Anya Gildner was nominated for a PPC spotlight profile in February of 2022, her nominator wished to remain anonymous.
How long have you been working in PPC?
I’ve been working in PPC since 2013.
How did you get started in PPC?
I was first introduced to the general concept of PPC in one of my classes in college. I liked the idea of it, so when I later found out that one of my friends was freelancing in PPC and SEO I asked him to teach me.
If you went to college or university, what did you study? If not college, do you have any other degrees or certifications?
I have a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a master’s degree in Advertising. I feel like I’m one of the very few people that are actually working in the industry they went to school for. I didn’t study PPC specifically in college, though.
What was your first job that involved PPC?
My first job was freelancing with a friend that was very good at it. I quit my “stable” corporate job to freelance, while simultaneously learning and gaining experience.
What is your current position and how long have you been in it?
In 2017 my husband and I decided to create our own digital agency, Discosloth, that specializes in PPC (focused on Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, and Amazon Ads).
What kinds of things do you currently handle or manage in PPC?
I’m involved in strategy, setting up campaigns, management and optimization based on data. My time is mostly spent in Google Ads and Google Analytics. As the co-founder, I manage our PPC team as well as some hands-on work on our larger accounts.
Has your career path had any hiccups or nontraditional aspects that you’d like to share?
I think to me the biggest nontraditional aspect was taking the risk early on of quitting a stable job (unrelated to marketing) to pursue my passion for digital marketing, independence and remote work. I have never worked for an agency or large company in this domain, so everything I learned was from using online resources, figuring out things myself, and learning on the spot.
What are you most proud of in your PPC career?
I’m very proud of Discosloth and the things we’ve done in the 5 years since we started. I’m also proud of the first online course I wrote called Beginner’s Guide to PPC back in 2018. We published it on our website for free for anyone to read and hopefully help them learn and start their career in PPC (or help them manage their own account). The course later evolved into a book, and now it’s being translated by a publisher in France. That is unbelievable to me!
What, if anything, do you wish you could “do over” in your PPC career?
I don’t think I would change anything. I’m very happy I was introduced to PPC when I was. It enabled me to gain freedom and independence while doing the work I love!
If you could give advice to someone either considering or just starting out in PPC, what would that be?
Be sure you like numbers and analytics before you get too deep into it! I think that PPC (in comparison to other marketing disciplines) is more about numbers than creativity, and that’s what attracted me most to it (as a not-very-creative person). Read lots of books and guides, but don’t take anything you read as a fact until you try it yourself and see the results. Things change all the time. A course written a year ago may not be as accurate anymore. Learn more about strategy, then which specific buttons to push.
Are you interested in speaking opportunities? If so, what topics are your jam?
In 2019 I spoke at one of the BrightonSEO conferences called PaidSocialShow and I talked there about Banner Blindness. I’ve also spoken in a few university classes in the US about PPC. I think the subjects I’d be most interested in speaking about would be about people’s perception of advertising and how to create ads that don’t force sales, about the importance of branding before you decide to dedicate huge budgets on ads, and pretty much anything that has to do with Google Ads, Google Analytics or Data Studio reporting.
Anything else you’d like to share?
PPC is an ever-changing domain. Five years ago I wasn’t even sure it would still be around, but it turns out it just constantly evolves. Regardless of whether automation takes over many of the day-to-day tasks, or Google keeps making changes to the platform, I now think there will always be a place for managers to guide strategy and just “know what works”. PPC is something that you must always keep learning in order to be the best at your job, and embrace the changes since, after all, it’s our job to keep our clients happy and profitable!
Where can people find you to connect (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)?