How To Be The Perfect PPC Account Manager

A couple weeks back I wrote a post about how to be the perfect PPC client. While PPC professionals love to share horror stories about terrible clients, I often hear some pretty horrific stories from clients about their previous PPC provider. So, to be fair and balanced, today I’ll take what I’ve heard from my clients and write about what the client wants in their perfect PPC account manager.

Be Smart

This is the most important thing a client expects from their PPC account manager. The world of paid search is always changing and staying on top of interface changes, new features (even features that get removed), and competitors is a daunting task. They either didn’t have the experience in-house or don’t have the time to keep up their knowledge. They want a professional who stays on top of all this AND THEN translates it into actionable recommendations for their account, their industry, and their products/services.

By being smart you’ll impress your current client. Happy clients make for happy PPC managers. However, the biggest benefit of a happy customer is that they’ll refer you to others. Whether it’s a connection in their CEO networking group or a company that they partner with, these are the referrals that turn into slam dunk sales because your credibility is already established.

Be Honest

Honesty with a client takes two aspects:

  1. Be honest during the sales & onboarding process. Let them know what reporting they’ll get, how much communication they’ll get, and an idea of how much time they’re getting from the team. This sets the expectation up front and makes it very easy down the road to say if something is outside of the scope of the agreement and requires an additional fee.
  2. Be honest if anything goes wrong. If it’s your fault, own up to it. Every once in a while, $#!% happens. Don’t sweep it under the rug. Clean it up by taking responsibility, determining a remedy that both parties can agree on, and then learning from the mistake.

By being honest you’re more likely to get honesty from your client. They’ll let you know when someone else is pitching them so you can stay in the conversation and not get blindsided by a cancellation. They’ll tell you if internal politics or budgets aren’t favorable to PPC so that you can demonstrate the value, which leads to my 3rd point.

Be Proactive

It isn’t enough to be smart and honest. These characteristics manifest themselves in their highest form when you’re proactive. Consider the following scenario:

You’re managing a large account and the inventory changes constantly. However, the system is home-grown and you haven’t gotten it integrated with their PPC accounts. One day while checking landing pages you find that inventory for an entire category is out. You immediately pause the campaigns and reach out to the client about it. Not only are you saving them budget, but they didn’t know they were out and are able to get more inventory. You’re the hero!

This scenario actually happened to me. It shows how a routine activity, checking landing pages, uncovered a serious issue. By being proactive I was able to conserve budget and notify them of an inventory issue. Of course they would have preferred to have their internal system catch it and tell them, but since I was the one who caught it I gained a lot of trust in their eyes. They could tell I was looking out for them.


As PPC managers we need to raise the bar on our performance. As we demonstrate that we’re smart, honest, and proactive our clients will be happy and happily refer us to others.