If you’re spending thousands of dollars on paid advertising, you want to be sure you’re getting good quality leads from your PPC efforts. However, optimising your Google ads to improve PPC lead quality can be tricky.
Particularly for those businesses that rely on a sales team to convert prospects to customers, how can we track true PPC performance, and optimise based on results?
The first instalment in our expert panellist series, we spoke to Sophie Logan, Senior PPC Manager at Adzooma, for her expert insight on how to improve lead generation through PPC.
Editor’s Note: Wait, do you just want to know how you can track the B2B revenue driven by your PPC ads? Our closed-loop marketing attribution tool can help you do exactly that. Book a demo of Ruler Analytics to find out how you can connect the dots between your sales and marketing data.
What is a high-quality lead?
Lead quality is a factor that allows you to qualify how likely it is your prospective customers will become paying customers. The higher quality the leads are, the more likely it is that they will become customers.
Understanding if your leads are high-quality will help you determine if your marketing needs to be tweaked.
How to determine the your PPC lead quality
Generally speaking, your sales team will be able to confirm if your leads are converting well to sales.
However, from a marketing perspective you will also be able to tell if your leads are high-quality by asking some basic questions:
Are your PPC ads driving revenue?
Tracking clicks and conversions is great, but only gets you so far. Revenue attribution can allow you to see the direct revenue impact an ad is having. Revenue attribution allows you to match customer sales to particular marketing outputs; including PPC ads. By using GCLID codes, you can track not only conversions, but revenue gained.
Are your users engaged?
Are your website visitors bouncing around a lot of pages? Are they jumping from blogs, to pricing, to your contact us page? Healthy web sessions are likely to equal an interested party, who is further down their buyer’s journey.
Measure pages visited, newsletter signups and brochure downloads to get a feel for basic online conversion tracking.
Are your users moving down the funnel?
Getting a lot of high engagement across your site, but not getting as many phone calls or form submissions? Investigate whether your calls to action are prominent or not and that they’re on the right content pieces and landing pages.
And remember, if you’re getting lots of newsletter subscribers, or content downloads, then use these emails to remarket to.
Where on the buyer’s journey are those engaging with PPC ads?
The user journey is essential. PPC is a great tool to get users into the top of your funnel, or, the awareness stage. Take a look to see if your PPC ads are doing their job of spreading awareness, or if you’re seeing them further down the funnel. Perhaps, the user found you originally via a blog post, and they later came across a PPC ad for a keyword.
You’ll never know the true impact of your digital advertising if you look at it in silo.
Is data you’re receiving good quality?
If you’re a B2B business, then it’s fair to assume that anyone leaving a Gmail address probably isn’t a super high quality lead. Analysing the data you’re receiving is key to assessing whether leads will be high quality or not.
Noticing a lot of fake names, or data that just doesn’t look correct? Users could be trying to maintain some level of privacy, but there’s also a high chance you’re receiving bot entries. This is always something you might become victim to when setting up PPC adverts.
8 Strategies to Improve PPC Lead Quality
And 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, 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.”
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.
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 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 actually true. We want to keep volume where possible, but 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.
So 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 you’re conversion rate for form submissions and phone calls may drop, your lead to customer rate will increase. And that’s what we’re really 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.
Quantify the value of your customers
If you’re spending significant parts of your budget on digital spend, you want to ensure you’re getting a 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.”
That’s the perfect segue to talk about Ruler Analytics. Integrating with a closed-loop attribution tool means you can do the following to improve PPC lead quality:
Link your PPC ad to specific sales – both online and offline
Do you operate via eCommerce, or do you sell via a sales team? Converting prospects over the phone, or by email, can be tricky to track. Ruler attaches cookies to every anonymous user, and tracks every phone call, form submission and live chat.
When your prospect converts into a lead, regardless of how, Ruler will match and display the user’s entire customer journey. Then, at the point of sale, Ruler will match that revenue data to the marketing data in both your CRM and analytics tool of choice.
This means you can view performance of your marketing channels, campaigns, and even keywords. Our keyword report allows you to not only track how many clicks it had, but how many sales it generated, meaning you can optimise your ad spend.
Get a real ROI for your efforts
Instead of tracking clicks and impressions, track revenue. Normally, marketing brings in leads which are passed over to the sales team. The marketing team never learns how many leads turned into customers, and the sales team can’t see which marketing output generated their customers.
With closed-loop attribution, Ruler Analytics will pass revenue data back to your preferred marketing analytics software, and also update data in your CRM so both teams get a full view of data.
This will allow you to get a true ROI on your paid advertising efforts. As you can see in the below, each channel is bringing a different revenue number which we can track using Ruler Analytics. However, for each channel, the cost per sale is £50. This data is essential to understanding ROAS and lead quality.
Track the full customer journey
Seeing a lot of impressions, maybe even clicks on your ad, but very few sales since beginning your paid ad campaign?
Chances are, especially if you operate under a long sales cycle, your user is in the awareness stage of their buyer’s journey.
Ruler Analytics can track customer journeys. Monitor your successful conversions to see how many touchpoints your user had between clicking on an advert and converting to a customer. You can use these to develop your marketing based on what’s worked historically.
Want to get deeper detail of your Google Ads performance? Book a demo of Ruler Analytics to find out how you can start matching your revenue to your ads. If offline conversion tracking is a real bug bearer for you, then download our eBook! It’ll tell you how to go beyond just tracking your PPC adverts impact on offline conversions.
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.