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Paid Search Managers lead search marketing campaigns to increase sales or engagement for a company. They often work solo on a contract basis but can find positions at larger companies on a marketing team. When they work on a team, Paid Search Managers collaborate with Digital Marketers, Designers, Data Analysts, and Digital Analysts. They work a typical 40-hour workweek.
A Paid Search Manager’s day-to-day tasks will depend on the size of the company they work for and the campaign they’re working on but will probably include campaign strategy sessions, analyzing and reporting their findings from a campaign, optimizing a paid search campaign, updating bids, adding and removing keywords based on testing, A/B testing, monitoring profitability and returns on investment (ROIs), and working with their team to develop omnichannel marketing campaigns.
The Paid Search Manager should be able to communicate clearly to both business owners, digital marketers, and designers to bring their vision for a campaign to life properly. They should also have solid data analytics skills, presentation and reporting practice, understand how to execute A/B testing, and have an adaptable approach to campaigns in order to create the optimal campaign configuration for their client.
They’ll need a deep level of search engine optimization (SEO) knowledge and they’ll need to keep up-to-date with the latest search engine algorithms and changes. They should also have at least some experience with search engine marketing and social media marketing. Choosing the right platforms or channels for each campaign and company will hinge on a familiarity with the culture and etiquette of each platform.
They should be proficient in at least Google Ads but some companies will also require Bing Ads skills. Google Analytics and keyword tools like Moz and Ahrefs will also be expected for a position in a Paid Search Manager position. On top of these basic SEO skills, Paid Search Managers will probably be managing a budget or at least requesting money for their campaigns. They will need to stay on top of industry trends for bids, profitability, and popular channels to maximize their budget.
Any Paid Search Manager must be intimately familiar with both digital marketing terminology and business management lingo. Everything from search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) to pay per click (PPC) in digital marketing to return on investment (ROI) and key performance indicators (KPIs). Knowing the lingo and the concepts behind it will be necessary to pass even an initial phone screening interview in this field.
Digital marketing utilizes the internet and web based digital platforms to promote products or services. This includes the use of digital advertisements, social media, brand identities, and more.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It is the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic using tactics like keywords and backlinks to create organic, high-ranking search engine results.
Google Ads is the new name for Google AdWords. It is an online advertising service that allows advertisers to pay for the display of brief advertisements, video content, listings, and calls to action within the Google Display Network (GDN) to web users. You'll see Google ads on the GDN which includes Google Search, YouTube, and over 2 million other sites.
A Paid Search Manager in the United States makes, on average, $80,533 annually, according to Indeed.com.
Salaries for Paid Search Managers vary by region within the the United States. Listed below are some Paid Search Manager salaries for specific areas with the United States compared with the average national salary:
Most employers looking to hire a Paid Search Manager full-time will expect you to have either a bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, business or a similar field; at least 3 years of experience; or an internship. They usually expect Paid Search Managers have a Google Ads Certification and some will also require a Bing Ads certification.
Paid Search Managers can find careers at companies both large and small. There are many remote and freelance opportunities for this position as well as full-time jobs. A Paid Search Manager can find a job in nearly any industry but will probably have the best luck starting with small businesses and startups, corporations, tech companies, and retail companies. The possibility for upward mobility and a higher salary is quite high in full-time positions at larger companies and in the freelance realm.
Paid Search Managers can look for jobs on these sites:
Paid Search Managers can find freelance and remote positions on these sites:
Experience is absolutely essential in this field and must be demonstrated either through freelance experiences, internships, or practice projects from school. If you’re having a hard time landing your first Paid Search Manager job, try out freelancing for a bit! Freelance platforms like Upwork or Freelancer are great places to start. You’ll be able to apply for and execute gigs on a contract basis through their platform, get reviews from your clients to add to your LinkedIn, and add to your experience with fewer interview hurdles upfront. Plus, you’ll be earning money straight away.
Paid Search Managers who are serious about a long career should definitely consider creating a website for themselves. It should rank in searches, have a portfolio with strategy notes for each campaign you’ve done, and have your contact information easily available. For an extra boost in the eyes of potential employers or future clients, feature testimonials from the campaigns you’ve worked on. Try to collect testimonials at the end of every single campaign and get permission from your clients to share their experience or only share it anonymously. Sharing with the client’s name or company attached certainly carries more weight, though.
Get certified in Google Ads before you start applying for jobs. This will show you where your weak spots are in your skills and get you more credibility on your resume. Be sure to add your certification to your LinkedIn. Then, brush up on those weak skills. If you take any classes to strengthen your skillset, which is a great thing to do at any point in your career, add those to your LinkedIn as well! Employers love to see Paid Search Managers who stay up-to-date on their skills and industry trends, which are constantly changing.
Lastly, get networking! Connect with anyone you’ve worked for freelance on LinkedIn, connect with recruiters and potential future coworkers, set up informational interviews, attend meetups, and get to know other people who are taking the same online courses or workshops as you–if you choose to take them. Networking is the best way to get a job in almost any industry, but especially marketing. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there when you’re first starting out and ask for advice or referrals!
Paid Search Manager is a relatively niche position within the digital marketing world. For more variety of job opportunities and more upward mobility chances at a corporation, Paid Search Managers can broaden their skills through and beyond these positions. On the other hand, a freelance Paid Search Manager should continue to remain within this niche and even narrow their work to a single industry or a few specific platforms to become a trusted expert.
A Paid Search Manager can look for the following job titles:
Paid Search Managers can become more generalists and find work as a Search Manager. Search Managers focus more broadly on all search engine optimization, search marketing, and sourcing organic leads and growth. To become a search manager, Paid Search Managers would need to brush up on their organic search strategies and analytics practices.
For a change of pace, a Paid Search Manager could learn more about social media marketing, which can be very similar to search engine marketing, to become a Social Media Specialist. Social Media Specialists design campaign and marketing strategies for social media accounts, sometimes paid social media advertisements, liaising between influencers, creating content, and analyzing data from those campaigns on the platforms they’re using. Depending on whether the work is full-time or contract, a Social Media Specialist and a Paid Search Manager would make about the same amount as each other, but working on a contract basis is usually more lucrative for Social Media Specialists.
Paid Search Managers who are looking for something different could look even more broadly into the marketing field at positions like Digital Marketer, Digital Strategist, or Marketing Manager. Like a Paid Search Manager, these positions also work on advertising and plans with budgets as well as some graphic design and data analysis. Digital Marketers and Digital Strategists will likely have similar salaries as a Paid Search Manager. A Marketing Manager would have similar responsibilities to a Digital Marketer or Digital Strategist with the added tasks of brand consistency and story, brand audits, overseeing staff, and liaising with upper-level management. These roles would also use many similar types of tools and skills that a Paid Search Manager.
A search manager brings expertise with search engines and a deep understanding of how they work to drive results. They will generally work across search from organic search (SEO) to paid search. In this type of role, the manager would oversee both organic and paid search operations, including strategy, optimization, and reporting. In organic search, the manager would be in charge of finding the right keywords to target, improving rank for those keywords, and optimizing the site for SEO. Within paid search, the manager would build the strategy, manage the campaigns, and continually test and optimize for the best performance.Learn about becoming a Search Manager
Digital marketers are responsible for designing, managing, and reviewing digital marketing campaigns. Using their expertise in search engine optimization (SEO), social media, backlinks, and digital ads, digital marketers provide data and demographic-driven marketing strategies. They may also help companies develop content marketing strategies through the use of blogs. Digital marketers also use data analytics to review digital marketing campaign results and provide guidance for future campaigns.Learn about becoming a Digital Marketer
Digital Strategy is the work behind digitally rich projects like websites, social media, SEO content, digital marketing, and more. Digital Strategists identify opportunities for growth and make plans for new website releases, content for their client with a specific end goal in mind, or an advertising campaign.Learn about becoming a Digital Strategist
Marketing Managers oversee a team of marketing professionals who find ways to grow the business they're working for, execute those growth ideas through campaigns, and analyze and report on those campaigns.Learn about becoming a Marketing Manager