PPC with Matt

Matt Lewis

I rolled down the desk two places (I was on a wheely stool) to meet Matt who was working on PPC as well as lining up a playlist for the speakers in the middle of the table. Three notable tracks were: My Heart Will Go On, Don’t Cry for Me Argentina and Candle in the Wind. Back-to-back…

Matt, another Performance Media Manager, was assessing PPC results for various groups of key words and phrases. It was here that I was introduced to the idea of head terms and tail terms. Head terms being the most commonly searched phrases (e.g. ‘life insurance’) and tail terms being the less common phrases (e.g. ‘cheap life insurance quotes’). It is often the case that PPC for the head terms has a low profitability but is more about maintaining the top position for paid search and fending off competitors.

Matt is involved in all biddable media rather than solely PPC and that was one of the attractions for joining MoneySupermarket. The integrated nature of the company means that you can occupy a more varied role and this lack of segregation makes everything a bit more transparent and fluid.

Fish ‘n’ Chips with a Search Analyst

What does a Senior Search Analyst eat when you take him out for lunch? Fish ‘n’ chips of course.


I had prised Jonathan away from his desk at VCCP Media for a spot of lunch to see if I could gain a clearer picture of the type of person who works in search.

Outside the restaurant I was waiting for a man in a suit but instead an amiable gent sauntered up in jeans and a jumper who had me laughing from the handshake.

As a Senior Search Analyst it is Jon’s job to speak to clients about what they really want for their business, understand their industry and how they would define success and produce a pertinent digital strategy to match their objectives. (At this point I decided to catapult my knife halfway across the room. Not quite House of Flying Daggers but I did get mustard on my linen jacket. Unperturbed, we continued.)

Jon explained that if a client wants to be more digitally visible, one of the most popular methods is through paid search marketing or pay per click (PPC), chiefly because it’s unique in that the user seeks the product (and not the other way around).

I wanted to know what sort of person worked in PPC, and when asked for some of his passions, Jon cited: music, writing and technology or in his words “nerdiness”. Interestingly, as well as his own writing projects he is a massive fan of PG Wodehouse (“known for his consummate skill at the detailed construction and development of his plots” if you’re wondering). Sounds like Jon has a healthy mix of creativity with attention to detail and problem-solving.

It was very much a case that digital chose him rather than the other way round. Without really having a strong idea of what he wanted from his career he started as a Comms Planner in a media agency that dealt with the ‘whole shebang’, online and off. In Jonathan’s words, “When it came to shebangs, we didn’t do things by halves”. He moved on, gradually drifting into the digital market but it was when he found Excel that he fell “in love almost immediately”.

It seems that Excel is a cornerstone of PPC and I asked him about the importance of Excel for graduates. His response was encouraging because he placed less emphasis on being an Excel genius and more on the ability to be self-sufficient, technically minded and people who have a sense of responsibility. He then let me in on a VCCP mantra: “Unpreciousness is the fastest way of learning”; be open and willing to learn. Saying that, you can learn some of the basics in this handy post.

With all the new developments and updates in the digital market (for example Google’s Panda and Penguin updates) I asked whether it was hard to stay ahead of the game. As well as a couple of blogs, Black Cat PPC and SEM Geek he highlighted the importance of keeping an on the news feed on LinkedIn’s homepage.

We shook hands and departed, me having learned much more than just what a Senior Search Analyst at VCCP Media eats for lunch and he having learned nothing whatsoever (other than that I reminded him of his friend Theo).