8 Ways to Improve PPC Lead Quality

Laura Caveney
9th April 2021

Spending thousands on paid advertising? Ensuring your PPC lead quality is high is key to getting a good return on your investment. We share eight easy ways to improve your PPC lead quality.

PPC advertising is a great way to get eyes on your content and start, drive or close prospects into leads or customers.

But understanding your lead quality when it comes to PPC can be a little tricky. We spoke to Sophie Logan, Senior PPC Manager at Adzooma, for her expert insight on how to improve lead quality for PPC channels.

What is a High-Quality Lead?

Lead quality is basically how likely it is that your prospective customers will become paying customers. Understanding your lead quality as a whole is important. What’s even more important is being able to understand lead quality by channel, campaign and even keyword. The higher quality the leads are, the more likely it is that they will become customers.

The Difficulty Determining PPC Lead Quality

Lead quality is not the same as lead volume. In our recent survey, 37% of marketers stated generating high-quality leads was one of their biggest challenges. But why is that?

We’ve got it broken down into three main reasons.

Leads are tricky to track

Nowadays, leads can convert in a multitude of ways. From phone calls, to live chat, form fills and eCommerce. Tracking each of those isn’t an easy task.

And it gets worse. You might be able to track inbound calls as a whole, but are you able to differentiate which inbound calls come from PPC?

Lead volume increasing overall doesn’t necessarily prove that your PPC campaigns are working.

Editor’s Note: Notice a discrepancy between the numbers you see in Google Ads compared to Google Analytics? You’re not alone.

Download our FREE eBook which troubleshoots why this might be happening and how you can ensure you have one single source of truth when it comes to marketing data.

Lead volume doesn’t mean high lead quality

Even if you’re tracking lead volume and you’ve worked out how to distinguish conversions by channel, there’s another issue at play.

Lead quality.

While you might be excited to see 2,000 new leads for sales from your PPC campaign, your sales team could be lamenting because they’re not a good fit for your product.

The role of paid in a full customer journey

Web visitors don’t land on a site and convert right away. And who’s to say that, while your PPC ad isn’t converting new leads right away, that it doesn’t influence any leads at all?

Users could visit your website via a PPC campaign at any point in their customer journey and convert two sessions later. How will you track this?

You’ll never know the true impact of your digital advertising if you look at it in a silo.

8 Strategies to Improve PPC Lead Quality

Improving your PPC lead quality doesn’t need to be difficult. This is where we hand over to Sophie, for her expert insight on setting up, managing and tracking Google Ads to ensure they deliver high-quality leads.

“There’s no, a one-size-fits-all method to improving PPC lead quality. At Adzooma, we work with a wide range of clients on their paid advertising efforts.

But, to help you understand where you’re going wrong, and where you could stand to make some improvements, here are my eight main tips when looking to increase your prospect to sale conversion rate using Google Ads.”

Track every conversion and understand where they’ve come from

If you’re not already tracking your conversions, then you need to.

You can set up some coding or goals in Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager to start tracking form fills, but tracking live chat and phone calls is going to be a bit trickier.

By implementing a marketing attribution tool like Ruler, you can track every conversion type. And, even better, you can see which channels, campaigns and keywords are driving those conversions.

Let’s use an example. John visits your site via a PPC ad and opens a new live chat conversation with your sales team. There, she converts into a lead.

John's full customer journey

Ruler will track the conversation and conversion and highlight that the PPC campaign drove the live chat conversation.


View the full customer journey and paid’s impact

While John converted directly from your PPC campaign, this isn’t always the case.

For example, Sara first visited your site via a paid session. She returned via a paid Facebook ad session.

She visits again via an organic session where she converts. While the organic session drove the conversion, the paid ad had a clear impact.

Sara's customer journey

With Ruler, you can see the true impact of your paid advertising thanks to a full customer journey view.

Quantify the value of your customers

If you’re directing significant parts of your budget to paid media spend, you want to ensure you’re getting a good return on investment. For eCommerce businesses, it’s a lot easier as there’s a more obvious balance between profit margins. However, for B2B businesses, particularly those with a long sales cycle, it can be tricky. A company specialising in financial services, for example, might earn thousands from one client. This means they have much more budget to play with to attempt to get clients.

We always advise assigning an average value to a client. That way, when you look at PPC advertising, you can both set a budget, and set a target for results. There are two ways to do this.

First, you can assign an average value, which will give you an estimation of how much each customer is worth. Obviously, this means you need to leave some wiggle room when looking at budgets.

Second, you can use closed-loop attribution which gives you definitive proof of the value of your leads. You can use this real-time data to understand how much each marketing channel is bringing in. But you can go even further. You can use this form of attribution to look at how much revenue each ad you create brings in, and even specific keywords.

Understand your audience

Understanding your audience will help ensure what you create is tailored and targeted. This is the best way to kick off your advertising and improve PPC lead quality.

Analyse your keywords and how users are finding your site. Google Analytics has a search term report that you can use to see how visitors are stumbling across your website. This provides great insight, for not only if you have high brand search online, but also, for any keyword opportunities.

search term report google analytics Mock-up of keywords within the search term report

Translating that keyword knowledge into your Adwords will help you refine your ad.

Here’s a bonus tip. If someone visits your site, but doesn’t convert they’ll sit in an audience list for 540 days.

Retarget to them once your ads have been optimised. They might have been in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey, so retargeting them could help you push them down the funnel.

While we’re talking about lists… If you’re selling a popular product, related to things like cars, pets, homes, then you can also use Google lists. These are created by Google who analyses user search intent and pools users based on keywords and phrases they’re searching. This helps you get in front of a very warm lead.

Keep your ad copy fresh

Ad copy is an essential part of your ad. It can make or break your PPC lead quality, so be sure to test it frequently. If you have ads running all month long, change your ad copy two, or three times, to keep it fresh.

And remember, you’re likely going to be competing with a lot of other businesses, so you need to stand out. One issue I always come across is advertisers using phrases like “low-cost” in front of their products.

You can be sure the user will find the lowest cost option for themselves! Think back to when you wanted to purchase something. You didn’t click and buy the first product you saw. You will have done the research, spoken to friends for recommendations, compared prices and reviews.

Keep that buyer’s journey in mind, and use your ad copy to reflect that. Show your USP. Perhaps you’re accredited, you’ve won awards, are a part of an association or something similar. Shouting about this will set you out from the competition.

Pre-qualify your leads

The easiest way to increase your PPC leads is to pre-qualify, directly within your ad. This can sound a bit scary, as instinctively, we want as many users as possible to see, and click, on our advert.

But to generate quality leads through PPC, then the opposite is true. We only want specific, and targeted audiences to see our adverts.

Otherwise, you’re spending money on an irrelevant click, and the user might get a bad impression of your company if they waste time on your site. So, weed the irrelevant traffic out straight away and this should help improve your PPC lead quality.

ppc pre qualify leads

Set out exactly who your business, product or service can help. This will be a sure-fire indicator to users exactly what you can do and who you can support. While your conversion rate for form submissions and phone calls may drop, your lead to customer rate will increase. And that’s what we’re bothered about, isn’t it?

Optimise your landing page

Your ad is important. But if the landing page you’re linking to doesn’t echo the sentiment of your ad, then users will click off.

Be clear on what you provide, and to who. Like your ad copy, you can use your landing page to pre-qualify your PPC leads.

Don’t turn off keywords with low CTR

It can be tempting to remove keywords that have a low CTR or conversion rate from our Ad settings. Say for example, you have a keyword of ‘hot chocolate’, that converts 15 people into form submissions or phone calls. You have another keyword meanwhile, that converts 50 people.

From those stats, it seems like the one that converted 50 is better, right? Not necessarily. These stats only indicate the potential of a keyword. What we really need to look at, is how many sales did that keyword generate.

You can do exactly that by using a marketing attribution tool like Ruler Analytics. This allows you to pinpoint the performance of individual keywords and their effectiveness at converting prospects to customers. Once you understand which keywords are performing better, you can then turn off any that aren’t resulting in sales.

Test out your ad creative

Don’t forget to test! We like to keep some extra budget aside each month specifically for testing. Of course, you can’t get too crazy when testing on ad campaigns. You don’t want to end up affecting the performance of your main ad, so try to stick to testing ad copy and keywords. If you’re feeling brave, you could always try testing out automated bidding.

You’ll need a fair bit of patience, as Google’s learning systems can take weeks to develop through data collection. But, as they say, ‘patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.’ Using Google’s machine learning will unlock new data, insights and recommendations that you can put into practice quickly and easily. And remember, automated bidding works best once Google can determine what makes a high-quality lead – attributing revenue goes a long way to helping determine lead quality.

Track, track, track

Don’t bother using Google Adwords if you’re not going to track your results. You’d be surprised how many clients I’ve worked with where they have had no tracking set up at all for their PPC.

It can be tricky to set up, but for the data you get, it’s worth the hassle so don’t be put off! Set up all the proper tags, code and tracking into your ads so you can track ads on your preferred analytics solution.

Once you have a constant stream of data coming in, you can use that information to learn from and optimise your ads further.

Then, use the data.

Final Thoughts

Understanding your paid advertising doesn’t need to be tricky. Whether you’re using eCommerce and want visibility of the full customer journey or need help tracking conversions like live chat, form fills and phone calls, Ruler is the perfect tool for any paid media marketer.

Learn more about what Ruler can do for you by booking a demo with our team. We’ll show you the data in action and what insights you can get thanks to Ruler’s closed-loop method.

revenue attribution marketing attribution - ruler analytics

Or, if you’re struggling setting up, optimising, or tracking your ads, contact Sophie from Adzooma. They provide a free platform that allows users to make their online advertising quicker, easier and more successful. They also link up businesses with a range of agencies and SaaS businesses to support with other services like SEO, web design and more.

Find out more about Adzooma and their platform.