What’s the deal with Google ads and lead generation?
With all the respect in the world, we have to say that Google is a lot like the Mafia – only, an online version.
It dominates the search landscape in pretty much every way possible. With deep pockets and long fingers, it “knows stuff”, and if you don’t want to do things their way then, well, you know where the door is.
Therefore, if you plan on using Google ads for lead generation then you ought to know the rules. Thankfully, sticking to their tried and tested formula benefits us all. Let’s find out how, and why we should be using Google ads for generating leads.
Can I Generate Leads From Google Ads?
So, the short answer here is a resounding yes.
The whole point of having a website is to meet customer’s needs, answer their questions, and sell your product or service. The whole point of Google ads is to send people to your website for the same reason.
The crux of the matter is that Google ads will send you the search results but you need to create an environment that will convert a visitor to a lead.
Yes, you can get leads from Google Ads, but only if you follow their rules.
Adhere to Google’s Policies
The short version of Google ad policies is that you want to be clear about what you’re offering, making certain that there’s nothing ambiguous or misleading in your ads or on your landing pages.
Many companies are put off using PPC or display ads because they feel that they are too pricey, or that they’re impossible to get right. Quality score, landing pages, mobile optimisation… the requirements are strict and not always transparent.
However, here’s the thing. Google wants you to get a good result when you run ads. The more Google leads you get, the more you’ll advertise. That’s good business sense, right? Therefore, if the Google Brains are advising you to do a thing – or in their terms “adhere to their policies” then it pays to do so.
What happens if you decide to dance to the beat of your own drum when setting up ads? Well, worst-case scenario, you’ll get banned because they’re just tired of you trying to get around their rules. Most of the time, they’ll offer a friendly warning while you’re setting up your ads, but they are pretty serious about stuff. In 2015, Google noted that they disabled an eye-watering 780 million ads because of policy violations.
How Do I Use Google Ads For Lead Generation?
Google is a search engine, therefore it will take the information given through a user query and tie it as best as possible to a result. You want to be that result. But in order to be that guy, you need to create the perfect environment for these hallowed leads and satisfy as many of their needs as possible – in a few seconds. (No pressure!)
Marketo offers up a brilliant formula that is well worth remembering when you’re banging your head against the seemingly impenetrable wall of ad failure.
Higher relevance = Higher CTR = Higher Quality Score = More Traffic = More Leads
Basically, the better user experience you offer, and the more relevant your information is, the more Google will like you.
Create a Dedicated Landing Page (To Acquire More Leads)
A landing page is not an ordinary web page. Rather, it is a dedicated page that has been built to receive traffic from social media, Google ads, or other marketing channels. The sole purpose of a landing page is to move a potential customer further down the funnel and collect contact information from them. In some cases, it’s simply to make a sale.
The best landing pages are concise, easy to consume and have a single purpose.
For example, if you’re advertising a free download, then your landing page will pick up from where the ad left off and offer benefits and additional information around the download. It will ask for the minimum amount of information from you, and it will deliver the download.
Alternatively, you could be advertising a test drive in the latest Mercedes where you are encouraging readers to book a time slot. You would ask for their contact information to book, and perhaps provide an online calendar for them to do it themselves.
Essentially, you are asking for their information in return for something that they want.
Landing Page Dos and Don’ts
Landing pages can look however you want them to, but there are many ways to make them more attractive and increase conversions.
- Focus on a single offer. Don’t dilute your message with too much extraneous content and multiple offerings.
- Remove navigation menus. Wordstream shows that only 16% of landing pages don’t have navigation bars, but removing them can increase conversions by 100%.
- Use video on the landing page which has been reported to increase conversions by 86%.
- A/B testing is a great way to find out what works best.
- Compelling headlines focus on the benefits of your product.
- Clearly define what makes your offering different from anyone else’s.
- Include testimonials or other social proof of happy customers.
- Have a clear call to action so the reader knows exactly what to do next.
- Ask for the least amount of personal information that you can.
Keep it Relevant
What’s all the fuss about relevance? Well, Google is in the business of answering people’s questions as accurately as possible. Therefore, if they’re putting their name to your ad and sending a user to your landing page, then it has to be relevant.
Ad relevance looks like this: the user searched for snowshoes, and your landing page is showing them pictures, descriptions, and special offers for snowshoes. Red stilettos are still shoes and so are lounge slippers, but neither will be of any benefit to you when you’re on holiday in Freezingville.
That’s the simple explanation. You can understand how it applies to your ads and the page that they are taken to.
Check Your Quality Score
The ads that you set up will be reviewed by Google and they will come back to you with a quality score. This is important because your quality score determines where your ads are displayed, and how often. It will also impact how much you pay per click, so if you run ads with a low quality score, you’ll pay more and still get less traffic.
Your quality score is determined by the relevance of your ad to your keywords on your landing page, a great user experience, removing irrelevant keywords, page speed, and other similar metrics.
Interestingly, your past ad performance and ad experience will also impact your current quality score, so it pays to get it right and keep up a high standard.
Understand User Intent
Google has been leaning in the direction of offering results based on user intent, which, we feel, is fantastic. Stats tell us that only 4% of users are ready to put their hand in their pocket and make a purchase when they run a search. This means that a huge chunk of people are still looking for information on a product and doing their homework.
The content that you craft to capture the attention of someone who is at the bottom of the funnel and is ready to buy will differ from that which would educate and inform someone who’s simply browsing.
Therefore, if Google is heavily focused on user intent and you set up your ads to satisfy users at the right point in their journey, then you stand a good chance of winning the ad auction and gaining a lead.
Ads based on user intent can be tricky to get right, but it’s well worth putting in the time. Google tells us that 76% of people using “near me” searches visit a related business within a day.
Google + Ads = Leads
So, what’s the final verdict? Can Google ads work as a lead generation machine for your business? With the sheer volume of users asking for information every second of every day, they certainly have the traffic.
The important part is up to you, however.
In order to benefit from the platform you will need to:
- Set up awesome landing pages
- Adhere to Google’s policies
- Create eye-catching ads
- Tie in your ad offering to your landing page content
- Dot the i’s and cross the t’s, making sure that every part of your campaign is perfect
- Focus on the user and on satisfying their needs in an open and honest way
Once you’ve got these basics right, then you’re onto a winner. Google leads from targeted, well-executed campaigns will flood your inbox and everything will be right in the world.
If you fancy a piece of this utopia, then we invite you to give our digital baristas a call.
We know Google ads and how to push those leads in your direction, and we’d love to work with you.