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5 ways to improve PPC lead quality


Online leads are not all equal. The quality of those leads ultimately matters in driving meaningful business outcomes.

Focusing on high-quality leads in your PPC campaigns increases your return on investment for your marketing dollars. 

Additionally, improving lead quality allows salespeople to focus on more promising opportunities, streamline their sales process, and cultivate a loyal customer base. 

Here are the tools and strategies you can employ to drive better leads and more ideal customers to your doorstep:

Key 1: Teach Google what a good lead looks like

Google’s ad bidding algorithm is a sophisticated system determining whom to target and how much to pay for a click. 

The algorithm considers many factors, such as the bid, the ad and landing page quality, the expected click-through rate, and other historical performance data. 

The better quality data you can provide to Google, the better the algorithms will do your bidding (literally). 

You can do this by providing Google the following:

  • Clean conversion tracking, depending on what clean means for you.
  • Customer lists that are filtered for your highest-quality customers while meeting the 1,000-user threshold.
  • Conversion values for designating more highly profitable leads from others.

Positive feedback loops

Algorithms like Google’s ad bidding system are designed to continuously improve performance by leveraging a feedback loop. This loop allows the algorithm to learn from past decisions and adjust its strategies for better outcomes. 

When the algorithm receives accurate and high-quality initial inputs, it establishes a strong foundation for this learning process. The algorithm can make increasingly precise bidding decisions as it refines its understanding of user behaviors and preferences. 

Fueled by the right inputs, this positive feedback loop results in more accurate learnings and better bidding decisions, enhancing campaign effectiveness and improving return on investment.

Key 2: Don’t neglect offline conversion tracking

One of the best practices for improving your PPC lead quality is offline conversion tracking or Enhanced Conversions for Leads.

Offline conversion tracking in Google Ads lets you link online ad interactions with offline actions, like in-store purchases or phone orders.

Doing so better informs Google’s bidding algorithms on what and who to optimize for increased profits and offline sales. 

Here’s how it works:

High-quality lead data curation

Compile your online leads that generated revenue offline with an average volume of 30 or more per month and an average lag of 90 days or less.

Consider creating a database of all of the high-quality leads generated, whether they purchased or not. This is recommended because we aim to inform Google of the ideal lead candidates and to generate more of these, whether they become customers or not.

Integration with CRM or database

Next, integrate your offline data with Google Ads. This can be done by collecting and associating a Google Click ID (GCLID) with your leads.

Alternatively, consider using Enhanced Conversions for Leads for less technical and more streamlined implementation.

Ideally, you will have an automatic upload of this data into Google Ads regularly. If you use Salesforce or HubSpot, Google Ads has an easy and direct integration for uploading these offline sales conversions.

Attribution and reporting

Once Google matches the lead with the originating click ID, it can attribute the ads, keywords, campaigns, etc., that drive these valuable offline actions. 

You can see reporting on the associated metrics like conversion value, conversion rate, and return on ad spend (ROAS).

Identify optimization opportunities

This data lets you understand which keywords, ads, or campaigns drive the most valuable offline conversions. 

These insights will help you to make informed decisions about budget allocation, keywords, ad creatives, and targeting to optimize your campaigns.

Key 3: Exclude low-quality lead sources

Once you can identify what is generating your best-quality leads, you want to use these insights to pull spending away from your low-quality lead sources. 

Audience demographics such as age and household income levels will come to light.

For example, you could discover that conversions are from 18- to 24-year-olds but not revenue. Use this discovery to exclude those age demographics from accruing ad spending in your campaigns. 

Placement exclusions

Regularly check your placements report for low-quality websites, apps, and YouTube channels where your ads showed. 

This can be tedious, but it will allow you to exclude placements that do not align with your brand or match your targeting. This is a great strategy to exclude low-quality lead sources. 

Google Ads placement exclusions

Turn off demographics expansion

If you use demographic exclusions to improve lead quality, it is crucial to understand that Video Action campaigns using optimized targeting will ignore these exclusions. 

Be sure to submit a request to your Google rep for whitelisting to turn off the demographics expansion.  


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Key 4: Attract high-quality leads who want to do business with you.

How good is your brand at attracting your ideal prospects, and does this high-caliber lead want to work with you? 

If you’re facing challenges in attracting quality leads to your brand or would like to improve overall, start by evaluating and enhancing your brand strategy. 

Consider refreshing your brand identity, including your website, ads, logos, and colors. Be sure these are all effectively resonating with your desired customers.

Revisit your target audience and ensure your brand’s messaging aligns with their preferences and needs. Clarify your value proposition, highlighting how your brand addresses users’ specific problems. 

Last, embrace personalization to connect with different segments of your audience and resonate more deeply. 

Examples include personalized landing pages, dynamic website content based on the visitor’s preferences and behavior-based retargeting ads.

Key 5: Disqualify leads before they reach a salesperson

I learned this from Perry Marshall, who has a story from John Paul Mendocha about “racking the shotgun,” and it’s about applying the 80/20 rule to your prospecting.

Ideally, you would disqualify folks before they click on your ad, costing you money. You can apply these other techniques after excluding your low-quality lead sources.

Use price as a disqualifier

Some prospecting strategies include concealing the price. I recommend using it as a disqualifier. You will likely prevent the leads from entering your funnel who cannot afford what you offer. 

Disqualify leads with your online form

If displaying your price doesn’t make sense, use your online form to ask a qualifying question about the budget or how much they plan to invest. Doing so allows you to route leads with more profitable follow-up tactics based on their response.

Urgency is another qualifier that can be asked online, such as how significant is this problem they are trying to solve? One way would be to ask for their timeframe. 

Alternatively, they can rank the importance of finding a solution from one to five. 

Disqualify leads over chat

Similarly to the online form, use chat to help disqualify potential leads just as much as you would try to convert them. Ask the same qualifying questions to identify if your solution doesn’t fit their needs.

Bonus key: Get targeting feedback directly from salespeople

One bonus point for improving your PPC lead quality is getting targeted feedback directly from salespeople.

As PPC marketers, we tend to work in a black box. Getting insights directly from salespeople can help inform our targeting and exclusion strategies. 

Not only can this make our direct campaigns more profitable, but sending through more highly qualified leads improves the results for the salespeople, increases retention, enhances your brand reputation, and reduces wasted resources. 

Increase lead quality to increase your resources

Improving lead quality can significantly impact a business across various aspects. This impact will be more significant if most of your leads come from PPC sources. 

Ultimately, focusing on lead quality can lead to more efficient resource allocation, better customer relationships, increased conversion rates, higher revenue and overall business success. 

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.



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