One of the most important pieces of pay-per-click, unfortunately, tends to receive the least amount of attention.  This often-overlooked aspect of PPC is account structure, as Melissa Mackey, Search Supervisor at gyro, explains in the following interview. A poor account structure can result in a worse click-through-rate, lower quality score, and decreased revenue.  So how can you improve your account structure?  Here are a couple ideas:

  • Read blog posts on account structure set up and best practices.
  • Talk to a PPC management agency about improving your account structure.
  • Attend the Account Structure Panel at Hero Conf on April 16, 2012 in Indianapolis, where Melissa Mackey, Matthew Umbro, Shawn Livengood, Elizabeth Marsten, and John Lee will share tips and strategies for improving your account structure.  It’s still not too late to register, and with special offers like our referral program or discounts for Indianapolis-area residents, the price is right!  Email for more information about the discounts.

Interview with Melissa Mackey: Community, Account Structure, and the Industry

PPC Hero: We are delighted to have the opportunity to speak with Melissa Mackey, Search Supervisor at gyro. Melissa, to start things off, how did you get started in PPC?

Melissa: I got started in PPC way back in 2002 right when AdWords was just getting started.  I was working in an in-house position  at the time doing off-line marketing and prior to that job I had done classified advertising for the local newspaper.  So when AdWords came out, my supervisor came to me and said “Hey, we’d like you to give this a try on this special project because you have experience writing short, brief ad copy.  So, it kind of went on from there and became a good career for me.  It led to me participating in the Search Engine Watch forums, eventually becoming a moderator there, and then eventually also writing for Search Engine Watch and speaking at conferences including Hero Conf.

PPC Hero: What is it about PPC that you enjoy?

Melissa: What I really love about PPC is the immediacy of all of it.  I came from traditional marketing where it took forever to put a campaign together and when you finally launched it, it took another sometimes several months to get all the results back, and that just wasn’t quick enough for me, I was too impatient!  So when I got into PPC, I really loved the fact that within a few hours you could actually see how your campaign was doing.  I also love the testing aspect, so ad copy testing, bid testing, position testing, really any of the testing that you can do, I just find to be very fascinating and I love to get good results for advertisers.  The other thing that I love about PPC is the community.  We have a great search community in general, if you go to conferences everybody’s very friendly, welcoming, helpful, love to share their ideas, and then with PPC specifically, we’ve developed on Twitter the PPC Chat community, which is a group of friends who get together on Twitter every Tuesday at noon Eastern time to talk about pay-per-click and what’s going on. That’s become a really good way to virtually get to know people and learn a lot about the pay-per-click industry so that’s a lot of fun.

PPC Hero: Why are you excited to attend Hero Conf?

Melissa: I’m excited to attend Hero Conf because it’s a new conference.  It’s always fun to attend the first conference in a series, and you feel like you’re kind of part of that inaugural event, so I’m really excited about that.  And also, I’m excited that it’s a conference that’s strictly dedicated to PPC. Most conferences include other aspects of search at a minimum, and some include other aspects of online marketing such as social media.  Hero Conf is strictly pay-per-click, and I’m really excited about that.  Looking forward to the networking, looking forward to meeting a lot of people in the industry that I’ve known online and want to meet them in real life, so I think it’s going to be a great conference with an all-star line-up of speakers and attendees who really want to learn about pay-per-click.

PPC Hero: You will be speaking on the Account Structure panel at Hero Conf.  What do you find interesting about Account Structure?

Melissa: Account Structure is probably the least paid attention to aspect of pay-per-click and yet it’s one of the most important when it comes to getting good results.  It’s something that most people don’t think about, especially new advertisers, they just go in and kind of set up the campaign according to what AdWords or adCenter recommends and then call it a day, and really, that can be detrimental to the success of the campaign.  It’s something you need to think about before you get started, there are best practices that need to be employed, and when you do this, not only will you minimize the amount of time it takes to manage your campaign, you’ll also ensure better results.  So I really look forward to participating in that panel.

PPC Hero: What, if anything, would you like to see changed in the PPC industry?

Melissa: So what would I change about the pay-per-click industry? I would change nothing, and I would change everything.  I love working in this industry, it’s so much fun, everybody’s very friendly and helpful and wants to share their knowledge. There aren’t a bunch of trade secrets that we all hold close to the vest, everybody’s very open and helpful, and I love that about it.  That said, I would like to change a few things with regards to the search engines specifically. I’d like more transparency in to where our ads are appearing, and more control over what we pay for that, so for instance, control over specific Display Network sites, more control over that, I’d like to definitely have more control over bids.  Google Search versus the partner network, Yahoo versus Bing, I would like to be able to set separate bids for those.  It’s something that advertisers have been asking for, for a long time, years in fact, and we’re still waiting, so I’d like to see that happen.

PPC Hero: Thank you so much for your time, Melissa!  We’re looking forward to hearing you speak at Hero Conf!

Melissa Mackey is Search Supervisor at gyro, the largest independent B2B agency in the world.  A veteran PPC marketer, she helps clients achieve maximum ROI from paid search.  Mackey contributes regularly to Search Engine Watch as a PPC Expert Author, and moderates the Search Engine Watch forums.  She also hosts a blog,, where she writes on the topics of pay-per-click and search marketing.

A marketing professional since 1988, Mackey previously served as Online Marketing Manager for Fluency Media, as well as director of search marketing for MagazineLine. Mackey has also held advertising executive positions at the Lansing State Journal and radio stations WMMQ-FM and WJIM-AM/FM.  Throughout her career, her achievements include the evaluation and implementation of numerous banner advertising and shopping search campaigns, as well as execution and analysis of ad copy and landing page strategy.

Mackey holds a Dual BA from Michigan State University, and a Masters of Management from Aquinas College.

Follow on Twitter @Mel66

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