The marketing community has consistently pushed the idea of an unpaid, organic approach to increasing website traffic. But SEO isn’t always the best method for converting visitors into customers. PPC for lead generation can provide faster results. It also offers tracking and testing availability. AND PPC for lead generation can do the detailed work of generating leads and qualifying them as well.
Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) refers to paid advertising. PPC Ads target precisely who you want to reach, but you pay only when your specified target audience clicks on the ad. It sounds simple, but PPC ad campaigns must first be meticulously designed to attract the audiences you want to reach. Then you must track and measure results to determine if your leads score high on the metric(s) you’ve defined. Effective PPC campaign management can help businesses identify qualified leads that measure high on your preferred metrics like ROI or Quality Score. They also provide advertisers with a blueprint for the kinds of efforts that worked well and those that missed the mark.
Why PPC is More Effective For Generating Leads
PPC ads are those you’ve likely seen at the top of a search engine ranking page. Marked as “sponsored,” they’ll typically appear above the links that scored well for SEO. PPC ads can also be placed on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and they can even be purchased on Amazon.
The misconception about PPC ads is that they’re primarily used by e-commerce companies to produce a sale shortly after a click-through. But PPC ads can also generate top-of-the-funnel leads that will filter through to conversion if you design your campaign properly. Of course, there are other methods for generating TOFU leads:
Organic Search (SEO)
Organic search (SEO) can lead to big click-through rates, but it takes a long time to move up in the search rankings, and it’s a very competitive game. More than 28% of click-throughs come from the first link listed on a search engine query, and rates fall off precipitously after that1. It could take several months of optimization to reach even the first page, let alone the first link.
Social Media is also a good source of TOFU leads due to the sheer volume of daily users on the bigger platforms. However, it’s difficult to determine through non-paid social media if your fans or followers are actively interested in what you’re offering.
Email may be a promising source of leads if you have good targeted lists. But email open rates are currently hovering in the teens for most industries, and click-through rates are even lower.
When someone clicks on a PPC ad, you know that he or she is interested in your product and responding to your message. A carefully designed PPC campaign can swiftly move to measure and optimize the results so that each iteration can improve the lead-qualification process.
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What Steps to Take to Use PPC For Lead Generation
The success of PPC advertising depends on a carefully designed plan to target, track, test, measure, and report campaign results. PPC management teams take the following steps to ensure that your company can identify and qualify leads that can be passed along to your sales team:
Set out to find some important insights about your target, such as how they search for solutions to the problems your company can solve or which benefits are most important. You can also segment based on demographics like income level, homeownership, geographic location, job title, etc. Once you’ve identified your segments, you can plan a unique campaign strategy for each of them.
As with SEO, keywords are essential to a PPC campaign. Make sure keyword research considers the searcher’s intent if you’re aiming to attract quality leads who are the furthest along in the sales funnel. Keywords can always be tweaked later, mid-campaign after testing has revealed which ones are the most effective.
Targeted Ad Copy
Ad copy should be highly targeted; the goal is to do more than just boost click-throughs. Since you’ve segmented your campaign, you can write copy that will appeal to each group.
Targeted Ad Channels
Once again, knowing who you’re targeting will help you decide which social media venues to select and how to use targeting on Google Ads, Bing Ads, and display networks.
Create Landing Pages and Forms
Once you’ve determined who to target, which ad copy to use, and where to run the ads, you must make sure that click-throughs land on a website page that is highly relevant to your target segment. If you hope to move the prospect from a general lead to a more qualified one, the landing page must provide the information that was promised in the ad, and forms should be easy to understand and complete.
It’s always useful to study what your closest competitors are doing and if their efforts are successful. You obviously shouldn’t copy what they’re doing. Instead, use insights from observing their campaigns and apply similar strategies to your business.
URL Tracking and Lead Capture
Tracking tells a campaign where the lead came from, the keyword(s) in the ad, and what kind of device was used to click through. These details will help in optimizing the campaign for better results. Information about each of your leads should be stored in a way that can be referred for CRM use.
While many campaigns use landing pages with forms for their click-through destination, some companies rely on CTAs that ask the respondent to make a phone call. Call data can also be tracked, captured, and transferred to an appropriate destination for later use by the sales team.
Testing, Measurement, and Optimization
You can decide to test a few or several elements of the campaign, including elements of the ad (offers, keywords, graphics, layout, headline, CTA), target segments, ad channels, landing pages, and forms.
Set testing parameters as part of the campaign strategy. It’s common to use A/B testing to determine what’s effectively driving conversions, ROI or other metrics that can be measured, reported, and ultimately used to improve the campaign.
PPC For Lead Generation Requires More Than Just Clicks
A successful PPC campaign goes far beyond delivering traffic to your website. It’s about generating qualified leads at the most efficient costs. Marketing success is ultimately determined by your bottom line, and at Full Circle SEM, we rely on analytics and conversion tracking to ensure that your marketing dollars are wisely spent. You’ll know in real time if you’re earning a positive return on your investment. Find out how we can take your brand to the next level. Call us at 888-757-2714 or contact us here to learn more.