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Ally developed a CPA revenue model to deliver guaranteed conversions for Olay's skincare product portfolio. She scaled their e-commerce affiliate campaign from $0 to 5-figure net monthly revenue, while scaling Google Ads spend from $0 to 5 figures per month.
Ally G.
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Jason 10Xed SiriusXM’s paid search program from a monthly budget of $50K to over $500K — all in one year.
Jason B.
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Kenneth was the SEM lead for Walmart eCommerce's Electronics & Entertainment business. Responsible for the category's P&L, he oversaw tactical direction and executed optimizations.
Kenneth C.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Types of skills social media managers

Warning: Amateurs often botch paid search marketing.

Paid search marketing gets more competitive every year –– and that's been especially true recently. The 2020 pandemic pushed more businesses online, as physical stores closed and digital became the primary way to sell.

Because inventory is limited on paid search, the more companies competing for the same keyword, the more expensive that keyword is. Supply and demand, baby! 

But the growing number of business owners focusing on digital marketing, search engine optimization and PPC strategy isn’t the only reason paid search has gotten more competitive recently. Privacy-first web updates, beginning with Apple’s iOS 14 update, has digital marketers scrambling. Third-party audiences will be far harder to reach in the future, and attribution for owned channels like direct and organic is going to get a lot murkier. 

This has even more people turning to paid search. Why? Because paid search pops your brand up at the top of a Google search page (or a Bing search page, if that’s your jam) right when that searcher has typed in a search query that your business can solve.

In other words, paid search serves Google ads (or Bing ads!) to your target audience. As a result, it often has a good click-through and conversion rate (though you’ll want to A/B test to optimize even further).

Placing ads at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) is one of the foundational elements of digital marketing and PPC management. If done well, it’s extremely effective – if.

In fact, if you run well-optimized, relevant SEM campaigns, Google actually rewards you with lower costs and higher visibility. But it’s easy to botch paid search campaigns, which is why you need a PPC specialist. 

If you’ve tinkered with search engine marketing and found it expensive or heard other people talking about how expensive it is, it’s probably because they’ve chosen a “set it and forget it” model. Google dings you for that, and it increases your costs. This is true whether you’re an e-commerce company trying to get in front of buyers, or a B2B company trying to get clicks to your landing page on priority keywords.

Most amateurs don’t understand the incentives built into Google Adwords or the variety of PPC advertising tools on the market — and that translates into higher costs and lower return on ad spend (ROAS).

There’s a real science to effective paid search advertising campaigns and the algorithms they run on, and you need to find a “SEM scientist” to do the job.

That’s where MarketerHire shines. Our expert freelance network has top-notch search engine marketing consultants who can plan and execute your next paid search campaign.

Paid search marketers need these 5 skills.

  • Data analysis (and Excel chops): Paid search strategists need to know how to make sense of metrics and data to identify what aspects of a paid search campaign need tweaking for optimal return on investment (ROI). This often involves exporting results into a master spreadsheet and uncovering underlying patterns. Knowing your way around Excel is a very useful skill for SEM marketers.
  • Campaign planning and optimization: Understanding the ins and outs of Adwords, Bing Ads, or Yahoo Ads is absolutely critical to create and execute campaigns. That means understanding the pay-per-click (PPC) model, the cost-per-click (CPC) model, the cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) model —and knowing how to optimize all of them for click-through rate (CTR) and less spend. 
  • Retargeting: After a user has engaged with an ad on another channel — whether it’s a display ad, a paid social media ad, or an Amazon ad — paid search marketers know how to retarget them with SEM. Note that ad copy will play a big role in effectiveness here, too. 
  • Keyword research: Expert SEM marketers know how to identify search term trends and opportunities via keyword research, using tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Ahrefs and SEMRush. 
  • Communication: Search engine marketing specialists don’t operate in a vacuum. They need to be able to communicate and collaborate with SEO experts, content marketing managers, and growth marketers to ensure a tight digital marketing strategy and effective marketing campaigns. 
  • Deep channel expertise: All specialists need deep marketing channel expertise, but this is especially true for paid search marketers. They’ll need to make sense of quality scores, negative keywords, ad rank, ad groups, ad extensions, match types, text ads, and more, all of which can sound like a foreign language to amateurs.

Paid search marketing experts need a variety of skills to be successful. Here are a few of the most important ones, all of which MarketerHire vets for:

A paid search marketing expert can rebuild your strategy.

If you have an agency or small in-house team dabbling in paid search with limited success, it’s time to hire a paid search specialist who can help you place ads on strategic SERPs, supercharging your traffic and growth. 

They can dig into what you’ve tried so far, make recommendations, and even build your SEM strategy from the ground up. They can also collaborate with your existing team to create an ad management strategy aligned with your overarching business goals.

Could you instead simply hire a PPC consultant to better manage your agency, your in-house team, or your existing paid search program? Probably.

It's most cost-effective to hire a freelance paid search expert.

Building a marketing department with a team of specialists costs hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. This is expensive, often wasteful, and for smaller businesses, downright impossible.

So, how does a business like yours, looking to make the most of SEM, find the right person for the job in the most budget-efficient way?

Historically, it hasn’t been easy.

There were some 60 million freelancers in the U.S. alone in 2019, and even more have gone freelance during the pandemic. This is especially true for expert paid search marketers and account managers, many who prefer to work their own hours rather than full-time.

Running PPC campaigns and other types of paid search ad campaigns requires initial setup and research, but from there, a big part of the job is managing bids, and optimizing results. 

That’s why many small businesses outsource their SEM and PPC advertising needs to agencies. Unfortunately, many of these marketing agencies price their services optimistically. 

The more cost-effective thing to do: Hire a freelance PPC ads expert on an hourly basis, so you only pay for the time you need. In reality, most agencies are hiring freelancers themselves — because top-tier marketing talent, especially in paid search, goes freelance.

“The very best technical marketers, from a Facebook and Google standpoint — they don’t like being stuck with one company,” former ZipRecruiter CMO Ed Fu told MarketerHire.

With the widespread availability of high-speed internet and the rise of remote workers, more freelancers and consultants enter the market every day. They can give you the expertise you need at a price your business can afford. 

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