Interview with Matthew Umbro, Founder of PPC Chat

We had the pleasure of an interview with Matthew Umbro, the founder of PPC Chat and Senior PPC Specialist at Exclusive Concepts.  Matthew will be speaking at Hero Conf, April 16-17, 2012, in Indianapolis, IN.  We are looking forward to hearing Matthew present “Proving the Value of PPC through Conversion Tracking,” as well as share his knowledge on the Account Structure panel.  If you would like to hear Matthew and other PPC experts speak at Hero Conf, you can register here.  If you register before January 30, you will also receive your company’s logo in the conference handbook.

PPC Hero: How did you get started in PPC, and how long have you been working in this industry?

Matthew: Shortly after I graduated from college in 2007 I was hired at a web design firm as an entry level search engine marketing associate.  I helped with SEO and PPC but became very interested and fascinated with the PPC side.  After a couple of months I took over some of my own accounts and really tried to familiarize and engrain myself more into the industry.  I started blogging, actively participating in Twitter and soaking up all the information I could.  Over my almost 5 years in the industry I’ve managed over 70 accounts for both lead generation and ecommerce campaigns.

PPC Hero: What was the idea behind starting PPC Chat?

Matthew: So much great information is shared on Twitter every day to the point where I use Twitter as my primary source of PPC news and insight.  The problem, though, was that as PPCers we really didn’t have a central community where everyone could interact.  I saw other Twitter chats such as #seochat and #blogchat that created a community and I wanted to do the same thing.  I put some feelers out to see if anyone would be interested in a weekly PPC chat and the overwhelming response was “yes!”  Piggybacking off #seochat I came up with the hashtag #ppcchat for people to follow.  After a couple of night sessions the chat was moved to Tuesdays at 12 PM EST to accommodate more people.  After a few weeks people started using the hashtag to share PPC related news and ask questions to others.  The PPC community has really embraced PPC Chat to make it what it is today.

PPC Hero: At Hero Conf, you will be speaking on the Account Structure panel.  Why is this topic of interest to you?

Matthew: A sound account structure is the basis of how well a PPC campaign will perform.  It is imperative that keywords utilize correct match types and be segmented into tightly themed ad groups.  The text ads will be that much more relevant to searchers and improve click-thru-rate and hopefully conversion rates and return on ad spend while decreasing cost per conversion.  Additionally, a well crafted account structure will help you to make better use of ad extensions by using in the most appropriate campaigns.  Finally, aside from segmentation it is necessary to review every campaign’s individual settings so you are not wasting money and/or hurting the effectiveness of the account.

PPC Hero: You also are planning to present a session called “Proving the Value of PPC through Conversion Tracking.”  Why do you feel this is an important session to bring to Hero Conf?

Matthew: When I first started out I didn’t fully understand the importance of conversion tracking.  Of course I tracked conversions and reported on conversion metrics, but I didn’t give this tracking the attention it deserved.  I soon realized things needed to change.  At the time I was primarily working with lead generation clients.  I updated and created new conversions to track each specific lead; whether it was a whitepaper download or a contact us form submission.  I segmented these conversions for clients and made it a priority to showcase top performing keywords, ad groups, campaigns and text ads.  I even went so far as to ask if I could be CC’d on all form submissions.  I had clients where I was writing down all PPC leads on a spreadsheet and consistently asking what was happening to these leads.  Today I work with many ecommerce clients where revenue is tracked down to the keyword level and we are able to see the purchased products to better optimize campaigns and work to expand them.  Sometimes it isn’t enough to get the conversion; you must emphasize the importance of this metric to prove the value of PPC.

PPC Hero: What are you looking forward to the most at Hero Conf?

Matthew: I’m most excited to meet members of PPC Chat in person and listen to their insight first hand.  Over the last couple of years I’ve interacted with these people online and read their blogs, but have not been able to speak in person.  With this conference so much PPC knowledge is being congregated in one place!

PPC Hero: Are there any speakers or sessions you are especially excited to hear at the conference?

Matthew: I’m definitely looking forward to hearing Brad Geddes speak as he consistently puts out great, thought provoking material.  Other speakers I’m excited to hear are Joe Kerschbaum, John Lee, Joanna Lord and Melissa Mackey, but really every speaker at this conference will be presenting great material!

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