One of the best home business ideas is to become a paid advertising consultant. The business can be completely managed online, and very lucrative. A paid search consultant is someone who manages online advertisements for businesses on search engines specifically. The largest search engines are Google, Bing, and Yahoo in that order. Google owns 80% of the market share with its Adwords product, so this is where consultants focus. Paid advertising consultants may also work with display ads on social media networks or the Amazon affiliate network. It can be a freelance position or a salaried position at a digital advertising agency. The work involves pay-per-click advertising, though some consultants also offer help with cost per acquisition and cost per impression advertising as well.
Responsibilities & Services
Consultants are responsible for management of client accounts, which may include the following services: strategy, client consultations, keyword research, bid management, copywriting for the ads, A/B testing, and landing page creation.
How to Get Started
Google offers an Adwords certification and free online training. If you join the Google Engage Partners program, there is additional training. Along with the training, there is a spend requirement of $10,000 within the last 90 days. Finally, the accounts need to “use best practices.” This requirement is typically covered by Google’s opportunities tool and keeping your accounts in good standing. Upon successful completion of the requirements, you are awarded an official partner badge. The badge can be displayed on your website to let clients know you are a trusted and knowledgeable partner. Bing has a similar program.
Paid Search Software
Though you should know your way around Adwords first, there are many paid search software companies that can help your clients get an edge. The software is especially helpful as you scale and need to monitor multiple accounts. They provide automated reporting tools, bid adjustments, and suggestions.
How Do Paid Search Consultants Make Money?
Freelancers and agencies typically charge clients a percentage fee of their ad spend. The fees can vary greatly, from 10% to as high as 40%. Other consultants collect an hourly fee. According to glassdoor, paid search consultants make between $50,000-$60,000 a year on average. Some may earn performance and sales bonuses on top of the salary.
Paid search consultants most often find clients through referrals. Of course, one of the best ways to find clients is by practicing what you preach and running ads for people looking for paid search consultants. If you apply to become a paid search partner with Google, you can get free coupons worth $25-$100 to incentivize new clients to try it. The coupons only apply to new accounts with Google Adwords, but it’s a great way for clients to try your services at no cost. Craigslist is another popular place to find clients looking for help in your area. Some consultants also target specific industries with direct outreach. They google keywords related to the industry, and then contact the worst performing advertisers to offer help, or contact businesses that are not running any ads.
Paid Search Consulting Resources
If you want to become a paid search consultant here are some of the top resources:
The Inside Adwords Blog – This is the official paid search blog by Google.
PPC Hero – Third party news, tips, and paid search experiments.
Search Engine Watch – Articles and paid search tips.