As the founder of #ppcchat, PPC expert Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) is already well-known on Twitter. That is one reason why we felt so lucky to have him as our guest for the second live #Heroview – real-time discussions with industry experts via Twitter. Our Heroview with Matt talked mainly about lead generation and lead metrics. Check out the transcript of the conversion below!

Thank you to everyone who participated on Twitter this past week. Stay tuned for more Heroviews coming your way soon!

May 19, 2011

PPC Hero: Hi everyone and welcome to today’s #heroview starring special guest, Matt Umbro!

Matt: Hello everyone, looking forward to talk some PPC!

PPC Hero: There will be some time at the end for any questions and/or comments you might have for Matt. Let’s get started!

PPC Hero: Let’s start with an easy question. What is your background in PPC?

Matt: I graduated from college in May, 2007 and was hired by Pixel Media to help run SEM campaigns.  I quickly realized my affinity for PPC and by March 2008 I earned my Adwords certification. The next year I started and have been blogging ever since. During my career I’ve worked with clients in several industries helping them to achieve their PPC goals.

PPC Hero: Excellent! With that experience, are there any key metrics that you look at when developing a lead generation strategy?

Matt: First off, I help clients determine what will count as a lead, whether it be a contact us form submission, purchase, whitepaper download, or something else. I then speak to clients about reasonable target numbers and ask questions such as: How many leads would you like to see per month? What is your target CPA (how much are you willing to pay per lead)? A good baseline is to ask these questions in comparison to other marketing mediums. One metric I pay close attention to is conversion rate as this metric tells you exactly how many clicks are turning into conversions, which is very powerful. For this metric landing page optimization is key. I try and stress that all of these metrics are important and can be achieved by consistently honing the PPC campaign from text ad and landing page testing to efficient bidding and smaller items (but equally as important) such as negative KWs.

PPC Hero: How does your lead generation strategy differ between large and small budget campaigns?

Matt: Generally larger budget campaigns have more leeway when it comes to lead nurturing. In other words, larger budget campaigns can offer a whitepaper or webinar download in exchange for contact information.  The sales cycle isn’t immediate and these leads can be nurtured over time. Smaller budget campaigns don’t always have this luxury, thus the conversion should be a contact us submission or an actual purchase, allowing the opportunity to be manifested in a shorter amount of time. I often use the analogy of sports with smaller and larger market teams. Both compete on the same playing field, but smaller budgets have to be that much more efficient to realize their PPC goals.

PPC Hero: Taking this a step further, does your lead generation strategy differ between the search and display networks? How?

Matt: It really depends on the industry and the specific placements. I tend to find companies offering PDF/webinar downloads on highly targeted industry sites have good conversion rates. Ecommerce is different as the conversion is generally a purchase and visitors aren’t necessarily looking to buy. In both cases you have to draw attention to your ad, but especially in ecomm you really have to stand out and get the visitor in the buying mindset.

PPC Hero: How do your lead-gen tactics for mobile differ from your approach for traditional PPC advertising?

Matt: Most clients don’t have mobile enabled sites, but I still want them to play in the mobile space. In mobile campaigns I will turn on call extensions and check off the call-only format. This way the phone number is the only clickable link so searchers can call, but not go to the non-mobile optimized site. I still use the targeted KWs in the ads, but my call to action includes calling the company directly, ie: “Call for rates” or “Call to speak with a specialist.” Additionally, my KW pool is generally smaller as mobile users crave quick searches and results, therefore longer tailed terms aren’t always necessary

PPC Hero: Let’s say a few keywords in your account are driving leads, but with high CPL’s. How would you diagnose this?

Matt: I would speak with the client and determine what an appropriate CPL is. Especially with B2B campaigns, a CPL of $300 might be OK because the potential revenue could be $50K. I would also ask the client which leads are turning into legitimate opportunities. Some KWs may have great CPLs, but aren’t turning into opportunities. To get a full picture your client must tell you what happens with these leads. For further information please check out this blog post,

PPC Hero: Have you used Google’s Conversion Optimizer? Have you found it to be accurate and/or helpful?

Matt: I have used the tool and haven’t been too impressed. Not to say that you won’t see similar results if you use it, but I’d rather set my own bids to influence conversion optimization, not Google.

PPC Hero: How do you combat the traditionally low conversion rate of display ads?

Matt: I’ve actually seen display ads provide good conversion rates, sometimes approaching (and even surpassing) those in the search network. Succeeding in the display network comes down to putting your ads on highly relevant sites and grabbing the attention of those visitors. In making this statement I believe choosing your placements (managed placements) is a must in the display network.

PPC Hero: What techniques do you utilize with your landing pages in order to encourage more conversions?

Matt: Where to begin! Aside from making sure the targeted KW(s) are on the LP and the call to action is present, I try to include a clear headline, short & benefit driven copy (sometimes utilizing bullets), & a short form that only asks for necessary contact information (I realize “what contact info is necessary” is subjective, but generally the shorter the form the better conversion rate you will see). If available, I also include recognition logos (ie: BBB Accredited Business) and customer testimonials. I also include a phone number if applicable in order to make it easy for the visitor to call directly. Incidentally, our topic for #ppchat this week was landing pages!

PPC Hero: Landing pages are a hot topic J @Doppelpager also has a lot of great advice, tips, and how tos for landing pages.

Matt: Will make sure to start following!

PPC Hero: You mention Google’s Ad Sitelinks here: Does this have an effect on lead generation results?

Matt: Absolutely! Sitelinks allow you to gives searchers additional, relevant links to click. Sitelinks allow you to take up more of the search real estate which is extremely beneficial when you consider how many links are on the page. The fundamental idea of sending users to the most appropriate LP is still in place, but you give users an option on general searches (ie: a query of “nike shoes” can show sitelinks for “mens shoes,” “womens shoes,” “kids shoes,” and “basketball shoes.”

PPC Hero: If you had to narrow it down to one thing, what is the most important thing to remember with lead generation?

Matt: Your clients must share with you what happens to the leads garnered through the PPC campaign. Knowing that a certain KW garners 2/3 of the campaign conversions a month or that conversion rate has increased for 3 straight months is wonderful to know, but only half of the equation. You need to know which leads turned into opportunities and cross reference with the data in the campaign to truly determine what is and isn’t working (and ultimately allow clients to see positive ROIs).

PPC Hero: #ppcchat has been very successful recently. What is the primary goal you hope to achieve through those discussions?

Matt: I hope to bring the PPC community together to discuss topics that we deal with everyday, from text ad writing to researching negative KWs. Not everyone can go to conferences or take classes so #ppcchat is a way for industry professionals to chat on a weekly basis and learn new ideas. #ppcchat also allows you to bounce your thoughts and opinions off others. I know I’ve already learned some new ideas! For those interested, you can read more about #ppcchat here Also, many thanks go out to James Svoboda of (@Realicity) who helps with the chats by writing up the weekly Streamcaps. #heroview

PPC Hero: And finally, what is the biggest mistake marketers make when setting up conversion tracking?

Matt: Not creating individual conversion codes for each conversion. If you have 5 separate forms where visitors sign up for different downloads make sure you identify what each conversion is. The more specifics you can report the better you can optimize the campaign.

PPC Hero: Great answers, Matt! We’re about out of time, but are there any questions/comments/concerns the audience has for Matt?

  • @Jessica_Cates: Any suggestions for a sudden drop in convs.? I tried basic fixes & trying to implement adv stuff, but nothing’s worked
  • Matt: Depending on industry/product, the drop could be due to seasonality. Might also want to double check con. tracking.
  • @Jessica_Cates: Thank you J

PPC Hero: Well, that’s it for this heroview! Thank Matt for your great insight on PPC and lead gen!

Matt: Thank you as well. Looking forward to more PPC specialists talking about the industry!

PPC Hero: For everyone just tuning in now, a full recap of this interview will be on our blog,, later today.

PPC Hero: Thanks again Matt!  Join us again, PPCers for our next heroview!