Written by Caroline Cox on Sep 23 , 2019

In marketing, as in sales, being able to save time wherever you can is a game-changer.

Here, you’ll find:

  • How to track ROI from PPC
  • The best ROI tracking tools for PPC
  • Ways to increase year-over-year ROI results from PPC
  • How to generate ROI reports for PPC campaigns

For most marketing initiatives, there are multiple steps you have to take to see real results — from launching a campaign to closing a deal — but the fewer it takes to succeed, the better.

That’s where lead scoring comes in. For B2B and lead gen search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns, in particular, experienced industry pros will tell you it’s crucial to know the value of the leads that are being generated. And, especially when you’re dealing with a high volume of leads (which is a good problem to have!), sorting through them can be time-consuming.

HawkSEM blog: PPC lead scoring

Lead scoring helps you better understand how certain keywords impact your conversions and, ultimately, the success of your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign overall. (Image via Unsplash)

By setting up a lead scoring system, which essentially assigns values to leads and ranks them against one another, you can give scores based on various attributes and actions. This allows you to focus on leads that will generate the maximum revenue for your business with the least amount of effort (and in less time).

Lead scoring helps you better understand how certain keywords impact your conversions and, ultimately, the success of your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign overall.


How do I track ROI from PPC?

If you’re getting more than a couple of leads per week, it’s best to leverage a tool like Google Analytics to help you track keyword conversions. You or your marketing agency and connect this application to your CRM or Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) to include lead scoring based on behaviors and actions the new contact or prospect has taken.

Using software for this purpose will help you give value to your data while allowing you to zoom in on the keywords and campaigns that are most successful. This way, you can focus more of your efforts on revenue-producing PPC campaigns.


How do I launch an ROI-driven PPC strategy?

An ROI-driven PPC strategy is one that has been developed to produce revenue. By being strategic and iterating based on what’s working and what’s not, you can be poised for seeing serious results.

Important elements of launching an ROI-driven PPC strategy include:

  • doing customer research
  • writing strong ads
  • creating optimized landing pages
  • having eye-catching CTAs
  • leveraging ad extensions
  • targeting revenue-producing keywords
  • having consistent messaging from ad copy to landing page
  • tracking metrics


What if most leads aren’t converting to customers?

The biggest failure of PPC campaigns is not analyzing keywords and doing regular research to see which ones have a proven track record of producing results for your business. Beyond clicks, which keywords are driving the most revenue or lifetime value (LTV)? Focusing more on these “money keywords” can be the ticket to converting more conversations into actual sales.

Along with keyword monitoring, the formula you use to calculate your conversion goal when bidding for keywords should be based on the conversion rate you’re trying to achieve, rather than on the rate at which you’re looking to bid.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to achieve a 5:1 revenue-to-ad ratio. Knowing this, you should structure your campaign based on cost-per-acquisition (CPA) conversion goals. For successful ROI-driven PPC campaigns, it’s crucial that you know your goals and track pace to your goal along the way.


What are the best ROI tracking tools for PPC?

The most important thing you can do for your PPC campaigns is to pair a robust CRM or MAP (that includes lead scoring) with ValueTrack parameters, which are a type of URL parameter you can add to landing page URLs that collect info about those who click your ads. This allows you to analyze your PPC campaigns, target your money keywords, and develop real ROI-driven PPC campaigns.

Other trusted tools include Google Ads Editor, Google Keyword Planner, SpyFu, and SEMrush.


How do I track ROI from a PPC campaign with a complex, long sales cycle?

We know that a longer sales cycle means it can take a longer time to see results. Lead scoring is still important for these campaign types because you need to understand the value of each lead along the sales cycle.

This falls under the low-hanging fruit theory of easy wins: by scoring leads, you’ll know which prospects are closer to a sale and which are further. This info will help you better prioritize where to put your efforts as the cycle moves along.


How do I generate ROI reports for PPC campaigns?

Reporting is another place where PPC campaign tracking software is crucial to a thorough analysis. Putting tracking software in place lets you connect the dots with data between PPC traffic, CRM leads, and sales.

Quality ROI reports offer visibility into the PPC campaign, align goals with objectives, and give a big-picture overview of how a campaign is performing, so you’re not flying blind.

Why PPC Lead Scoring is Crucial to SEM Programs - HawkSEM blog

There are several different ways to calculate ROI for PPC. (Image via Unsplash)

How can I increase year-over-year ROI results from PPC?

In our years of experience, we’ve found that the best way to increase year-over-year ROI from your PPC campaigns is to track every campaign and analyze the results accordingly. When you home in on your money words and target your campaigns toward those keywords, while using lead scoring to prioritize your follow-ups, you can really start to see maximized profits.

It’s also important to monitor which ads are performing best, so you can put more resources into those better performing ads. By following this process, you can begin to pinpoint the PPC campaigns that work — and start to see all of your efforts pay off.


How do I measure the revenue generated per lead?

If you know what to look for, calculating ROI is a fairly straightforward process. The basic formula is calculated as:

Profit minus cost divided by cost: (Profit – Cost) / Cost

However, when it comes to calculating ROI for PPC, there are several different ways to do it. When advertisers talk about ROI from PPC, many are actually referring to return on ad spend (ROAS). This is a simple formula to calculate as well — it’s generally expressed as a percentage:

(PPC Profit – PPC Cost)/ PPC Cost x 100

Let’s say that you have $1,000 in sales from your PPC campaign. If you paid $500 against the PPC click costs, your ROAS would be 100%.

$1,000 profit – $500 cost = $500 / $500 cost = 1.0 = 100%

Lead scoring is a great tactic for a more efficient marketing process, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. But when you pair this strategy with smart keywords, consistent data tracking, and quality landing pages, you’re one step closer to boosting conversion rates and running a successful SEM program.


This post was originally published in August 2014 and was updated in September 2019.

Caroline Cox

Caroline Cox

Caroline is HawkSEM's content marketing manager. She uses her more than 10 years of professional writing and editing experience to create SEO-friendly articles, educational thought leadership pieces, and savvy social media content to help market leaders create successful digital marketing strategies. She's a fan of seltzer water, print magazines, and huskies.

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