As the Director of Account Management at Trada, Matt Hessler provides actionable guidance for hundreds of PPC campaigns every month. In this episode, he covers the primary ingredients for successful PPC and reveal the tell-tell signs of a doomed campaign.
Bronson: Welcome to another episode of Growth Hacker TV. I’m Bronson Taylor and today I have Matt Hessler with us. Matt, thanks for coming on the program.
Matt: Hey, thanks for awesome.
Bronson: Yeah, absolutely. Now, Matt, you are the director of account management at TROTTA. And we’ll get to what that title means in a second. It’s kind of a mouthful. So first, though, tell us about Trotta. All right. What do you do?
Matt: Yes. So Trotta has been around since about 2009. We kind of brought to market a solution for paid search to try to bring a little bit of human effort back to paid search in a time when people were going towards big data tools and things like that. We’ve got a crowd approach with about 300 350 PPC experts, AdWords certified folks all around the country, different ages, genders, you name it. And we.
Matt: No, 353.
Bronson: Or 50, I thought, well, I didn’t know there was any people that could do PPC.
Matt: No, no. We find that we can we can service our advertisers about 350. We group them into small teams and apply them to one campaign. So we find that a lot of advertisers, the people looking for their products, are fairly diverse. And so they look for it in a lot of different ways. They respond to different ad copy. So what we found is by crowdsourcing and taking a few different experts, letting them work together on a campaign, you get these really rich keywords, set thousands of versions of ad copy, and the result is just better for the user. You’re covering more of your bases of the ways people look for you and you know, the ads that might appeal to a woman versus a man versus somebody older. Younger. So from New England versus Portland, Oregon. Still, there’s some nuances there. And search to deliver a really good search. You know, you need to know the technical part, but you have to have great content and that’s where we think we really excel.
Bronson: So that’s a human element. They actually get the nuances that a machine just won’t get.
Matt: Exactly. You can you can have a machine and an algorithm that’ll figure out down to the nearest penny what you should be bidding. And that’s important. But if you’re looking for the totally wrong keyword, it doesn’t matter if you’re bidding is exactly right. So it makes you kind of cover that approach. And we’ve been doing some some awesome things there. And we’ve got a new service called PPC Path as well. That same thing, but focuses really on small budget advertisers and tries to deliver that that Google promise that that a little guy can compete with a big multinational corporation and. Yeah, so yeah, it’s exciting.
Bronson: Oh, that’s awesome. So a business comes to you. They want to get in PPC, they don’t have the expertize. You have 350 experts. You match up the right experts to that client and then let them kind of do their magic and see what they can get going.
Matt: That’s right. They build the campaigns. They then go through the optimization process, which is a lot of, you know, getting data, learning what’s working and what’s not, tweaking those campaigns and the whole thing set up on a on a performance basis. So they’re motivated against a CPA target. So if you know, you’ve got a $100 widget you’re trying to sell and you can afford to spend $30 in marketing to sell one of these hundred dollar widgets, we set that CPA target. And if we can beat your target, that’s how everybody gets paid. These optimizers that are working on your campaign. So very win win, good goal alignment and an awesome system for for delivering good search.
Bronson: Yeah, I like that. There’s an acquisition target that’s kind of the main number that everything revolves around because that’s what a business knows. They don’t know how much they want to spend, you know, on the exact click.
Matt: Or on that target.
Bronson: They know what their margin is. That’s what a business knows.
Matt: Yep. Yeah. It’s that that’s really the where the rubber meets the road and and with search you get such good granular data. We try to keep it all, you know, on that real performance basis.
Bronson: Yeah. Now that’s great. So as the director of account management, what what do you actually do? What is your day to day look like? Where are you tasked with?
Matt: So, you know, Startup Land, you always have a few hats that you wear. I think the other part of my title would be like Head Search Nerd. I’ve been in the space for a long time, so I help out quite a bit with like product scoping stuff. But my primary task through the growth of this business has been figuring out how to staff support for the two different products that we promote because it is a bit of a paradigm shift, unlike an agency where you’ve got the same person working on your campaign day in and day out. Our account managers support our advertisers by facilitating their communication with the actual group of optimizers that are working on the campaign. So we don’t pick up a call from our advertiser and say, Oh, you want to add these three new products to your search campaign? Let me do that. We figure out we educate them on how to communicate with their new team to start having those people do it for them. So it’s been interesting trying to to educate our advertisers on on how to shift their thinking from working with an agency or consultant to how do you work in this kind of. CrowdSource environment and still feel like you’re getting world class support, that you can talk to a real human. Talk to your imam who knows you, knows your business. But also you’ve got this horsepower of this whole team that’s working on your campaign.
Bronson: And so you oversee the account managers that’s training them on how to train the businesses and how to train the actual paper. Click experts. That’s right. Top of this pyramid of communication and productivity.
Matt: Yeah. And it’s been a challenge as we’ve grown to figure out how to scale that so that we don’t, you know, in an agency structure, you might have one account manager who supports 6 to 10 clients here. We can support, you know, 60 to 80 clients per account manager because we know how to we’ve built the tools, communication infrastructure to allow people to to do more and push that work down to the teams that are actually executing. So I’m going to take the communication from the client, then assign the tasks, you know, to the optimizers who are actually going to execute. How do I get the feedback that it’s been done? It’s been a real cool learning process, but a lot of challenges along the way and a big part about scaling up is making sure that you’ve got that service layer. We certainly went through our times of acquiring more customers than we could serve, and then you’ve got to constantly meter that growth. So both sides grow proportionately.
Bronson: Yeah. And so kind of being at the top of that, you know, food pyramid, their food chain, do they come to you with the really hard stuff like, hey, there’s this thing going on and we need you to look at it real quick. Is that part of what you do?
Matt: Yeah, I definitely get called in. It’s kind of an informal part of my job description, but I definitely get called in on lag, you know, search. There’s a lot of nuances. You end up with very niche companies that are are trying to find these needle in a haystack, audiences that maybe take some specific techniques to to do that efficiently and to hit their goals. So I end up looking at a lot of campaigns myself, and partly it’s it’s just an interest of mine. I really like seeing, you know, a trend from one campaign can affect somebody in a totally different industry. You see, you know, somebody is trying to sell automobiles versus high end furniture. They’re very different types of sales process. But because their high price point, they have similar behavior across how people are looking at searching for them on mobile devices. Right. So you can still I like being involved because I can still see some of those patterns and pass on those good practices to other advertisers.
Bronson: Yeah. So see, this is what I’m really interested in. So I want to dove in here because, you know, you get to see so many campaigns that you’re just going to have this intuition, this, you know, actual knowledge of what’s happened and is happening that other people just don’t have. I mean, we don’t have the ability to see hundreds of campaigns every month like this that’s abnormal, you know. So let’s talk about like what really works for pay per click. So I’ve got some questions here. First, what are the primary ingredients of a successful pay per click campaign? If you have to boil it down, what do they all have in common that work?
Matt: Sure. And this is is a tough question because there’s probably a million blog posts, roughly, give or take, 10,000 on all the tips and tricks and nuances to search. The thing that I think applies unilaterally and it’s really there are two basic fundamentals, but I think a lot of people can either see great success or go horribly wrong. And the first is really on campaign structure. And the campaign structure is really how do you set up the account? Do you understand Google’s like fundamental building blocks for making sure you’ve got your top priority content budgeted properly? We see this all the time where people mix their top performing content with some of their experimental test content. But maybe your experimental content eats up all your daily budget, and the stuff that you know works isn’t getting proper budget allocation. That can be a big problem. You’ll also see with that the idea of structure is these building blocks, you know, you’ve got keywords, you’ve got ads, they’re assembled into ad groups and those are all pointed to a specific page on your website. Google circa 2016 really started pushing this idea of quality score as a major component. So you can, you know, have the desire to spend money on Google and they can tell you, you know, we don’t think you’re relevant enough. You’re going to have to pay more or in some cases, we’re not going to show your ads. So quality score can really make a big difference. And that, too, is about structure. It’s about making these type thematic ad groups. You know, if you sell shoes, running shoes, socks and shorts, you know, if you put them all in one ad group, that’s really bad. If you looked at just shoes and you’ve got Nike’s and Adidas and Reebok and you put all those in one ad group, that’s still pretty bad if you can get all the way down to a nice. Ad group or specific models, you want those type themes between your keywords, the ad copy and the landing page it goes to. That’s going to result in higher quality score and frankly, better conversion rates because you’re you’re taking people exactly to where they want to be. You’re solving the problem quickly in a way that really makes sense to them. The second thing that we see is potentially problematic is kind of right sizing your campaign. I think there’s been a lot of content over 12 or 15 years of search evolution on the great thing about searches like do all this experimentation and try all these different keywords and people have these really big keyword sets. They develop, you know, 5000 keywords and maybe they’ve only got a budget of $1,000 a month. Well, if their clicks are $2 a piece, that means they can get 500 clicks a month and they’ve got 5000 keywords. They’re going to have very shallow data across those keywords. So there’s a bit of an idea of right sizing your campaign if you’ve got those big budgets. Absolutely. Like set up smart structure, but have experiment with a lot of different keywords. That’s how you find some great little gold nuggets that are going to return good ROI. If you have smaller budgets, you can’t afford to take that that wide approach, start narrow. The things that make the most sense are your top terms as you see some success build incrementally, but don’t start with a shotgun approach and narrow down. It’s just too hard to do. If you’ve got small budgets, so kind of campaign structure and and right sizing your campaign for your budget would be two things. I would say apply across the board and can make a big difference.
Bronson: Yeah, I know. It’s funny that you say those two things because honestly, you don’t hear about those two things a lot. You know, in the blog post that I read, you know, the million, you know, give or take 10,000. And you mentioned I mean, there’s a lot of fundamentals, but it’s usually around other higher level things. I never would have thought that the actual structure of how you have it set up can matter that much. But when you say it, it’s like, well, yeah, that does matter. Like it makes sense when I hear it. And even right sizing, you know, I guess we all can have the mindset. The more keywords, the better. The more money I throw at it, the better. Like there’s no idea of there’s actually a right size for what you’re trying to do and it can be too big. There can be too many keywords. Yeah. So it just gets unmanageable.
Matt: And you know, even if you put a lot of time into it, you are too thin on data. You say, well, this keyword has 16 clicks and no sales yet. Is it a good keyword or bad keyword? The truth you don’t know. So then you let them all run and you’ve got hundreds of keywords, each with ten clicks. That’s real money that you spend. But you don’t. You didn’t get the data from that money to know whether it’s good or bad.
Bronson: That’s the thing that I think to reiterate is that when you spend money on pay per click, you have to be getting one of two things a cell or knowledge. If you’re not getting either, you’re totally losing. Absolutely. No, that’s awesome. So you look at all these different campaigns, you see campaigns that spend five random off. You look at campaigns that spend 50 grand a month and probably much, much more. You see the whole gamut. Is there fundamentally a difference in these small campaigns or these large campaigns in how they approach it, how they spend, how they set it up? Or is it really it’s all pay per click. You’re just spending more money. Sure.
Matt: You know, it’s nice. I think Google’s done a great job of creating a platform that is super elastic. It can work for the little guys. It certainly can be made to work for for people that are spending hundreds of thousands of money. And I always liked the idea that your local guy who provides a really great product, can compete with these multinationals. The truth is where the rubber meets the road is the big guys have an advantage because of the data that we just talked about. They’re spending those hundreds of thousands of dollars a month that generates a lot of click traffic impressions conversions. They can then use that data to really understand what works and what doesn’t. And and this is where, you know, recently Trotta has has released our second product. It’s called PPC Path, and we’re trying to focus on ways to help those small advertisers. So this is a combination of a SaaS solution where you can get some analysis on where your campaign has some shortcomings. You can either fix that yourself using some some online guides that we provide, or you can hire an expert. The same guys that we use in our product. Product is 350 or so PPC certified experts. You can hire one of them to complete a specific task. So, you know, a lot of the small guys, they have $1,000 budget. They can’t pay $1,000 on a retainer for an agency. But in this way, you can hire an expert to solve a specific problem for you. It’s done in a couple of hours. No long term contract. They’re like, okay, boom, I need to add negatives to my campaign because I’m wasting money on searches that are unrelated to me, but I don’t know how to do that. I can hire somebody to solve this specific problem and for. For a low cost. It will affect my campaign for a year, years to come. So really good value. And we’re starting to see small campaigns that spend 1500 a month that now look like these professional big campaigns where they’ve had lots of expertize and data to work with. So the two are definitely different. I think there’s a number of ways to bridge that gap. We’re certainly trying to help. I think, you know, just personally, I’m passionate about giving the small businesses a platform to compete.
Bronson: So it’s not so much that, you know, Google AdWords is different or the pay per click is different, is that the knowledge gap is real between what a small campaign, a large campaign brings to the table?
Matt: Yeah, there’s both the knowledge of fundamentally how to search work, what are all the tips and tricks, how to what’s the best campaign structure and the right sizing of the things I talk about? Do you have that kind of knowledge? And then you’ve got the secondary knowledge, which is really hard to overcome, which is one business, has a lot of data and the other business is pretty data lean now. If you set it up correctly and you were focused your thousand dollar budget on 50 keywords, instead of trying to do 5000, you’ll at least have good data on those 50 and you can start to make those smart decisions.
Bronson: Yeah, I know. That sounds great. Now, when you see a campaign kind of get started day one, are campaigns usually successful or not successful on day one? Or is it a process of tweaking, iterating, testing? Like what? What does the cycle actually look like to get to a good ad?
Matt: So so we find the cycle, it is budget dependent. Right. So if you’re if you either have a regular sized budget and your clicks are very cheap, then you can get a lot of them in a given time period or you’ve got big budgets, you can shorten the cycle. But we find that on average it’s about a 90 day cycle of optimization. Your first month is is kind of building and data collection, and then you start the process of optimization in that second month where a lot of it is, you eliminate keywords that aren’t working all together, you add negatives, you change bid prices. So you find that optimal position. You test second and third and fourth versions of ad copy and see what ad copy resonates. And that at least the 90 days, you know, when we talk about being performance based, we expect to get into that place where we’re hitting our clients campaign targets in that third month. From there, you know, the optimization continues, but it tapers a little bit, right? You start to hit some diminishing returns, then you start looking at outside factors like landing pages and improving quality score and things like that. To get your base search optimization done, I would say depending on your data flow rate, you’re talking about 60 to 90 days. Yeah.
Bronson: I don’t want to ask because, you know, people watching this, whether they go through Trotta, whether they do it themselves, you know, I want them to have just realistic expectations of how long it takes to learn and change, because I think most people, they want results by next week and yesterday, if possible.
Matt: All the time. All the time. Yeah, we are confronted with that. I mean, it’s the biggest success or failure in our business is how do we set those expectations to start. If people are coming in thinking, I mean, because it is instant, you can have a campaign online within an hour, that part’s great. But having a campaign and having a campaign that meets your goals are two very different animals.
Bronson: Yeah. Now, here’s kind of a fun question. What’s the smallest change you’ve seen to, you know, something with an ad? Maybe it’s the coffee, maybe it’s a picture, maybe it’s the way it was set up on the back end. Something keywords. Sure. What’s the smallest change that’s had the biggest impact on on a on a company? Okay. I know that’s.
Matt: A that’s a totally good question. I think of that in terms of this PPC path project that we’re working on. We had some early small advertisers, one of them its name was Fred, so I don’t remember his last name. He was a dental surgeon out of Nashville, Tennessee, and he was trying to execute his own paid search for his dentistry practice and came to us and said, you know, if you guys can help me fix this, I’m throwing in the towel like this just isn’t working. And he was spending 1500 a month, but felt like he was just lighting it on fire, was not making the phone ring, was not driving people to his office. What’s the deal? Everybody says Google’s the best and this is totally not working. And so we paired him with one of our optimizers to do an overhaul of his campaign. And one of the things we noticed pretty quickly was that in the Google set up process, you know, Google, I’ll say they they largely stand by their don’t do evil, but their setup process is really more designed to get you traffic than necessarily, you know, results. New customers, they want you to spend money. So in the setup, he had set it up to be a nationwide campaign. And I don’t know a whole lot of folks that will fly from Seattle to Nashville to get a crown put on. So he was spending you know, we estimated we looked at the analytics and he was spending 85 of his percent of his budget out of market. Wow. And and in one. Simple change of setting the right geography. You know, he went from having this be totally wasted money to his highest performing marketing channel. So it’s a lot of small things like that. So similar things with people not understanding that by default, Google opts you into mobile at the same rate as desktop and for certain things like if you’ve got a highly complex product or it’s really expensive, you know, people typically aren’t going to spend $5,000 on a sofa via their phone. Yeah. So if you didn’t realize that your mobile split was so high and maybe you were getting, you know, 80% of your traffic was coming from mobile, that’s not really helpful for your type of business. So I would say those two examples really stick in my mind either poor setup in terms of mobile or missed geography, things like that. And a lot of people out there, small businesses especially, they try to walk through step by step and and Google will get you live quickly, but it may just drive you a bunch of clicks that don’t generate business.
Bronson: Yeah. And tell me if I’m wrong. It seems like used to you could just turn mobile off and now you have to actually set it to 0%. There’s no off button on it.
Matt: That’s right. And they did that very specifically. And mobile has become a huge part of their business and they want to make the platform more that you can tune down your mobile, but that hopefully people won’t turn it off. You essentially can if you you bid it at -100%.
Bronson: That’s what I do sometimes. I just put in a crazy number.
Matt: Yeah. And for sometimes some businesses, that’s the right call. But you know, mobile’s certainly growing and and they’ve tried to gently or not so gently push people to use more mobile.
Bronson: Yeah. So what are some of the telltale signs that a campaign is really doomed? Not that it can be tweaked to be some success. You later. Like one of the things when you open up their account and you see this like, you know what, this isn’t going to work.
Matt: Just beyond.
Bronson: Repair, beyond repair. So that if somebody is dealing with, let’s say, Fritz, you know, he was not beyond repair, it was not doomed. It was just bad. In some accounts. They’re doomed.
Bronson: What is doomed to look like so that we know when we’re in that situation.
Matt: Interesting. Yeah, I’m probably a little too optimistic on this. I that. That’s right. I would say I’ve never met a search campaign that was totally doomed. It’s really that’s the nice thing about search. Like there’s almost unlimited infinite permutations of keywords and ads. And somewhere out there there’s a keyword paired with an ad that will work for your business. The question is doomed to me is it’s not going to be a viable channel for you because yeah, we can get you a couple of clicks and a couple of conversions that hit your goal, but there’s not enough. Once we look at all these keywords and we narrow it down to just a few that work, if it only adds an extra five sales a month, it’s just probably practically not a very good channel for market size.
Bronson: Probably the the thing that I’ll do me more than anything.
Matt: Yeah. If you’re you’re really saying like I need search to, to drive more customers, we may find that yeah, you can do it, but not enough customers to really be worth it. You should be investigating other channels. Yeah. The only other thing that we see there, you know, is, is potentially products that are or campaigns that score really low quality scores that has we’ve come across a few of those where if the site is largely image based, there’s not much text. They probably performed poorly from an SEO perspective as well. But their PPC campaigns score very low quality scores and that’s try to at least that’s not something we control. So if Google says this is a bad landing page experience and it’s not relevant, it makes it very hard for us to do our job because you basically Google that makes you pay your way into in the placement. So a click that might have been a dollar is now $8. And it’s impossible for us to hit your CPA target with those inflated click costs because it’s it’s perceiving your landing pages to not be highly relevant.
Bronson: Yeah. Now talking about the other side of that coin, those are the, you know, the things that can doom you or the things where if you have these things in line in order, PPC is probably a great channel for you. Is it just lifetime value and market size? As long as you have those two things are good to go.
Matt: Those two things are really good fundamentals and market size is an interesting one because it’s it’s really determined by how many people are looking for your product or service. You might say, I’ve got a product that works for everybody. But if nobody’s looking for a I was thinking about this example just yesterday I funded a project on Kickstarter called Alamo Bowl and it is a nightlight for your toilet. And to me.
Bronson: This is this is.
Matt: Totally genius, right? I don’t want to walk into the bathroom and I turn on the blinding bathroom lights.
Bronson: And so. Sign up.
Matt: Go to Kickstarter. Check it out. It’s awesome. It’s motion sensitive. So you walk into the bathroom. If it knows the lights are off, it just lightly glows the ball part of your toilet. It’s brilliant. Nobody is looking for this to be a search, right? So are they good? It’s probably. They could say their market size is anyone with a toilet, but because no one’s looking for it, they’re a poor candidate for search. Now, maybe they could test a bunch of broad nightlight terms, but they may find that it doesn’t work, that people are looking for nightlights for their kids rooms, not their toilet bowl. So, you know, that’s really how you scope, you know, is are you a good or bad fit? Are people looking for your product using search engines? And there’s some tools out there that’ll give you some rough numbers to scope. Okay. 20,000 people looked for this term or 5000 people look for that term. So how big is the audience? And then what are the clicks cost versus like you said, what’s your LTV? If they’re $5 clicks and you’re trying to sell a $4 product, not a good fit if you know it’s a $5 click, but you’re selling product that gets you $30 a month for the next 12 months. Okay, now you’re in business.
Bronson: Yeah, that’s kind of what, you know, we hear so much is that, you know, with Google and with pay per click, in that sense, it’s about intent. Do people have intent for your product where things like Facebook, you’re kind of annoying them when they’re doing something else and maybe catch their attention because it’s not it was never based on intent. When you were on Facebook, it was always like, hey, or something cool, we might wanna check out.
Matt: Yeah, exactly.
Bronson: So that might be a channel to try for them or Google and being is not going to work.
Matt: That’s exactly right. And it’s funny to me when I see people talk about, you know, online marketing moving into a post-surge era. And I do think there’s a lot of other mediums that are very powerful. You can target demographically psychographic. I’m not disparaging those, but search will always exist because you’re catching somebody at that point of intent, like you said. I mean, it’s just a powerful medium. It’s expensive these days. It’s like the wild west of 23 and 24 where you could go those high end ten clicks for $0.20. But I think a lot of people still see very good ROI.
Bronson: Yeah. I mean, anybody that’s ever done sales, they know that the psychology of the person you’re talking to and where they’re at in their own buying cycle is the most important thing. So you can align your selling cycle with their buying cycle, and that’s what search does. They’re telling you, I’m ready to buy now, or I’m very close to it and there’s no other way to really get in front of them and when they’re at that place in their own psychology. But search does that, you know? So I think it will always have an important place, just like you said. Now, let me ask you this. You did a webinar with Unbalance that I came across and it was called the Ultimate Paper Click Landing Page and some you mentioned earlier, that’s kind of one of those fancier things that once you’ve kind of, you know, got all the basics down, you might start thinking about landing pages and things like that. When should we start using the landing pages for our pay per click stuff as opposed to sending them to the main product page or the main website?
Matt: So, I mean, I think everyone can really benefit from landing pages. It’s a little bit like saying, How do I know when I’ve gotten too skinny or too rich? Right. You might have good you might have good conversion rates already on your site, but could they be better? Maybe. And so landing pages and especially tools like on balance and optimize, they give you these really good platforms to test you. Okay. My current landing page gets a 4% conversion rate. I’m going to test this with a little different copy, a bigger button, and I’ll do the button yellow instead of brown or, you know, does that move me to five and a half percent conversion, 6% conversion, 4%. So it’s really about a test environment. And it’s nice because you now no longer have to bother your engineers and your designers. It’s whizzy wig and so you can create these rapidly for yourself. So, I mean, I recommend it to anyone. I do think you want to get a stable search baseline and some conversion rates that are stable for a couple of weeks. Okay. We’ve got our search figured out more or less. We’re always going to tweak the bids and test new ad copy, but we’ve got a good baseline. Now it’s time to experience experiment with some other variables being the landing page.
Bronson: Yeah, and what’s most important on that landing page is it’s just about continuity with the ad making sure they feel at home based on what they clicked and giving the headline an obvious buy button. Is that the basics?
Matt: Yeah. So relevancy is huge and landing pages are a great way when you say, you know, a campaign is doomed if they’ve got really low quality score, maybe you can solve that by creating some great landing pages. But landing pages should focus really on a single action. So your normal website, right, lots of navigation. You can go back to the home page, read the about us with your with your landing page. Really want them funnel down to a specific action. You want that action to be highly relevant to the query and you want the page to be simple and clear so that. What you’re really trying to bring to your landing pages. It’s interesting. Like you mentioned it, salespeople needing to know the sales cycle. I think that more mature companies are starting to think about that more in their landing page development. That’s kind of what we covered in in the Unbound webinar was understanding that intent, if somebody searched a term, let’s go back to the shoes and socks, athletic gear, example, if somebody searches a term best running socks for long distance runners, the term best implies that they’re in a research phase and they’re maybe not ready to buy. So if you take that visitor and you land them on a landing page, that is give us your email and download our free PDF on ten things to look for in the perfect running saw.
Bronson: I love it.
Matt: Now you’ve created a really valuable engagement with that user, right? The dollar you spend on that click at least got you their email address. You can remarket to them and create a relationship, right? You’ve established yourself as an expert. If somebody types in buy Nike wool running socks, that’s somebody who’s ready to roll. They should get a whole different landing page, right? That presents them with that product, tells them about your free shipping offer, you know, and really get some in a transactional mindset. So you want to think about the page as being both relevant in, in the content sense but also relevant to their intent.
Bronson: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. A few more questions for you here. You know, you’ve been in PBC, I think for over 12 years now, right?
Matt: Yeah, it makes me feel like a grandfather, but yeah.
Bronson: I feel I’m getting old too. I got three kids now. I’m like, when that happened.
Bronson: Time flies. You know, you’ve seen the industry change and you kind of have an idea of where it’s going because you’re right there at the forefront. How has PPC evolved? But more importantly, what’s next? Like, where’s it going? Do you have any ideas of what’s around the corner?
Matt: Yeah, no, I think there’s there’s a few major trends that have affected it over 12 years. The thing that we’re dealing with across the board right now is really the move to mobile. I think it was March of this year. Matt Cutts from Google predicted that in the fall. So right now, you know, this month, next month, we’ll cross that intersection where we’re actually seeing more mobile searches than we are desktop. And that’s a big shift. It creates a lot of opportunity, but also creates a lot of problems for businesses that haven’t made themselves mobile. Ready. Go back to that guy that sells a $5,000 sofa. He’s almost never going to do that via the phone unless he’s staff to take a phone call. And if he’s not going to do it via the phone, does he then exclude 50% of that audience? You mentioned that you oftentimes bid that down 100%, right. Still your mobile traffic. Well, is there an opportunity for a guy like that to start to think about other ways to engage? Right. I just mentioned the give us your email for a PDF. Right. He could create a great piece of content around finding the perfect sofa, advertise to a mobile user and just get that person’s email address. Now you can follow up in a mature email drip campaign that eventually will bring that user back and transact that $5,000 so far.
Bronson: Yeah, so mobile is really the big thing. It’s been the big thing for a couple of years now. Here.
Matt: It’s here. Yeah. People have been preparing for it. Google’s been making changes to kind of force adoption, but it’s here. And if you’re not ready to play in the mobile space, you’re now going to miss 50% or more of your potential audience.
Bronson: Yeah, I two last questions. All right. Have a fun one that I like to ask people. I just started asking this and it always seems to have a fun answer. What are you working on in Toronto today after this interview? What are you actually going to be doing?
Matt: Sure. So today I’m working on the our PBC path tool, our small business tool, and we are testing our first day. This would be good for people that are doing a lot of this growth hacking. We’re testing our first day of moving to a 14 day free trial. So we’ve been trying the experiment of freemium where you get access for free for an unlimited amount of time, but you don’t get the full feature set versus a free trial. It’s only 14 days, but you can see the full features. And so we’re doing a pretty structured test to start to understand which is going to be better at attracting new users. It’s a great experiment. I think the debate rages on. The Internet over which is a better model, really depends on your business. But we just push the button on on moving to a 14 day free trial, and we’re going to be looking at the results of that over the next couple of days.
Bronson: That’s fun. Awesome. All right. Last question. What is the best advice you have for any startup is trying to grow.
Matt: And learn so many lessons over the last few years. I mean, I could say, you know, I do think the support lesson, the thing that’s been near and dear to my role here, you know, growing support strategically with sales as you bring on this new customer. And really thinking about ways to make your support scale. I mean, what tools are there even just best practices? And we created this thing that we call a playbook that just has some standard email communications, the most common problems. So you stop trying to solve the same problem 100 different ways, right? Standardize process and allow your your service to scale with your sales. I think that’s a huge one. And then for so many small businesses, what we hear from our customers is, you know, turn over the reins of your marketing. There’s too many CEOs of small businesses and founders that are trying to do a million things, and then they put marketing on their plate as well. And they’re going to do it. They’re going to spend precious resources and they’re going to spend them inefficiently. If you can find a partner that will increase your efficiency by as much as you’re going to pay them, you’ve won because now you’re not doing it. And you can concentrate on the things that are important to your own growth, outsource the things that you can. Hopefully you can do it in a cost effective way.
Bronson: That’s awesome. I love that advice. And on that again, thank you so much for coming on Growth Actor TV.
Matt: Oh, awesome. Thanks for having me.
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