PPC, SOLUTIONS 8
How to Land a Google Ads Specialist Job: Advice from Two Industry Experts
Hey, fearless reader! Heads up: This blog is over 3,000 words. You can read the whole thing from start to finish and soak up the Google Ads wisdom from two of our best and brightest (while earning my undying love to boot), or you can jump ahead if there’s something specific you’re hoping to learn. (No judgment; time is money, after all.) To make it easy, I’ve included a handy outline of each section so you know what to expect. Happy reading!
Before we get started, here’s a quick overview of what you’ll find in this blog:
So, you want to be a Google Ads specialist.
Smart move—considering Google is the most visited search engine in the world, with more than 8.5 billion searches carried out every day and a comprehensive list of products and services ranging from Gmail and Google Maps to Android and YouTube.
Plus, when you take into account the fact that 80 percent of businesses now use Google Ads (Google’s paid traffic platform) for their PPC marketing campaigns, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that hitching your wagon to the almighty Google is the first step toward a successful career in the digital marketing industry.
That said, becoming an expert in Google Ads is not something that happens overnight—no matter how easy we make it look here at Solutions 8. Which is why we recently sat down with two of our favorite Google Ads whiz kids, Account Managers Riddhi Raj and Yusuf Can Kazancioglu, to ask them what first attracted them to Google Ads, what a typical day on the job looks like, and what advice they have for someone looking to land a Google Ads Specialist job.
Why Google Ads?
The digital marketing industry is massive, with countless job opportunities for individuals with a wide range of skills and experience. So, why Google Ads? For Riddhi, the allure was equal parts mind-blowing innovation and tremendous growth opportunity.
“Specializing in Google Ads has been highly advantageous for me,” shared Riddhi. “Firstly, the digital advertising industry is rapidly growing, and by focusing on Google Ads, I have positioned myself at the forefront of this evolving field. Additionally, Google Ads is constantly evolving, introducing new features and optimization techniques. This means there is always something new to learn, and staying updated on industry trends has become a crucial part of my work. It keeps me sharp, adaptable, and ahead of the curve in the dynamic world of digital advertising.”
For Yusuf, it’s more about understanding today’s online consumer and their limited attention span—and knowing that if you really want to reach your target audience, there’s no better tool than Google Ads.
“I like Google for one simple reason,” he explained. “Users come to you, actively seeking your services or products.” He said it’s different from social sites like Facebook or TikTok, where advertisers are essentially interrupting someone’s leisure time. Or, as Yusuf puts it, “You’re likely getting in Aunt Janice’s face as she tries to see what her niece living in a different state is doing these days. You are interrupting some young ‘un trying to see what the latest challenge on TikTok is.”
But with Google, he said, you’re meeting your potential customers where they already are, and that’s a pretty big head start. Plus, Google Ads is less focused on the creative side, since it’s more about reaching your target audience with the right keywords and ad copy.
How did you learn Google Ads?
Every Google Ads specialist, at one time or another, was just a humble padawan hoping to learn the Jedi-level skills that would set them apart in their career.
For Riddhi, it was following the Solutions 8 YouTube channel, which she said provided valuable tutorials and tips (25K subscribers, y’all—we must be doing something right). Additionally, her colleagues at Solutions 8 encouraged her to work on real accounts so she could make mistakes and learn from them. In her opinion, the combination of self-learning and hands-on experience greatly contributed to her Google Ads expertise.
As for Yusuf, he asked a LOT of questions, which he absolutely encourages other would-be Google Ads gurus to do. “I see a lot of up-and-coming colleagues being too afraid to ask questions. I don’t know if they are afraid they’ll look silly or ill-equipped to do their jobs, but it’s really a bad habit that needs to be broken.”
And not only that, said Yusuf, but it’s important to ask the right questions—which means you need to have a basic level of understanding about what Google Ads is, how it works, and what happens when you push that button. However, because Google Ads is a landscape that changes too quickly, he cautions against relying solely on books or courses or anything static to improve your Google Ads knowledge. For example, a book that was published six months ago could tell you how Performance Max would be the one-size-fits-all solution to your every digital marketing need, but nowadays more and more experts are stepping away from Performance Max.
His best advice? “The people you work with, or your network, will always be much more up to date with the changes. You don’t have to work in an agency to be able to ask questions, either. We have a lot of industry leaders, like our own John Moran, on LinkedIn explaining what their latest discovery is and you can usually ask them questions on those platforms as well. So, considering that the changes and new discoveries in Google Ads usually outpace the update frequencies of those training materials, I always advocate for learning the basics and then improving your knowledge as you look for solutions to problems you encounter in real life.”
At the end of the day, said Yusuf, “I’m a really a big advocate of learning through practice, and sharing experience and knowledge through communication.”
Common Google Ads mistakes
Learning how to do something right usually involves a lot of time spent doing it wrong. But hey, that’s exactly why we’re so big on sharing what we’ve learned in over a decade of building and managing high-performing Google Ads campaigns. A little advice from Riddhi and Yusuf and you might just avoid that next issue or sail over that next hurdle—which means you’re one step closer to scoring that Google Ads specialist job.
In Riddhi’s experience, one of the biggest mistakes she sees is not having a solid understanding of the Google Ads platform and all its features before diving into creating campaigns. She said investing time in learning the fundamentals is crucial before you can make informed decisions and set up effective campaigns.
Another common mistake is poor audience targeting. “Many people make the mistake of either targeting too broad of an audience or fail to adequately refine their targeting parameters. This can result in their ads being shown to irrelevant or uninterested users, leading to wasted ad spend and lower conversion rates,” Riddhi explained.
Finally, she urges people to take full advantage of the available data and analytics. Why? Because failing to do so could mean missing out on valuable opportunities for optimization and campaign refinement.
Yusuf had a slightly different (though just as valuable) answer. First, he said that too often he will see individuals boast about managing an entire account or X amount of dollars in ad spend, when in reality they simply applied a strategy that someone else had created. In his opinion, it all comes down to being real. “You can say you managed a quadrillion dollars in ad spend, but any company with even a slightly good hiring process will see through your BS. And then, instead of presenting yourself as a good prospect with potential, you’ll come off as a hack.”
The second mistake he sees is when people try to come up with a template for everything, when what they should be doing instead is looking at each client and each business individually to see which strategy or strategies will work best.
“I feel like templates get in the way of creative thinking, but if it were as simple as finding a catch-all solution that applied to every client, all of us would be replaced with automation software suites. You might have templates as starting points, but never stick to them religiously. Always make sure to alter [your campaigns] to each client’s specific needs.”
Essential skills for Google Ads specialists
Pay attention, Google Ads padawans. If you want to reach Jedi status, these are the skills our account managers say are a must.
First up, Riddhi said, “To succeed in Google Ads, it is essential to have a strong grasp of keyword research and bidding strategies, including knowing which match types to use in conjunction with bid strategies. Additionally, a basic understanding of ad copywriting, landing page optimization, and data analysis for evaluating campaign performance is crucial.” On top of that, Riddhi believes strong data analysis skills, effective communication abilities, management skills (such as efficient planning, task prioritization, and time management), and adaptability to the dynamic digital advertising landscape are also a must.
In Yusuf’s opinion, it’s creative thinking first and foremost, because it will make your life so much easier when you try to optimize accounts, diagnose problems, and find solutions. The alternative is trying to brute-force your way into solving an issue, which he said never works as well as a creatively crafted solution. Need an example?
“You don’t have to add [best security camera for home], [best security cameras for houses], [best home security camera], or 10 really similar options when you can add just one of them and let Google’s close variant matching algorithm do the rest. All you are going to do is fragment the data and make it way more difficult to optimize your campaign.”
Next up is problem solving. “You can read all the Google Merchant Center guides out there, but you will never learn as effectively as when you wake up one day and find an email in your inbox warning you that your GMC account will be suspended unless you fix something called “Policy violation: Shipping price mismatch.”
Sure, said Yusuf, you could sit there and painfully match your shipping rates 1 to 1 in GMC and your website (which, btw, would be ridiculously time consuming) or you can take the time to really understand the warning and find a creative solution. In other words, thinking outside the box every now and then will go a long way toward solving the problem in a much more time- and cost-efficient way.
Finally, a really stellar Google Ads specialist should know to look beyond the Google Ads dashboard and take into account ALL available data. For example, explained Yusuf, say you are working with a lead generation client. If you just look at conversions in your Google Ads dashboard, you may think your DSA campaign is killing it with 50 conversions in a week, while your Search campaign only has five. But a peek into your client’s CRM might paint an entirely different picture, with all of DSA leads getting marked unqualified while two of those five leads from Search being marked as “Closed – Won.”
At the end of the day, if you want to hit your campaign performance goals and understand why you’re getting the results you’re getting, it’s all about gathering as many data points as you can and looking at the bigger picture.
How is the job different than expected?
Riddhi started her career with Solutions 8 as a virtual assistant and Yusuf as an intern before both rose in the ranks to become Google Ads specialists—and later account managers. When we asked them what parts of the job were different than they had expected, here’s what they had to say.
“I have learned that the role involves much more than creating and managing campaigns, such as understanding the industry and competitive landscape of the client, pricing strategies, and being able to communicate effectively with the client to manage their expectations.”
She also said having a comprehensive understanding of the various advertising platforms being used is essential to optimizing campaign performance effectively, and that it’s crucial to adopt a proactive and risk-averse approach in order to anticipate and prevent potential issues.
For Yusuf, it’s that some accounts just simply work, while others don’t—no matter what you do. Here’s how he explained it: “I have seen quite a few accounts where everything, from the website to product images, were lackluster, yet just launching a feed-only Performance Max campaign or a Standard Shopping campaign yielded incredible returns. You just do the bare minimum and it works. On the opposite side, I have accounts where I literally tried everything but couldn’t make it work.”
Bottom line: There are no guarantees in this business, said Yusuf. Otherwise, everyone who knows digital marketing would quit their job, start a business, and apply those skills to turn it into an instant success.
What is a typical day for a Google Ads specialist?
For Riddhi, a typical day as a Google Ads specialist/account-manager involves a mix of different tasks, including analyzing campaign data, communicating with clients, managing campaigns, and staying updated on industry trends.
“In the morning, I review campaign performance and address any issues. Then, I communicate with clients, discuss strategies, and provide updates. Throughout the day, I work on campaign management tasks like refining ad copy, adjusting bids, and monitoring performance. I also engage in collaborative discussions with colleagues and stay informed about industry updates by watching informative videos, browsing articles, and seeking relevant information.”
Yusuf had a similar answer, saying the most common and guaranteed thing he does every day is jumping from one account to another to make sure everything is working as intended. Other times he picks a task from his (long) to-do list and starts chipping away at it—anything from a long overdue look at search terms to excluding some non-performing products from his Shopping campaigns.
If he finds himself with a little free time on his hands? He goes looking for trouble. Which is to say he’ll poke around in the Solutions 8 Slack channel to see what kind of problems his coworkers are having to possibly help them find a solution. “I approach any problem I haven’t encountered before as a golden opportunity to learn new stuff,” Yusuf told me.
He also enjoys trolling people, no matter how busy he is. “Helps with team spirit,” he said. (What can I say? We’re a saucy bunch here at Solutions 8.)
Advice for becoming a Google Ads specialist
If you’ve read this far (and hopefully you have if you really want to become a Google Ads specialist), Riddhi and Yusuf included some smart tips for getting ahead of the competition.
The first step, said Riddhi, is to gain knowledge and expertise in Google Ads through online courses and certification programs. Next, start networking through professional platforms like LinkedIn and attending live or virtual events to help you find job opportunities. It is also important to gain practical experience through internships or freelance work, build your portfolio, and be prepared for technical interviews and assessments. “Finally,” Riddhi advised, “One must be persistent, continuously learning, and staying up to date with industry trends to increase the chances of finding a job as a Google Ads specialist.”
Yusuf’s advice? You don’t have to start at an agency. Instead, you can start with baby steps. Look for people in the industry you can partner with (e.g., they do the SEO, you do the PPC) to help jumpstart both your careers, or offer low-cost services to businesses so you can hone your Google Ads skills. The key point, he said, is to focus first on building references, connections, and experience rather than focusing on immediate money.
But the most important thing is this, he said: “Whatever you do, be honest, realistic, and humble. There are a lot of Google Ads accounts out there that need a captain to steer them.”
The global market for digital marketing and advertising is projected to reach $1.5 trillion (USD) by 2030, which means now is an ideal time to start your career as a Google Ads specialist. Along with a firm grasp of marketing strategy and a knack for problem solving, the following is a brief overview of the skills you may be expected to know (or willing to learn).
- Google Ads Strategy
- Campaign Creation
- Campaign Optimization
- Attribution Model Comparison Tool
- Ads Editor
- Bidding Strategies
- Keyword Research
- Ad Copywriting
- Dynamic Remarketing
Google Analytics (GA4 & UA)
- Reading Analytics & User Life Cycle Events
- GA4 Reporting
- Funnel Path Analysis
- Reading Attribution Projects in GA4
- Setting Google Analytics
- UA All Traffic, Google Ads Reporting
Google Merchant Center
- GMC Shipping & Taxes Setting
- GMC Feed Rules
- Feed Setup
- Purchase Conversion Tracking
- Thank You Page Conversion Tracking
- Event Conversion Tracking
(Note: Solutions 8 is not currently hiring for the Google Ads specialist job, but keep an eye on our Careers page for future opportunities.)
And if you’re looking to hone your Google Ads skills and outshine your fellow applicants, be sure to subscribe to the Solutions 8 YouTube channel for our best PPC strategies, tutorials, tips, tricks, hacks, best practices, and real case studies.
You can also check out the Resources tab on our home page to find links to our blog and other free goodies, along with the Paid Traffic Mastery course (featuring John and Kasim), which is the definitive training on how to create a repeatable system for generating new leads and customers for any business.
Finally, don’t forget to check out our latest book, You vs. Google: The Very Unauthorized Guide to Google Ads (2023), to help you learn everything you need to know to create, manage, and run highly profitable Google Ads campaigns.
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