If you were to ask any business owner what they need to succeed, they would likely say, “more customers.” Simply relying on existing customers is not enough to grow a business. That’s why it’s important to constantly find new leads who can eventually become clients.

This guide will show you how to use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising with Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords) to get more leads and grow your business. It will provide you with practical tips and strategies that even non-experts can understand and apply. By following the steps in this guide, you can expect to see an increase in your customer base and the success of your business.

Who PPC Lead Gen Works For

There is a common misconception that pay-per-click (PPC) advertising exclusively benefits e-commerce websites. However, this is not true. In fact, PPC can be a powerful tool for any type of website or company that engages in online lead generation.

Lead generation, also known as “lead gen,” is crucial for businesses that have specific criteria for their potential customers and prefer not to work with just anyone. During the lead generation process, there is typically a period of prequalification and information exchange between the company and the consumer. This allows both parties to make informed decisions based on the information provided.

Businesses that focus on lead generation often exhibit certain characteristics, such as:

Trial Periods: They may offer trial periods or free samples of their products or services to allow potential customers to experience them before making a purchase. Approval and Denial Processes: These businesses typically have a system in place to assess and evaluate potential leads. They may approve or deny certain individuals or companies based on specific criteria or qualifications.

Long Sales Cycles: The nature of their products or services might be complex, requiring a longer sales cycle. This is because potential customers need more time to understand the offering and make informed decisions.

Price Quotes: Lead-gen businesses often provide price quotes customised to the specific needs and requirements of potential customers. This allows them to provide accurate cost estimates based on individual circumstances.

By understanding these characteristics, businesses can tailor their lead generation strategies to effectively address the needs and preferences of their target audience.

Industries such as financial services (credit cards and mortgages), insurance (of all types), and business-to-business software heavily rely on lead generation or lead capture to thrive. In fact, if you’re reading this guide, chances are you have been or currently are a lead for a company.

As a lead, you are categorised with a label, such as “hot lead,” and subsequently targeted with regular marketing efforts until a specific event takes place. This event could involve you signing up, being denied, deciding not to proceed, or being placed in the company’s lead pipeline for future marketing.

The primary objective of lead generation is to bring prospects into a lead-tracking system, often depicted as a funnel. This initiates a contact period where the company learns more about your needs and qualifications. At the same time, you better understand the company’s products and services.

Ultimately, the goal is for a salesperson to successfully close the deal, resulting in the company acquiring a new customer. The process begins with collecting basic information such as your name and email address and then progresses towards gathering more detailed information about your specific interests and requirements.

Why PPC Is Great for Lead Gen

Considering your typical lead funnel, it will take a little while to realise you must keep filling it full of leads.

In the lead funnel, leads enter at the top and gradually progress towards conversion. However, the primary challenge lies in consistently filling the top of the funnel with new leads. Let’s explore the various methods to accomplish this and understand why pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an excellent lead generation source:

  1. Blogging: While blogging can attract leads, it requires continuous publication of new content, substantial sharing of blog posts, and a sizable number of blog subscribers. This approach demands time and effort to yield results.

  2. Email: You can communicate with your existing subscribers through repeated email. Alternatively, you can rent or purchase email lists, hoping to target potential leads for your business. However, the effectiveness and quality of such lists may vary.

  3. Social media: Social media platforms can help you gain new followers and fans, exposing your brand to a wider audience. However, it does not guarantee that these followers align with your target market or have a need for your products or services.

  4. Organic search: Achieving a high organic ranking is desirable as it drives approximately 85% of search clicks and is cost-free. However, securing top positions on search engine result pages requires significant on-page and off-page SEO efforts, and it may take months or even years to reach page one due to intense competition.

  5. PPC: With PPC advertising, you can instantly appear on page one of search results and capture the attention of people actively searching for solutions to their problems. It increases awareness of your brand and offerings, effectively positioning you in front of potential leads. This immediate visibility can significantly benefit lead-generation efforts.

In summary, PPC advertising stands out as a powerful lead generation strategy due to its ability to rapidly place your business in front of relevant prospects, generating greater awareness and interest.

Actually, it is important to recognise that PPC advertising is a paid marketing channel where you are charged per click. However, it’s crucial to understand that no marketing channel is truly free. Regardless of the approach chosen, there are costs involved in terms of resources and efforts. Let’s consider some of these aspects:

  1. PPC Management: Running a successful PPC campaign requires expertise and ongoing management. You may either allocate time and resources from your team or hire professionals or agencies specialising in PPC management. These services come with associated costs.

  2. Social Media and Blogging: While social media and blogging may not involve direct monetary expenses, they do require dedicated time and effort. Someone within your organisation or a hired professional needs to create engaging social media content, write informative blog posts, and manage these channels effectively.

  3. SEO Agency: Engaging an SEO agency to improve your organic search rankings and visibility involves financial investments. These agencies provide expertise and implement strategies to enhance your website’s search engine optimisation, ensuring long-term success.

  4. Email Marketing: Developing and executing effective email marketing campaigns requires planning, content creation, and list management. Whether it’s done in-house or outsourced, there are costs associated with these activities.

While some channels may have lower direct monetary costs compared to PPC advertising, it’s important to consider the value of time, resources, and expertise required for effective implementation. Ultimately, all marketing efforts come with associated costs, whether they are monetary or the investment of internal resources.

Benefits of PPC for Lead Generation:

Using PPC advertising offers several advantages that can help you achieve your marketing goals:

  1. Attract Relevant Visitors: PPC allows you to target specific keywords and phrases, ensuring that your ads are displayed to users actively searching for your products or services. This helps attract highly relevant visitors to your website.

  2. Immediate Keyword Rankings and Traffic: Unlike organic search optimisation, PPC enables you to quickly rank for targeted keywords and drive immediate traffic to your website. This can lead to faster visibility and potential conversions.

  3. Bid on Different Funnel Stages: With PPC, you have the flexibility to bid on keywords that align with various stages of the customer journey. You can target keywords for awareness, consideration, and decision-making stages, tailoring your messaging accordingly.

  4. Message Control: PPC provides control over the ad messaging for each stage of the funnel. You can customise your ad copy to address the specific needs, pain points, and benefits relevant to users at different customer journey stages.

  5. Message Alignment with User Needs: By monitoring search queries and analysing user behaviour, you can gain insights into what people are searching for and craft your ad messaging to align with their needs. This improves the relevance of your ads and increases the likelihood of engagement.

  6. Lead Insights and Behavior Tracking: PPC platforms offer valuable data and analytics to help you gain insights into your leads. You can track their behaviour, understand their preferences, and refine your targeting strategies accordingly.

  7. Precise ROI Tracking: PPC advertising provides detailed metrics and tracking capabilities, allowing you to measure your campaigns’ return on investment (ROI). You can track clicks, conversions, and revenue generated, enabling you to optimise your campaigns for maximum efficiency.

  8. Database Growth and Multi-Channel Marketing: PPC campaigns can help you grow your database of leads by capturing contact information through lead generation forms. This allows you to market to these leads through other methods, such as email marketing or targeted remarketing campaigns.

By leveraging the power of PPC advertising, you can attract relevant visitors, gain immediate visibility, tailor your messaging, understand your leads better, track ROI, and expand your marketing efforts across multiple channels.

How Lead Gen Compares to E-Commerce

Returning to the initial statement regarding the use of PPC marketing in both e-commerce and lead generation, it is important to highlight a significant distinction between the two: the qualification process. In e-commerce, there is typically no extensive qualification process required. As long as a person possesses a credit card and falls within the target market, they can make a purchase.

In contrast, lead generation often involves a more involved qualification process. The aim is to identify leads who meet specific criteria and are more likely to convert into customers. This process may include gathering information about their needs, preferences, budget, or other relevant factors to determine their suitability as potential clients.

While e-commerce focuses on attracting a broad audience and facilitating immediate purchases, lead generation prioritises targeting individuals or businesses who align with specific parameters and are more likely to engage in a longer-term business relationship.

Understanding this distinction is crucial in determining the appropriate approach and strategy for utilising PPC marketing effectively in either e-commerce or lead generation contexts.

How to Optimise Your Campaigns to Get More Leads Through PPC

Optimising lead generation campaigns with Google Ads shares key principles with e-commerce campaigns, such as creating tightly themed ad groups, testing ad copy and offers, and utilising a variety of relevant keywords. However, there are important differences in terms of calls-to-action and landing pages.

In lead generation, the primary focus is on capturing visitor information and nurturing potential leads. The calls-to-action in these campaigns are geared towards encouraging visitors to provide their contact details in exchange for valuable content, consultations, or other relevant offers. The goal is to engage visitors and entice them to share their information, allowing businesses to further qualify and nurture these leads.

Dedicated landing pages play a crucial role in lead-generation campaigns. These pages are specifically designed to capture visitor information effectively. They are optimised to encourage form submissions and provide persuasive content tailored to the specific needs and interests of the target audience. The landing pages aim to deliver value, build trust, and guide visitors towards becoming qualified leads.

The overall goal of lead generation campaigns is to consistently fill the top of the funnel with qualified leads. Since not every click will convert into a lead, it becomes essential to cast a wide net and increase the chances of capturing qualified leads through PPC advertising. By implementing effective strategies, businesses can optimise their Google Ads campaigns to attract, engage, and convert a steady stream of qualified leads for their sales funnel. Actionable tips for improving your lead-gen performance: To optimise lead generation campaigns with Google Ads, it is important to entice visitors with valuable offers.

Provide something of value

By providing something of value, such as a free white paper or guide, in exchange for their email, name, and other relevant information, you can encourage visitors to take the desired action. Alternatively, you can offer the opportunity to sign up for your blog or follow you on social media. While these outcomes may not be the ideal conversion, they still allow you to capture valuable leads instead of getting nothing from the click.

Targeted landing pages

Using focused landing pages is crucial for lead generation success. Repeat the benefits and clearly explain why the visitor should provide their information. It is essential to ask for just the right amount of pertinent information, avoiding a transaction that appears laborious by asking for excessive details. By using primary and secondary calls-to-action (CTAs), you can guide visitors through the desired conversion process. It is also important to test the length of your landing pages and the number of form fields to find the optimal balance. Ultimately, aim to make the process as frictionless as possible, ensuring a seamless experience for the visitor.

By incorporating these strategies, you can enhance the effectiveness of your lead-generation campaigns with Google Ads. By enticing visitors with valuable offers, utilising focused landing pages, and optimising the conversion process, you can maximise the number of qualified leads captured and minimise friction along the way.

Use DNI (Dynamic Number Insertion)

Dynamic number insertion (DNI) is a valuable technique for optimising lead generation campaigns. It allows you to dynamically change the phone number displayed in your ads and landing pages based on specific criteria, such as triggered keywords. This enables effective call tracking and attribution, helping you route calls to the appropriate representatives within your organisation. Providers like ifbyphone and CallRail offer DNI services, allowing you to implement this feature and gain insights into campaign performance while improving call routing and overall lead generation efficiency.

Use a CRM system

Investing in a reliable CRM (customer relationship management) system is crucial for effective lead management. Keeping track of leads and maintaining communication with them can quickly become overwhelming without a centralised system. A CRM program enables you to record important information about your contacts, such as their interactions, interests, and outcomes. This helps you categorise and segment leads and facilitates engagement through personalised emails or phone calls.

While there are numerous CRM companies available, some popular options include Infusionsoft, Zoho, and Salesforce. Implementing a robust CRM system empowers you to streamline lead management, nurture relationships, and maximise the effectiveness of your lead generation efforts.

Focus on the right KPI

In lead generation campaigns, it is important to focus on a key performance indicator (KPI) that is specific to this objective: the cost-per-lead (CPL). While metrics like cost-per-click and conversion rate are commonly discussed in PPC advertising, CPL takes precedence in lead generation. Calculating CPL is straightforward: divide the overall cost of your PPC campaign by the number of leads generated. This metric provides valuable insights into the cost efficiency of your lead generation efforts and serves as a crucial factor in decision-making processes.

By understanding how much you are paying for each lead acquired, you can optimise your campaigns, allocate budgets effectively, and make informed strategic choices to maximise the return on investment for your lead generation initiatives.