Written by Sam Yadegar on Mar 9, 2022

These tried-and-tested PPC strategies can attract more (qualified) leads into your pipeline.

Here you’ll learn:

  • Why quality is key for PPC lead generation
  • How to generate high-quality leads
  • Ways to adjust your campaign for lead generation
  • Tips for cutting PPC marketing costs

When it comes to pay-per-click (PPC) lead generation, the more you invest in your paid search campaigns, the more leads you’re likely to see. 

The tricky part is that, in PPC lead generation, quantity doesn’t equal quality.

The good news? With the right approach, you can achieve your lead gen goals, attract the right kinds of leads, and see the campaign ROI you deserve. Here’s how.

group of people celebrating with wine

Look closely at how your target audience is searching for what you have to offer. (Image: Rawpixel)

PPC leads: quality vs. quantity

“Over the past month, we’ve generated 15,000 leads.” Sounds good, doesn’t it? But if only 100 of them convert, then you’ve got thousands of leads and a very low ROI to show for it. 

Leads with a high conversion potential are harder to obtain. To get them, you’ve got to avoid those who:

  • Window shop without an intent to buy
  • Click to get a free gift in exchange for contact information (and share fake details)
  • Click out of boredom or aimless curiosity
  • Think they’ll get something else due to unclear or misleading ad copy

These reasons and more are why it’s a good idea to conduct lead scoring. This process can tell you how interested each lead is, weed out leads not worth your time, and even provide some insight into how your campaigns are working. 

Low-quality leads come with the territory — a certain number of them are basically inevitable. But, as referenced above, it’s possible your ads are drawing the wrong people’s attention.

Even a low-quality lead can gain potential with a well-structured PPC campaign. Let’s look into the most important tips to help you tweak your approach.

1. Create customized landing pages

Your PPC ads are only as effective as their corresponding landing pages. Because of this, each ad should take the potential client to a landing page that provides exactly what your ad promised and inspires them to take that next desired action outlined in the call to action (CTA).

For example, a CTA that says “Get a free e-book” should lead directly to a page where the user can download the content (with or without filling out a short form). If it requires extra clicks, these people are likely to leave the website, upping your bounce rate.

Google may even punish you for leading clients to a different page than you promised in the ad. Search engines consider this practice deceptive and may lower your Quality Score, increasing the ad’s price as a result.

2. Practice target audience segmentation

If you set up your PPC campaigns to target each product or service separately, you may not be getting as many high-quality leads as possible. Look closely at how your target audience is searching for what you have to offer.

From there, you can divide your offering into as many groups as possible. Instead of segmenting by products, you have the option of segmenting by:

  • Industry
  • Sub-categories
  • Features
  • Benefits
  • Geographic locations

If, for example, you provide managed IT services in LA, you can segment by:

  • Industry: Managed IT services
  • Sub-category: Managed security, managed cloud infrastructure, managed SaaS, managed communication services
  • Features: Antivirus software maintenance, hardware management, disaster recovery plan, software inventory management, quick response IT assistance
  • Benefit: High-quality IT services, quick response managed IT, low-cost managed IT services
  • Geographical location: Managed IT services in LA, remote managed IT services in LA

When you segment the audience accordingly, you may have an easier time setting up the campaign, using the right keywords, writing ad copy, and creating specific landing pages.

3. Fine-tune your ad copy

The quality of your PPC campaign hinges on your ad copy. Along with writing effective, clear sentences and an actionable CTA, it’s crucial to keep the user’s intent top of mind.

Ask yourself: Which stage of the buyer’s journey is your targeted audience in? For example, if they’re at the awareness stage, leading them to product-oriented pages might not do much good. 

Create ad copy aimed at getting their attention through an offer they’ll find valuable. That means knowing your target audience and having a clear ideal client persona in mind throughout the copywriting process.

When writing the text itself, some elements to keep in mind include:

  • Always address the potential client directly (use “you” and “your”)
  • Leverage emotional triggers
  • Use exact numbers (feature statistics, show product prices, advertise a sale)
  • Make use of the entire space offered by Google Ads — don’t leave blank space
  • Show what makes your offer unique

And, of course, A/B test your ad design to see which one resonates most.

woman using laptop on a couch

There are five main keyword types you can explore for your PPC campaign. (Image: Rawpixel)

4. Focus on your “money” keywords

Keywords are the pillars of your PPC campaign. So, after segmenting your audience, the next step is to dive into the keyword search.

Tools like SpyFu and UberSuggest exist to help you gather a list of relevant keywords while keeping the competition’s efforts in mind. You can arrange your keywords using SEMrush’s PPC Keyword Tool.

The keyword types to explore for your PPC campaign are:

  • Brand keywords — Include brand names 
  • High-intent keywords — Specific keywords for buyers at the bottom of the funnel
  • Low-intent keywords — To help expand your reach and increase brand awareness
  • Long-tail keywords — Low-cost and low-competition keywords 
  • Competitive keywords — High-volume keywords used by many companies in your industry

And don’t forget about negative keywords. You can filter them out by using the Search Term Report and determining which keywords are generating irrelevant clicks. 

By putting them on the negative keyword list, you can improve the quality of your leads while cutting campaign costs (win-win!).

5. Track your campaign

Your PPC campaigns need regular fine-tuning to ensure they’re as optimized as possible. Track your efforts to keep a pulse on what needs changing. 

You can get an idea of what works and what doesn’t by following the key PPC marketing KPIs.

  • Impressions: How many times your ads appeared in search results
  • Clicks: How many times users clicked your ad
  • Click-through rate (CTR): the percentage of users who clicked the ad (clicks divided by impressions)
  • Average position: a position in which your ads appeared on the search engine results page
  • Conversions: how many leads who clicked the ad followed the CTA within a certain window of time
  • Quality Score: an indicator of your ad, keyword, and landing page relevance to the user
  • Cost per conversion: how much you spend to obtain a new client
  • Bounce rate: people who clicked but left without following the CTA

Pro tip: By linking your Google Ads account to Google Analytics, you’ll get valuable data into your lead generation efforts.

The takeaway

Of course, you want your campaigns to generate qualified, high-quality leads. 

With a strategic, thoughtful approach to ad design, keyword search, analytics, and segmentation, you can achieve your conversion goals through PPC lead generation — and see an impressive ROI as a result.

This post has been updated and was originally published in May 2020.

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar

Sam Yadegar is the co-founder and CEO of HawkSEM. Starting out as a software engineer, his penchant for solving problems quickly led him to the digital marketing world, where he has been helping clients for over 12 years. He loves doing everything he can to help brands "crush it" through ROI-driven digital marketing programs. He's also a fan of basketball and spending time with his family.

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