6 PPC Tasks That Are Ideal for an Intern

Interns WantedInternships are a well-established way for college students or recent graduates to gain experience in their field of choice. Some would say that an internship is the most useful class you can take in college. I interned at my local TV station when I was in school, and it helped me to get my first “real” job.

I interned for free, but nowadays most interns are paid. Still, interns are viewed as “cheap labor,” and in most cases they’re paid less than a full-time employee. But “cheap” doesn’t have to mean “menial.”

In PPC, as in many careers, some tasks aren’t difficult, but are time-consuming. For busy PPC managers, there are things we need to do but don’t have time to do.

Enter the PPC intern. Interns are often more tech-savvy than some of us who are more “seasoned,” which means they can quickly and easily create nicely formatted Excel sheets and Word documents. And a good intern will be eager to learn – a good trait for someone who is about to spend a lot of time doing PPC work.

Here are six PPC tasks that are ideal for an intern, along with the skills the intern will learn.

1. Keyword Research

Keywords are the cornerstone of PPC, and keyword research is a critical skill for PPC managers. It can also take a lot of time to do. An intern can pare down a large list of keyword suggestions, saving time for the PPC manager.

I’m not suggesting that the intern make the final decision on keywords – that’s the PPC manager’s job. But anything that saves time is good.

Skills learned: PPC fundamentals.

2. Search Query Reports

Search query reports go hand in hand with keyword research – it’s a necessary task, but can be a rabbit-hole time-suck. Have your intern identify potential positive and negative keywords.

Skills learned: PPC fundamentals.

3. Competitor Research

Staying on top of PPC competitors can feel like a full-time job. Again, tools can help with this, but reports still need to be reviewed, and actual SERPs need to be checked.

Have your intern regularly pull data from competitive tools. They should also run AdWords Auction Insights reports on a regular basis. Not only are the individual reports helpful, but an intern can create graphs that show changes over time – insight that can help predict or forestall a competitor strike.

Skills learned: Search marketing fundamentals.

4. Ad Copy Test Ideas

You’ve been running an account for a while, faithfully updating your ad copy tests each month. After a year or so of doing this, don’t be surprised if you run out of new ideas to test. Your fresh-faced intern can help!

Have your intern brainstorm new ideas for ad copy. Remember, there are very few bad ideas when it comes to ad copy – as long as it’s true and relevant, it’s probably worth testing.

Skills learned: PPC fundamentals and creative yet concise thinking.

5. Audits

If your intern is HTML-savvy, have them audit your site (or your client’s site). Ask them to place a test order or fill out a test form, and have them check conversion tracking codes at each step.

Interns can also perform PPC account audits, at least to some extent. Have them find ad groups with too many keywords, or keywords with poor quality scores.

Skills learned: PPC fundamentals.

6. Reporting

Reporting can be the bane of a PPC manager’s existence, especially in the agency world. The first few days of the month can be consumed by reporting tasks, even with automation tools.

With a little direction, interns can pull reporting data and help organize it so it flows well. It’s so much easier for a PPC manager to just add analysis and insight to a report when he or she isn’t bogged down in downloading stats from AdWords.

A nice benefit of using an intern for reporting is that they’ve been using Excel, Word, and PowerPoint most of their lives. For those of us who aren’t Microsoft Office formatting wizards, an intern can be a blessing simply by making a report that looks professional.

Skills learned: Clear communication of data and insight.

Have You Used an Intern to Help With PPC?

Next month, I’ll share six more PPC tasks that are ideal for interns. Have you used an intern to help with PPC? What did you have them do? How did it work out?

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