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Lead Generation

How to Crush PPC Lead Generation Without Overspending on Acquisition

The best part about paying for traffic? The immediacy of results.

Whereas building an organic search presence requires delayed gratification, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertisements produce instant upticks in traffic, leads, and sales. That is, assuming all of the pieces are in place for a successful PPC lead generation campaign.

  • After your advertisement goes live, you glean answers to important questions, like:
  • Is your ad copy compelling enough to generate click-throughs?
  • Are prospects spending time reading your website content or are they bouncing within seconds?
  • Are visitors responding to your CTA or is it boring them away?

If you can check-off these boxes, paid traffic acquisition should make you money. With that said, there is an essential metric business owners must remain cognizant of when launching PPC lead generation campaigns: Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA).

How to Crush PPC Lead Generation Without Overspending on Acquisition

Fail to keep tabs on your CPA, and you may find yourself spending more money on ads than you are making from incoming traffic. As a reminder, the formula for calculating CPA is as follows:

Cost / Conversions = CPA

Have your latest CPAs made you consider throwing in the towel on PPC? If so, don't abandon the possibility of hitting your target metrics for paid traffic acquisition just yet. In this article, we'll highlight some simple actions you can take to boost the effectiveness of your PPC lead generation efforts.

As you'll see, none of our suggested ideas require a degree in rocket science for successful execution. Nonetheless, the number of businesses who neglect the following best practices is surprising. Beat the competition by maximizing your PPC campaigns with the following tips:

On-Site Best Practices

The most common reason for a lousy CPA? A landing page that doesn't engage prospects with content. Publishing high-quality content that speaks to your target market's unique questions, concerns, and desires is crucial when it comes to making money from PPC. Lead generation "tactics" can only do so much; it's your job to clearly explain why people should care about whatever you're selling.

Landing Page Optimization (LPO), or the process of improving elements on a website to increase conversions, is the best way to lower customer acquisition costs, acquire more customers, and maximize ad spend. What are landing pages?

Unlike typical web pages, landing pages present visitors with a targeted message, followed by the option to take one specific action. That action could be signing up for a consultation, subscribing to an email newsletter, or making a specific purchase, depending on the length of your sales cycle.

Here are some on-site best practices you can follow to optimize landing pages:

1. Focus The Experience

True landing pages are structured around wanting visitors to take specific actions. The worst place to send PCC traffic? Your site's home page! Home pages are great for providing generalized company overviews, but they are overwhelming for prospects who just learned of your company through an ad. Why?

Assuming your advertisement was effective enough to generate a click-through, it likely addressed one focused topic. For example, say your company provides trademark software for attorneys, brand advisors, and trademark managers. In addition to targeting three different buyer personas, let's assume your SaaS also solves several distinct problems.

A fantastic PPC advertisement would speak to one buyer persona about one problem. In this example, let's say one of our prospects is an agency executive tasked with brainstorming "legally available" brand names for clients on a limited budget. Both the PPC ad and the landing page would speak to this one dilemma.

Send the prospect to a busy page, with tons of product information, they may feel overwhelmed, lose interest, and click away. Thus, the best landing pages are segmented. They also only provide as much information as necessary to answer the prospect's most pressing question in that specific moment.

2. Maintain Brand Consistency

Have you ever arrived on a landing page that looked nothing like the advertisement that brought you there? If so, you may have questioned the professionalism, trustworthiness, and capability of the company at hand. Inconsistent brand experiences make people feel like they are being scammed. Therefore, extend your chosen color palette, typography, and theme from banner to landing page.

3. Create Compelling Headlines

Another simple way to enhance PPC results? Get better at writing headlines! If someone isn't feeling your headline, they will be gone faster than a Texas winter (FYI: The winters down here are kinda non-existent)! Enticing headlines do more than convey information; they invoke curiosity, promise a benefit, or highlight an interesting fact. Conversely, poor headlines don't give people reason enough to care.

4. Remove Clutter

Do you have a navigation on your landing page? Remove it. How about a sidebar? That needs to go too. The best landing page designs are simple, streamlined, and free from competing elements. As you create your page, step back and look at it from afar. Notice where your eyes naturally go and refine the page until they move straight from the headline to the body copy to the CTA.

Advertisement Design Best Practices

  • Try New Platforms
  • Increase Click-Through Rates (More compelling copy increases CTR - which increases your quality score)
  • Increase Quality Score
  • More compelling images/videos
  • Increase contrast and turn up the colors.
  • Make people smile
  • Use an image that will stop the thumb (scrolling on mobile)

Ad Campaign Best Practices

Once you know you have an effective advertisement, and an effective landing page to direct traffic, you're ready to evaluate the ad campaign strategy itself. We'll begin with what's at the heart of every campaign: Keyword research.

1. Reevaluate Keyword Targets

The better you know your target customers, the better your keyword selection will be. As your business evolves, so should your knowledge of your buyer persona's most frequently asked questions, wants, and needs. All of this information can be used to refine your PPC lead generation campaigns.

Assuming you have already segmented your campaigns into overarching categories, begin by revisiting your chosen keywords within each segment. Generally speaking, there are two primary ways to refine PPC keyword strategies: Going wider and going deeper.

  • Go Wider: Identify new keyword vertical opportunities that you haven't yet explored. This entails generating new ad groups that target brand new keyword ideas.

As a reminder, your best quality leads will be searching with a highly specific intent in mind. For example, if someone searches "trademark law attorneys for startups," this person is most likely seeking to hire that specific type of attorney. Conversely, if another person searches "trademark law for startups," they may simply be seeking more information about the topic in general.

Use premium keyword research tools to help you generate fresh ideas. Keep in mind, approximately 70 percent of organic page views come from long-tailed keywords. Translation: Take advantage of opportunities to target relevant, long-tail keywords whenever possible.

2. Increase or Decrease Bids

In addition to optimizing the conversion side of the equation, it's important to analyze the cost of your bids. Surprisingly, it's not unusual for campaign managers to jump into conversion optimization before determining if they can justify the spend in the first place.

Fail to track which keywords generate sales, not just leads, and you will inadvertently treat all PPC traffic the same. This is problematic because some keywords generate higher sales rates than others. In such instances, you might benefit from bidding more aggressively. Doing so will support you in securing more deals and achieving more revenue.

Additionally, look for inefficient campaign settings that are causing you to bid more money than necessary. AdWords allows users to run bid reports based on a variety of metrics including, devices used, time of day, geographic location, and more. If you haven't explored all of the parameters available within the program's campaign manager, you are missing out. For example, say you learn that Thursdays and Fridays have a lower cost per conversions than other days of the week. You may want to experiment with targeting those specific keywords only on the most cost-effective days.

3. Qualify Your Ad Text

Finally, analyze existing ad text for clarity, specificity, and "click-worthiness." Identify your ads with the highest CPAs and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you being too vague?
  • Should you include more details (i.e. price, key benefit, primary feature)?
  • Does the ad content match the landing page content?

The more qualified the ad text, the fewer bounce backs you will receive.

Don't Overspend On Lead Generation

As you can see, there is always room for improvement when it comes to PPC lead generation campaigns. Businesses can decrease their CPAs by optimizing landing pages, refining keyword selections, making smarter bids, and qualifying ad text.

Quite frankly, this post barely scratches the surface when it comes to the many factors that can be tweaked to yield optimal results. While PPC campaigns are stellar for providing instant results, they aren't an effective long-term solution for every business.

The reason being?

The minute you stop paying for ads, you lose all of your traffic. If you haven't already explored the potential ROI of increasing traffic via organic search, check out our free guide to learn more. Guide to Increase Organic Website Traffic - Download

Written by Ashley Gwilliam / July 2, 2018

Ashley is a content writer and brand developer. After graduating with a degree in print-journalism, Ashley’s storytelling skills took her from the bizarre world of on-camera acting to the practice courts of NBA basketball players to the virtual meetings of inbound marketers. Today she specializes in building memorable brand voices online, with a focus on the travel & tourism, e-commerce and tech industries.

Articles by Ashley Gwilliam