Paid Search Marketing

Meet Andrew. He's worked in Paid Search Marketing for 8 years.

Paid search marketing

Job Summary

As a paid search marketing professional, I manage ad campaigns on publisher sites such as Google or Bing. My day-to-day work includes researching keyword expansion opportunities, writing text ads, managing bids, and pacing budget. Collectively, these tasks are referred to as campaign optimizations. This is typically a client-facing job with frequent meetings to review performance.

Career Path

I received my bachelor's degree before finding my way into paid search marketing. I say finding because my original plan was to be an accountant, but after finishing my degree, I realized it just wasn't for me.

I cut my teeth at a small agency where I managed mainly retail and B2C paid-search accounts. After a few years there, I moved to a global agency and began managing higher budget/complexity accounts for national brands within auto, finserv, and travel verticals.

I found day-to-day account management enjoyable, but after six years was ready for a new challenge. I now work on the publisher side where I provide data, insights, and recommendations to career and education clients.

For me, the agency experience was great, and I would say it prepared me well for the work I do today.

Key Skills

Hard Skills

  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Microsoft Office
  • Data visuzliation
  • Storytelling with data

Soft Skills

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Multitasking
  • Time management

Work/Life Balance

Flexibility has improved as my career has advanced. When I started in paid search marketing, flexibility was limited. Start and end times were strict, I had one week of paid vacation per year, and one week of paid sick time per year. It's all relative, but this was limited in comparison to today.

The company I work for now allows me to choose when I want to start and stop, I have three weeks of paid vacation per year, and two weeks of paid sick leave.

Also, I was working for my current employer when my son was born. They allow fathers to take up to three months of paid leave for bonding time, so needless to say, I was fortunate to be able to be with my wife and son during this significant transition. Truly an incredible benefit and commitment to work/life balance.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national estimate (US) for Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists is $63,230 annually (median). National wage estimates by percentile:

10th percentile 25th percentile 50th percentile 75th percentile 90th percentile
$34,510 $46,460 $63,230 $89,200 $122,770

Career Advice

Paid search marketing strategies and products change constantly. I would advise anyone interested in a paid search career to bookmark the major publisher's ad blogs and visit them often. Even if the content is difficult to understand at first, give it time. You will eventually understand the power of paid search marketing and how companies, big and small, use it.

Also, show expertise by becoming Google AdWords and Bing Ads certified. The coursework and certificate are free, and passing will validate your skill level.