We all want to generate more leads, but getting started with paid ads can be scary.
After all, you don’t want to flush our hard-earned ad budget down the drain.
That said, one of the greatest things about being in business is learning why some companies are successful while others fall short.
For instance, we once had a client who provided software consulting services for medium and large companies who ran on Microsoft Office.
Understanding the “why” behind their success was an eye-opener for me.
While our traffic was, at the time, about three times more than theirs, they were a seven-figure business with only 1,000 monthly unique visitors on their site.
That was incredible to me. I didn’t understand how they were able to earn so much from such a small amount of monthly visitors.
What were they doing that worked so well?
The answer was simple: the company had a dedicated landing page for each of their main services. They would then drive traffic to those landing pages from highly relevant keywords using Google AdWords.
That created a direct link between the search intent and how the business could address their need it with its services.
That was really their only traffic generation method besides SEO. Amazing.
Now the question is, how can you produce similar results?
With this super simple AdWords lead generation strategy, you can get started fast—even on a micro budget of as little as $20 per day—and generate leads on your first try.
These leads will be more qualified and ready to buy compared to other paid advertising channels. Take Facebook, for instance. You’re getting less qualified traffic there, so it takes a longer time to nurture and follow up with your leads.
In the rest of this article, I’ll explain my lead gen strategy for AdWords, and how to uncover highly relevant keywords for your business. I’ll also give you three simple AdWords best practices that you’ll need to have in place to maximize conversions.
Let’s get started.
What Is the Simplest Lead Generation Strategy for Google AdWords?
Going back to my story from before, how was the aforementioned company, with only 1,000 site visits per month, able to turn that into $1 million in revenue per year?
Through keyword targeting.
They weren’t just using any keywords though, but “high intention” keywords. We’ll talk about these later in this post, but first, a definition:
High intention keywords often include the term “service” in them. The intention is that the customer is searching for a service so they can schedule a consultation and/or make a purchase decision.
Examples of these keywords are “custom Microsoft Office software,” “Excel tracking solution service,” and the like.
Photo via Search Engine Land
Now, it’s important to note there’s a difference between high intention keywords and low intent, or research intent keywords.
Low intent keywords are often testing the waters; these leads may not yet be ready to buy.
Research intent keywords are centered around learning more about a company or product, such as a how-to search.
If someone is searching with high intent, and they want to buy a service (like our done-for-you funnel service here at AutoGrow.co), the keywords must reflect that. These may include terms like “service” or “consultant.”
If location is relevant, you might want to add location identifiers to your high intention keywords. An example is “MS Office software consultants New York City.”
To summarize: a high intention keyword is any type of keyword that can lead to a commercial transaction.
How to Discover Relevant “High Intention” Keywords
Now that you know what high intention keywords are, how do you go about finding them?
Not only that, but how do you track down the ones most relevant to your niche?
Here’s a three-pronged approach you can take.
Step #1: Identify Relevant Keywords
If you’re concerned about price, Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends are free to use.
Step #2: Look to Your Landing Pages
Now it’s time to connect the dots from your keywords to your landing pages.
Personally, I’ve found this step works best if you arrange your landing pages based on the levels of your sales funnel.
For instance, informational pages should be at the top of the funnel. These fill in leads looking for information about your products or services.
Next are your commercial pages, which are starting to drive the sale.
Lastly, you want the transactional pages with service features, a signup form, pricing information, and a checkout form.
Three AdWords Campaign Best Practices to Maximize Conversions
Best Practice #1: Make Sure the Landing Page Copy Aligns with the Ad Copy
It’s critical that you promote the same message in your landing page copy and your ad copy. The verbiage doesn’t have to be identical, but the intent should be; i.e., scheduling a consultation or making a purchase.
Example #1: In 2014, optimization company Optimizely did what they called an “experiment” to more closely align their ad copy with their landing page copy.
In the past, the company would sometimes refer to its services as a split testing tool and other times as an A/B tool. They thought they could drive more leads if they picked one term or the other.
They decided to A/B test (more on this momentarily) which variation worked better: Variation A, with symmetric messaging, or Variation B, with non-symmetric messaging.
As you may have guessed, only 12.21% of users converted with the non-symmetric messaging. Far more preferred the symmetric messaging, 39.1% of leads in total.
Best Practice #2: A/B Test Ad Copy
When you’re starting off with a limited ad budget, you don’t want to A/B test more than three variations of your ads at once.
With such a limited budget, you’re probably not going to get an immense amount of daily impressions. You want to be able to identify the better-performing ad in a short amount of time.
That said, if you spread yourself too thin with too many ads, it’ll be harder to tell which one works the best statistically.
You need a sufficient amount of data to determine the success of your A/B test. This is known as statistical relevance. Typically, you need at least 300 conversions or clicks to know which ad copy will perform best.
Example #2: Marketing company clickTRUE also did A/B testing with AdWords back in 2012 to determine which version of its landing page made the most money and converted the most leads.
By toggling to the advanced settings on AdWords, you can A/B test two or more CTAs, texts, and headlines.
Once clickTRUE picked the preferred landing page, their click-through rate increased. The company now had about a 3% click-through rate, up from its previous 0.8% rate.
Best Practice #3: Use Ad Extensions
Think of an ad extension as a marketing aid. By adding links, pictures, or contact information to your ad via these extensions, your advertisements will pop.
Leads can also learn more about your company through the ad. They may then contact you for a consultation. You can also drive more traffic through these extensions.
Example #3: Google, of course, has its own ad extensions.
Hotel brand Accor Hotels used these extensions to gain more traffic. The hotel brand has been around for decades (since 1967), but admittedly had found it hard to gain traction since technology has completely taken over hotel bookings.
To restore its reputation, Accor used Google Extensions to see if they could better their click-through rate and traffic.
With Google Extensions alone, Accor had more conversions (14%), a better click-through rate thanks to the Review Extensions (19%) and Social Annotations (16%), and better click-throughs on ad groups due to Image Extensions and Sitelinks (24%).
If you have a micro budget, you’re going to pinch your pennies. With a Google AdWords account, you can generate more leads without spending a ton of cash. You can then focus your efforts on creating a product or service that will maximize your AdWords ROI.
If you understand how to find and use relevant, high intention keywords, you can target leads and drive more conversions on your first try.
- High intention keywords are those that drive sales. Leads searching for these keywords are usually ready to buy. Compare these to low intention keywords, where a lead may simply be browsing around.
- Relevancy is crucial in keyword selection. Use Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, and AdWords itself to see which keywords in your niche are trending.
- Add your keywords to your landing page tags to attract more traffic to these pages.
- Keep your landing page copy and ad copy similar to promote the same cohesive message.
- It’s better to A/B test three pages than 10. This saves you money and prevents you from spreading yourself too thin.
Do you plan on using AdWords for lead generation after reading this? If so, which of my three best practices do you think you’ll use most often? Why? Let me know in the comments below.
Keep Hustlin’, Stay Focused