By now, the world of online marketing has recognized the true power of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising in driving results to a business’s bottom-line. Consider the above statistics from Hannapin Media’s 2014-2015 edition of The State of Paid Search; out of all surveyed respondents, 91% have annual PPC budgets of more than $500,000..
To be clear, PPC advertising opportunities constitute much more than just Search Engine Marketing (SEM). The online marketing channels of display, social, and content discovery all offer cost-per-click (CPC) payment methods that allow for incredibly efficient spending and targeting that drives growth.
And because PPC advertisements have adopted such a dominant position in online marketing, a large group of ambitious individuals have worked diligently to become recognized PPC professionals. But, like with any industry, some have truly risen above all others. In fact, the following 12 PPC professionals—in no particular order—are widely considered to be masters of their craft, and perhaps the best in the field. As you’ll discover below, it’s not just PPC they excel in. They are all extremely accomplished and well rounded marketers and business leaders that are incredibly active in the online marketing community and generous with their vast amounts of knowledge.
1. Larry Kim
Even reading through Larry Kim’s work history may be enough for many to understand that he is a true PPC guru. The founder of WordStream, an acclaimed search engine marketing (SEM) company, Kim has developed a broad and deep understanding of online advertising over the past nine years. He doesn’t keep the information all to himself, however; a report shows that he shares SEM tricks and tips, as well as general articles, to his thousands of followers on social media. And his efforts certainly have not gone unrewarded; since beginning his work in the field of SEM and PPC, Kim has earned a host of accolades, including a spot within Forbes’ top 50 online marketers of 2014.
Follow Larry on Twitter @larrykim
2. Noran El-Shinnawy Wolfson
Noran El-Shinnawy Wolfson has been named as one of the Top 20 Most Influential PPC Experts. According to her online summary, El-Shhinawy Wolfson is a specialist in the analysis of the customer’s online PPC journey, ensuring that a user’s every interaction is optimized from the moment that they click to the moment that they’re converted. She is a writer for SES Magazine and ClickZ, and often presents at a variety of marketing conferences, including the Online Marketing Summit and the Internet Marketing Conference. Working on an independent basis for the majority of her digital marketing consulting work, she is also a “columnist, speaker, and moderator” for Incisive Media.
Follow Noran on Twitter @noranshinnawy
3. Megan Leap
Megan Leap was named as number 19 on the list of Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts in 2014. Ms. Leap is the marketing manager for Ion Interactive. Ion Interactive provides landing page software to a variety of industries. Not only does she manage this company’s marketing efforts, but she’s also regarded as one of top in the industry for ROI marketing, social media and email campaigns, and of course, PPC. She frequently contributes to online journals and publications, including the Post-Click Marketing Blog.
Follow Megan on Twitter @meganleap
Another company founder, David Rodnitzky has been at the Helm of 3Q Digital since January 2008, after time spent in various marketing positions. While at 3Q, Rodnitzky has helped develop the company immensely; in fact, according to his LinkedIn profile, 3Q manages over $300,000,000 of annual online media, and is offering services for those companies with an annual PPC budget of $50,000 or more. And while he may have fewer social media connections than many of the rest on this list, he still uses his brilliant command of PPC techniques to help businesses across the world.
Follow David on Twitter @rodnitzky
The founder of aimClear, a digital marketing agency that specializes in marketing strategies ranging from content creating and consulting to PPC advertising and public relations, Marty Weintraub is also a self-proclaimed psychographics maven, as well as an author. aimClear, the services of which benefit both B2C and B2B businesses, was listed as one of the fastest growing U.S. companies in the years 2012, 2013, and 2014, and has been named a top workplace on three different occasions by Minnesota Business Magazine. As for M. Weintraub himself, he’s been named as the U.S. Search Personality of the Year, and has also made the list of the Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts three years running – it’s no wonder why.
Follow Marty on Twitter @martyweintraub
Brad Geddes is a well-known speaker and authority in the online marketing and PPC world. Geddes has over 15 years of experience in consulting on a variety of subjects, including optimization, PPC, conversion, SEO, affiliate marketing, product positioning, and campaign management. Working as a speaker, as a trainer, and as an internet marketer, he’s been busy since 1998 when he monetized his first website.
Today, he’s made a name for himself as an active blogger; as one of Google’s first 100 Google Advertising Professionals; as the co-founder of AdAlysis – an automated testing platform for Google AdWords; the PPC faculty chair for Market Motive; the founder of CertifiedKnowledge.org; and the author of Advanced Google AdWords, a book that supplies B2Bs and B2Cs with the strategies necessary for leveraging AdWords’ profits.
Follow Brad on Twitter @bgtheory
7. Joanna Lord
One of the most prestigious women in the field, Joanna Lord has more than 12 years of experience in helping startups meet their marketing needs. But this leader in the industry has also earned acclaim for her work with SEOmoz, where she worked as the VP of Growth Marketing. In this role, her duties included responsibility as the marketing team lead, overseeing SEOmoz’s global growth strategy, and building and promoting the SEOmoz brand globally. Prior to her role as VP of Growth Marketing, she was SEOmoz’s Director of Customer Acquisition and Retention.
As the current VP of Marketing for Porch, where she continues to put her PPC and marketing acumen to work, she has more than 13,000 Twitter followers and 5,400 Google+ followers who look to her on a regular basis for marketing advice and news.
Follow Joanna on Twitter @JoannaLord
There’s a reason that Jeff Ferguson was named by PPC Hero as one of the Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts – this marketing professional has honed his skills when it comes to driving business profits and helping businesses to develop and master their online marketing campaigns.
Ferguson is the founder of Fang Digital Marketing, a company that offers audits and recommendations to businesses hoping to up their SEM game. The company was founded in 2010, and has been crushing PPC every since. He is also the president and founder of Ka Pow Interactive, LLC.
Today, Ferguson is a highly sought-after public speaker who focuses on customer growth and retention for large companies like Kimberly Clark, Hilton Hotels, and Experian.
Follow Jeff on Twitter @CountXero
9. Kent Lewis
Kent Lewis, like so many other PPC savants, is the president and founder of an integrated marketing agency, Anvil Media, Inc. The company began in October of 2000—right on the cusp of the SEO and digital marketing boom—and has since emerged as one of the leaders in the global marketing industry. His work at Anvil has earned him an award of one of the Top 40 Digital Strategists in Marketing, as well as dozens of recommendations on his LinkedIn profile from those at the top of the PPC world. His company was also named as one of the top PPC agencies in the country in 2015.
Lewis also teaches a SEM Workshop at Portland State University, where he works as an adjust professor. Of course, he also spends time speaking at industry events to share his expertise with others in the business.
Follow Kent on Twitter @kentlewis
10. Lisa Raehsler
Lisa Raehsler is a leading contributor and columnist for Search Engine Watch, one of the chief authorities on SEO and online marketing. But what’s really impressive about Raehsler is her experience in PPC – she has been the lead strategist on a multitude of PPC accounts for a variety of business types; is the founder of Big Click Co., which specializes in SEM and PPC; and is active in both her local community and on a national platform, acting as keynote speakers and participating in conferences across the states, such as HeroConf, SMX, MIMA, and SES.
Follow Lisa on Twitter @lisarockssem
11. Danny Sullivan
While his LinkedIn profile might be sparse, don’t underestimate Danny Sullivan and his PPC savvy. This marketing genius is the founding editor of Search Engine Land, the widely regarded expert source on everything marketing. But Sullivan hasn’t stopped at that – he’s also the chief content officer for Third Door Media, and is the producer of the SMX (search marketing expo conference series). He is largely considered to be one of the best in the business as a marketing guru. With more than 461 thousand followers on Twitter alone, Danny Sullivan’s Twitter feed sees everything from news reports to economically interesting stories to awesome SEO articles.
Follow Danny on Twitter @dannysullivan
12. Melissa Mackey
Melissa Mackey is most recognized for her role at gyro, where she works as the company’s search supervisor. This role requires her to manage all PPC accounts for a variety of national and international clients. gyro is one of the most notable companies in the marketing world, and is the largest independent B2B marketing agency across the globe.
Follow Melissa on Twitter @Mel66
These 12 individuals above are just a handful of the cream of the crop in PPC and online marketing. Who else would you add to this list of great PPC professionals?
For different list of great “performance content marketers” check out our post: 2015: The Year of Performance Content Marketing, and 29 Conferences Content Marketers Can’t Afford to Miss.