interview. If you’re serious about PPC marketing, then you’ll want to learn as much about it as you can beforehand. Here are five things to help you prepare for your PPC interview:

1.     Learn to “speak PPC”

Learn some of the basic terminology so that you can start talking like a PPC Marketer in your interview. Here’s some to get you started…

Impressions – the amount of times your PPC ad was shown

Clicks – the number of times your ad was clicked

Cost – the amount of money spent on PPC advertising

Conversions – the number of conversions that were achieved. A conversion is the goal that you’re trying to achieve such as obtaining a sale or a lead.

Conversion value – revenue obtained from a conversion

Cost per click (CPC) – the average cost of a click on your ad

Clickthrough rate (CTR) – the percentage of times your ad was clicked compared to the number of times it was shown

Conversion rate (CVR) – the percentage of times your ad obtained a conversion compared to the number of times it was clicked

Return on ad spend (ROAS) – the amount of revenue earned for each pound that was put into advertising.

2.     Earn a PPC certificate

The Google Skillshop website has a number of PPC certificates that you can achieve. The exams cover the basics of PPC advertising and how to get the most out of Google’s advertising platform.

Google Skillshop also includes all the relevant tutorials and videos required to pass the exams. It isn’t realistic to pass all the exams, but I would be impressed if a candidate came to an interview having passed one of them. The exams are multiple choice, free to take and you can attempt them as many times as you like.

3.     Read PPC blogs

If you read a blog or two every now and then, you’ll start to pick up PPC advertising knowledge and have an appreciation on the kind of topics that PPC people tend to discuss. You can read the PPC blog maintained by the company I work for; Pepper PPC Agency. We update the blog every two weeks on a Tuesday.

4.     Get comfortable using key spreadsheet features and formulas

Entry-level PPC people not from a technical background often struggle with using Microsoft Excel. It is common to be asked how good your spreadsheet skills are in an interview. You may get asked if you know how to create a pivot table or can do a VLOOKUP.

Below are some of the basic formulas and features that you’ll be using on a spreadsheet when doing PPC:

  • SUM()
  • LEN()
  • SUMIF()
  • Pivot tablets
  • Conditional formatting

5.     Learn some basic PPC formulas

Learning some of the formulas used to calculate basic PPC related metrics will help to give you an understanding of what they do. You can also mention the formulas if you’re asked how much you know about PPC in an interview. Here are some good basic formulas to learn:

  • Cost per click (CPC) – Cost / Clicks
  • Clickthrough rate – Clicks / Impressions
  • Conversion rate (CVR) – Conversions / Clicks
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS) – Total conversion value / Cost


PPC agencies are often on the lookout for promising PPC people. There is so much information available to you on the internet about PPC and digital marketing in general. This means learning about PPC and being prepared in an interview is very accessible.