May 6, 2019

How to Generate Quality PPC Leads at Minimum Cost


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Are You Paying Too Much to Acquire Leads via PPC Advertising?

It’s really easy to generate leads using Google PPC advertising. All you need to do is log into your Google Ads account and follow the step by step instructions. Save the target keywords, enter a budget, and wham! Your first lead generation campaign is live!

But, to generate highly qualified leads at the minimum Cost per Click and to deliver top Lead-to-Close Ratios and Conversion Rates—that’s NOT easy. For that, you either need to be an expert at PPC advertising or seek guidance from someone who is.

B2B clicks are usually quite expensive. The average lead-to-close ratio is dismally low (around 2 to 5 percent), so if you’re generating a lot of expensive leads that don’t convert, you’re wasting an awful lot of money.

Here are ten things we do at JoshMeah.com to deliver PPC leads that turn out to be highly profitable; and so can you!

1. Review Your Keyword Strategy

PPC, particularly Google Ads, is a keyword-driven medium. Unless you target relevant keywords that represent the customers’ intent correctly, you’ll be wasting money on clicks.

Let me explain.

When users search on Google, they are looking to accomplish certain goals. A person searching with the key-phrase ‘buy group insurance’ is likely looking for a B2B insurance seller and is closer to a purchase.

Another person searching with the term ‘what is group insurance’ might be a student preparing a high-school assignment. The intent is vastly different, as are the users.

For profitable PPC lead generation, you need to look deeper than search volume and competition and identify the customer and their intent behind each search term.

If there’s a high-intent, high-competition keyword that you think will deliver quality leads; you should select that term and bid higher to make your ad appear on top for searches with that keyword.

2. Select the Correct Match Type

Google Ads allows you to select one of four different keyword match types, most of which will use special symbols.

Broad Match: This is the default match type and requires no special symbol to define. Your ad will be triggered whenever a user searches for any word in your key phrase, in any order, including misspellings and synonyms. Broad Match allows you to reach the widest number of audience and generates the most clicks, but many of those clicks might be coming from irrelevant traffic. The key phrase business insurance will show up in the following searches:

  • obtain business insurance
  • where can I get insurance for my business
  • home fire insurance
  • what is insurance?

Broad Match Modifier: If you add a plus (+) sign to any of the keywords in your key phrase, that keyword gets locked, which means your ad will appear only when the search query includes that particular keyword. The search phrase may be in any order, but the locked keyword needs to be present in it. For example, if you apply a Broad Match Modifier to the key phrase +business insurance, your ad will show up when a user searches for

  • buy business insurance
  • insurance business,
  • but not when someone searches for buy home insurance.

Phrase Match: If you enclose your target key phrase in double-quotes, it becomes a phrase match. Your ad will now appear only when a prospect lead searches for the exact same key phrase in the exact same order. The only difference is that the search query may contain additional words before or after the target key phrase. Therefore, if you use the key phrase “business insurance”, your ad will turn up for searches for

  • where can i get business insurance
  • what are business insurance premiums in billings mt
  • business insurance for restaurants

Exact Match: This is the most restrictive and least used match type. When you enclose the target key phrase in square brackets ([]), your ad will appear only when a prospect searches for that exact phrase in that exact order. At least, that’s what should happen, considering that it’s an “exact” match. However, since 2017 Google has started triggering exact match ads for close variants of the target keywords. If you use [buy business insurance] as an exact match, it should be found in the following searches.

  • purchase business insurance
  • buy insurance for business
  • get my business insured

It’s extremely important to select the correct match types for your keywords if you don’t want your ads to be shown and clicked for irrelevant search queries.

3. Select Negative Keywords

Negative Keywords are keywords or phrases for which you DON’T want your ad to appear. For example, if you’re selling business insurance, you might want to define “car insurance” or “pet insurance” as negative keywords to eliminate unwanted ad appearances.

Just like target keywords, negative keywords also have the broad match, phrase match, and exact match functionalities.

  • Negative Broad Match stops your ad from appearing whenever a search query contains the negative keyword or its variants regardless of the order.
  • Negative Phrase Match stops your ad from showing if the search term includes the target phrase in the same order, even when additional words are added before the beginning or after the end of the phrase.
  • Negative Exact Match stops your ad from appearing when the search phrase exactly matches the target phrase.

Selecting the right negative keywords can prevent a lot of irrelevant impressions and wasteful clicks. Speak with Josh today if you want help with your keyword strategy.

4. Create Ads that Get Clicked

The new Google text ads allow you to use three 30-character headlines and two 90-character descriptions. Use them wisely to get more people to click on your ads and enter your lead-generation funnel. Here are a few tips for writing compelling ad copy:

  • Get into the mind of your target audience and write from their perspective.
  • Include the benefits -- not the features -- of your product or service.
  • Mention how you’re better than your competitors.
  • Mention the lead magnet that you have waiting on the landing page.
  • Use the keywords that your audience is using to search for your product or service.
  • Make sure there are no spelling errors, typos, or grammatical mistakes.
  • Consider using numbers and symbols (like the “&” and the “10%” in the example) --  they also save characters.
  • Test different version of your ads and use the ones that score more clicks.

Ads that generate a high CTR (click-through rate) improve your Google Ads Quality Score, a metric that determines the CPC (Cost per Click). Advertisers with higher Quality Scores pay significantly lower CPCs for the same ad position than advertisers with low Quality-Scores.

5. Don’t Ignore Display Ads

Display ads are a great way to raise brand awareness. They increase the probability of better lead generation in the long run.  With display ads, you can reach over 90% of global internet users across 2 million websites. That said, display ads are a different animal from search ads.

User searches do not trigger display ads. Instead, they appear when a user is visiting Google partner websites. Remember the banner or sidebar ads that seem to pop out of nowhere when you’re browsing the web? These are Google Display Ads.

Display ads allow you to feature your brand, show images and videos, experiment with fonts and design elements, and create awareness to synergize your lead-generation efforts. They have a low click-through rate, which is good because you can get a lot of brand mileage without having to pay for the clicks. Display ads are also perfect for remarketing because they keep reminding the customers of your brand and offer.

6. Use High-converting Landing Pages

Congratulations! People are clicking on your ads. But, have you seen where the clicks are leading them? If they’re landing on a generic page or your homepage, be ready to pay heavy PPC bills and have too few leads.

“Begin with the end in mind,” says author and keynote speaker Stephen Covey. Nothing could be more true for generating leads through PPC ads. Before you advertise, create dedicated conversion optimized landing pages for each ad.

Here are a few tips for getting more subscriptions to your list.

  • Use a clean layout with an original design
  • Use compelling copywriting and action verbs
  • Make the call to action prominent
  • Test different versions of each ad by changing key elements such as headline, CTA copy, page layout, and length, etc
  • Offer an incentive such as a free trial, a discount coupon, an email course, or a free ebook
  • Use high-quality photography and video to boost conversions

7. Offer Lead Magnets and Hooks

A lead magnet or hook is an offer that requires an opt-in to unlock. You ask the visitors to provide their email address in exchange for an eBook, app download, a video view, whitepaper, checklist, newsletter subscription, discount, online course, free consult, or another offer that’s valuable to your prospect customers.

When generating leads through PPC, you can mention the hook in your ad copy to boost CTR before implementing it on the landing page. Most sites these days use opt-in boxes or exit-intent boxes to capture leads. Get creative and look for interesting lead magnets that engage your visitors and compel them into subscribing.

8. Target Lower Ad Positions

You might be pleased to see that your ad is consistently appearing on top of all other ads, but it might mean you’re over-bidding for the keywords and over-paying for clicks.

There are keywords for which you’d like to appear on top, like for branded search terms. You won’t like a reseller or competitor to get on top with search. But for most of the keywords, the second and third ad positions deliver the best value.

Experiment by lowering your bids while keeping an eye on the ad positions. You’ll save a lot of money on clicks.

9. Bid on Branded Search Terms

If you’re not bidding on search terms that include your brand’s name, you might be missing out on low-cost, high-quality leads. Here’s what happens:

A user who already knows your business is more ready to enter your lead-generation funnel than a person who’s coming across your name for the first time. Branded clicks are also likely to be cheaper, although branded keywords might have a low search volume.

Appearing at the top position for your branded keywords is essential for brand protection as well. If you’re ignoring them for generating leads through PPC, a competitor might take advantage and claim the top spot for search terms that contain your brand’s name. This can erode your brand equity and divert prospective customers.

10. Use Remarketing Ads

The top 10 percent of Google Ads landing pages have a conversion rate of 11.45% or higher. It means almost 90% of the clicks will not convert into leads even if you succeed in joining the elite of PPC advertisers. Remarketing ads allow you to reach visitors who went away without converting.

Remarketing ad clicks are cheaper and have higher conversion rates than original ad clicks. To set up a remarketing campaign, you first need to create a remarketing list. You also need to install a remarketing tag on your landing pages.

Log into Google Ads and click on ‘Shared library’ in the left-hand sidebar. Click on ‘Audiences’ and follow Google’s step-by-step instructions to set up a remarketing campaign.


Anyone can run PPC lead generation campaigns, but even experts scratch their heads when it comes to optimizing AdWords campaigns. With the above tips, you can drive a higher number of better quality leads at a lower CPC. With a proper nurturing sequence, you can convert more of these leads into paying customers. Sounds like more profit, doesn’t it?

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