Would you like to generate leads through Google Ads? Traffic for your own website can be easily bought there. But ideally, Google Ads doesn’t just spend the budget on clicks, but becomes a lead machine in the long term! If you want to achieve this goal, there are a few things to consider.
Decide which leads you want to generate
Before starting a lead generation campaign on Google Ads, you should answer a key question: Which leads should be generated? For example, online contact forms or requests for quotations, calls or the creation of a customer account could be sent. Registrations for the newsletter or orders for information material also count as leads.
You may already realize that not every lead generated will have the same value for your company. For Google Ads campaigns, one or two lead types should be targeted at the beginning. Often you start with contact forms and phone calls through the website. For many advertisers, both are sufficiently valuable, qualified leads that often later become paying customers. They should therefore be set up as conversions in the Google Ads account (under Conversion Tracking) and measured on the website.
Once you have decided on the lead types early on, your Google Ads campaigns can be set up. Once you have decided on the lead types early on, your Google Ads campaigns can be set up. The advantage: All keywords, ads and your landing pages can now be designed based on this objective.
Keywords determine success and costs
Ads in Google Search, called Search Ads, have many advantages. On the one hand, you can reach potential leads exactly where there is a search intention. With a well-planned selection of keywords and keyword options, your ad will generate a high level of relevance on the search results page. On the other hand, you definitely only pay for those users who actually clicked on your ad. Both help to place targeted advertising right from the start. Controllable costs per lead (cost-per-lead / CPL) are thus quickly possible.
In order to achieve this goal, well-planned keyword research is required. In order to get as many leads as possible at calculable costs, the commercially interesting keywords must be booked. These can be researched by target region, reach and competition with the keyword planner (see example). It is also important to stay tuned using your own account information. Regularly sorting out and adding keywords leads to a powerful keyword set.
Example: keyword research
We want to generate leads in the form of inquiries for business and personal coaching. In the Google Keyword Planner, we see that general search terms have a lot of competition and high click prices.
We find a more favorable situation when we research keywords with a location reference. A good example of how more relevant keywords can pay off immediately.
You can also learn more about the Work with the Google Keyword Planner .
Design ads that turn users into leads
Google Ads are a very special, very powerful form of online advertising. As part of the search results, you can and should help users with their search. Distracting elements, unclear ad titles but also purely informative ad texts are rather out of place.
Keep in mind that your ads are often the company’s first contact with the prospect. You also have to assert yourself against your competition in the ad unit. The perfect ad to generate leads has four key components:
- The display quickly makes it clear what it is about.
- It highlights the unique selling proposition (USP) of the company.
- There are calls to action that are related to the landing page and its goal (turning users into leads).
- They make your company or brand name better known in the long term.
Example of ad design
Our ad is relevant, highlights unique selling points and contains a clear call for action. The name of the academy is also recognizable.
Once you have found a workflow for high-quality ads, you fill the ad groups with it. The following applies: Create enough ads to create variation, but don’t overdo it.
In practice, two to three traditional text ads per ad group, combined with a responsive search network ad (RSA), are sufficient. This type of ad contains up to 15 possible headlines and four descriptions, which then rotate at the search query level. The testing of the variations is done automatically by Google Ads. In this way, your best ad variant will prevail in the medium term.
Work with optimized landing pages
One of the most annoying and common mistakes many advertisers make when trying to generate leads is with the landing page. If an ad leads to a defective landing page, you quickly gamble away your own budget. Remember: With Google Ads, you pay for clicks. It is therefore annoying for both sides when users are disappointed after clicking on the landing page and jump off. A lot of lead potential is also allocated in this way, because after all, just one click of the ad signals interest in your offer.
In order not to disappoint expectations and to turn users into leads, optimized landing pages are used (here are some tips). The aim is to direct potential customers to a relevant landing page by clicking on the ad, while pursuing a fluid strategy.
Example landing page test
The Google Ads experiments function can be used to carry out clean A / B tests with landing pages. Increasing the conversion rate or lowering the cost per lead are sensible goals. In this way you can prove which landing page is best suited for your own goals.
Everything starts with the selection of the landing page. In most cases, this should not be the home page of your corporate website. Imagine: someone searches for “Business Coaching Berlin” and sees a matching advert. After clicking, however, you will find yourself on the home page, where various coaching sessions from all disciplines can be found in numerous cities. The user has to start a new search on the target page and cannot find the business coaching in Berlin mentioned in the ad. This is frustrating and usually leads to users returning to Google and asking the competition. Having your own landing pages for specific ad groups is therefore extremely important.
You should now be able to make a clear reference to your ads on the landing pages. Relevant offers and unique selling points belong to the landing page. Options for action, so-called calls-to-action, must also be given. “Inquire now”, “Non-binding offer” or “Request a free callback” are clear prompts that map precisely the lead types that you have defined for yourself in rule 1.
Landing pages should also be optimized for mobile devices. The common argument “Our customers inquire via the desktop PC” can be true. However, it does not show that research is carried out in countless discussions and meetings, on business trips and commutes. And it happens via smartphone or tablet. This traffic does not immediately lead to the request, but is extremely important in order to exploit your own lead potential.
Last but not least, the following advice is given: The perfect landing page doesn’t exist – and certainly not right away. Testing is ongoing to ensure that more users become leads. Questions like „Is a promo video more effective than product images?“, „Do more people ask if the landing page has more / less text?“ or „What is the influence of seasonal discounts?“ are perfectly justified. You can answer them through tests lasting several weeks with Google Ads A / B testing or via Google Optimize. A demonstrably improved landing page is quickly worth cash in this way.
Develop a realistic CPL
If you want to generate long-term leads with Google Ads, you need to know how high the costs per lead (cost-per-lead / CPL) are. The trick is not to confuse desire and reality. Ultimately, lead campaigns on Google Ads map regional, sometimes also national markets in search engines. Demand, supply and competition definitely have an effect on click prices – and thus on your CPL. So it is important to calculate with competitive costs per lead. Achieving the ideal CPL for your company is a process that takes time and optimization. An important lever for this is the selection of the right bid strategy.
The target CPA (CPA = Cost-per-Acquisition) bid strategy is tailor-made for lead generation. They are bidding on the average advertising costs per lead. From now on, individual bids are automatically optimized so that you get as many conversions as possible at a fixed price (or cheaper).
Example target CPA
In the bid strategy report it is easy to find out that the CPA is going through a learning phase at the beginning. Seasonal fluctuations around your target CPA are normal. Ultimately, they represent the market.
For the strategy to work, the conversion tracking described in rule 1 must really be set up correctly and without any doubt. Please also note: The target CPA is not a desired value, but a kind of central requirement. It develops through adjustments, account optimization and learning phases of the bid strategy. Seasonal influences also play a role.
While the Target CPA bid strategy targets your cost-per-lead, it isn’t the only option. The Maximize Clicks and Maximize Conversions strategies can also help. Especially in the early phase, they ensure traffic and fast conversions.
Use the best data for smart bidding
Some Google Ads bid strategies, like Target CPA are so-called smart bidding strategies. This means that they rely on machine learning to optimize performance. Search queries from users as well as your keywords, ads or target groups in the account are signals that can easily be included. However, you will be really successful when the most valuable data is included in Smart Bidding.
On the one hand, there would be your conversions, which should reflect the leads collected online. But not every contact request has the same value. In short: The leads received via Google Ads campaigns have very different qualifications. In order to take this into account, conversion values should be stored in the account.
The superficial variant consists in assigning different values to individual conversion actions (such as contact form, registration, newsletter, …). The professional variant, on the other hand, is to upload real sales or profits from your own CRM to Google Ads (here you can find a Instructions from Google ). The key advantage of conversion values is that smart bidding strategies incorporate them into future auctions. In this way, your account learns and optimizes itself with real data from offline processes, such as your lead-to-sales process.
Another source of data that is often neglected is calls via the website. For some companies, these account for 50% to 80% of the actual incoming leads. Users who pick up the phone rather than fill out contact forms are also recorded. Call tracking includes conversions that are tracked via forwarding numbers and sent to Google Ads. We have a detailed insight into this in the UnitedAds blog compiled. Due to the often high lead potential, the facility almost always pays off.
If you want to generate leads through Google Ads, you should plan ahead from the start. Quick wins are not uncommon, but long-term optimization can automate the process of generating high-quality leads. It is important to define your goals in advance and map them using conversion tracking. Make sure you have suitable ads and optimized landing pages that are specially tailored to your target group at an early stage.
If the cost-per-lead fluctuates sharply at the beginning, there is no need to panic. The ideal CPL can be determined and achieved with Smart Bidding. With the best data, Google Ads becomes a powerful lead machine.