Lead Generation with Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and search engine optimization (SEO) complement each other well. I recommend you don’t choose one over the other. Instead, use PPC to get data right away, which helps you grow your longer-term SEO campaign. Then use your SEO data to improve your PPC results.

While search engine optimization is an ongoing marathon to grow your authority over time, Pay-Per-Click advertising is a great way to start lead generation right away.

Lead generation with PPC is attractive to people working in sales, marketing and finance, because it is directly measurable, unlike SEO which has many factors to take into account. If you are the one responsible for the website, generating leads is one of the biggest metrics you’ll be judged on. So it’s natural to want to skimp on SEO and instead pour money into PPC.

Keep in mind that PPC is a one-time event: when the budget runs out, leads stop coming in. But when you invest the time to make your website great for search engines with SEO, it will continue to pay off in months and years to come.

Smart marketers focus on lead generation for the success of the business, as well as justifying marketing budgets. Just having a website that looks good won’t meet your business goals. You are looking for leads and sales.

The first basic mistake marketers make in PPC advertising is to direct the prospect to the home page. The purpose of the home page is to provide an overview of the company or store, but the prospect is trying to solve a certain problem. And we know what the problem is, because we know what they were searching for. So don’t dump them at a general page. Show them a “landing page” primed to motivate them to become a customer or client. They’ll be happier too.

Some elements of a successful lead generation landing page:

Connect the Dots for the Prospect

Tie the message and content of the page directly to the keyword, ad group or ad copy that the prospect clicked on. Don’t leave the prospect wondering if they are in the right place or whether you have the solution to what they are looking for. Say it up front. With some search engines such as Google, you can dynamically insert the term they ACTUALLY searched on (not just the base keyword) into the URL. Then code your landing page to take that term and serve the content customized for that search, perhaps even putting their search term directly on the page, which will inspire confidence in the prospect.

Great Lead Generation Form

Are you making the user click to another page to get to a lead generation form? That is guaranteed to make your campaign less successful. Put it right up front, not down below the bottom of the first screen they get to.

Make it obvious what will happen or what they will get when they submit the form. Customize the “submit” button to say what their action is: “Get my free white paper” or “Contact me” for example. Can you show an example of what they will get? Can you tell them how long it will take for them to get a response?

Also test a landing page design with an arrow or similar object pointing to the form or submit button. This will lead the prospect’s eye to the most important action on the page that you want them to take.

Offer a Reward

Offers are an effective incentive to improve your PPC lead generation results.

Provide a truly useful resource that helps the prospect solve their problem, and they’ll be more likely to trade their contact info with you for it. It’s important to make it high quality, not just fluff, to enhance the feeling of trust.

To get the prospect to take out their wallet, an enticing offer or discount gets results. Do your finance people tell you it’s not fiscally viable? Figure out the life-time value (LTV) of a prospect. Then you can justify offering a product or package at a discount, because you know that over time you’ll reap greater rewards.

One example is a company who sells guitars. They offered a package of guitar strings for a ridiculously low amount, because starting that relationship was the true goal–not making a few pennies off a small item. Then they began their lead nurturing campaign, knowing that a segment of the prospects on the list will end up buying a $500-$1000 guitar!

Make it Easy to Contact You

Don’t hide your phone number just because the least-fun part of your job is dealing with customers! Remember, prospects are the life-blood of the company. Train yourself to think of every call as an opportunity. Even if the person on the other end of the line is a poor prospect, now you have an incentive to go tweak your PPC lead generation campaign to pre-qualify better, which also saves you money in unproductive payperclick ads. Even better, now you know what information is missing from the landing page, helping you convert more truly qualified prospects who were just abandoning your site without bothering to call and ask!

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