June 17, 2014
Lead generation can be a tricky game when it comes to PPC. In eCommerce, someone purchases a product and revenue is immediately generated from that conversion or sale. When focusing on lead gen, the initial conversions can be deceiving because while you may generate 20 leads, maybe only 2 convert into revenue, sale or whatever your final action may be. Below are 5 tips that we’ve found to help improve lead quality and weed out irrelevant traffic.
- Tracking Leads To Offline Conversions
Making sure you have a good offline tracking system that allows you to track a lead to conversion is key in helping improve overall lead quality. Offline tracking tools do vary from industry to industry. I’ve had some clients use programs like sales force or even something as simple as tracking offline conversions on an excel sheet. Whatever you need to do to help determine quality and lifetime value is crucial when optimizing for quality vs. quantity – the more granular you can get the better!
- Search Partners
Search partners in both Google and Bing can be great opportunities for incremental growth. I’ve seen some accounts perform better in search partners compared to the Google search network looking at the initial CPL but the quality of leads generated from these networks, can sometimes be questionable. Google search partners include hundreds of non-Google sites like AOL, eBay, Amazon and more. Fellow PPChero blogger Sam Owen wrote an excellent post about understanding and optimizing search partners. Or, a more drastic move would be to opt-out of search partners all together. By default, all new search campaigns are opted into search partners. There is a little check box within the “Settings” where you can opt-out.
For Bing, search partners tend to get even more relaxed which may also skew your lead performance with less qualified conversions. To see where your ads are showing, use the URL placement report. The good news with Bing, is that you are able to opt-out of search partners for existing campaigns and even create separate campaigns for them. If you are running a lead gen program and you see conversion quality slacking, take a look at the search partners to see if they are the cause.
- Broad Match Terms
Similar to search partners, broad match terms have also been tracked back to being a culprit of less qualified leads. While broad terms can be great for increasing volume, they will need to be closely monitored and tightened up by regularly running search query reports and expanding negatives.
Another way to help increase lead quality is to test broad match modifier instead of straight broad match. In one Bing lead gen account, by opting out of broad match and switching to broad match modifier, we saw spend decrease by 50% while offline conversions increased by 5%.
- Display Network
From my experience, display network campaigns without proper layering, can be one of the biggest culprits of poor quality leads. While the display lead quality can be questionable, the lead volume can be much higher than search campaigns. Having said this, using display campaigns like remarketing, or layering display campaigns with topics or interest categories and contextual keyword targeting can also help improve quality.
The most important thing you can do in your display campaigns is to regularly review and exclude placements. Analyzing placement data will help make sure your display campaigns are getting the most qualified traffic. In one account by excluding irrelevant placements, the front-end leads and spend decreased as we weeded out irrelevant leads. While backend conversion rates increased, as the leads that were generated were more qualified.
- Negatives and Exclusions
As with eCommerce or lead generation accounts, negative keywords are an important piece to running a tight and efficient PPC ship. With lead gen this is especially crucial. To improve the quality of leads on the backend you might want to test excluding remarketing lists. For example, you may know that people who visit a certain page of your site are less likely to convert on the backend. Or I’ve even seen some accounts that exclude IP addresses to help increase the quality of leads. Since lead gen accounts initial CPLs can be deceiving, it’s very important to make sure you are regularly expanding and optimizing your negative exclusions across search and display campaigns.
Hopefully the tips above will help guide and improve overall lead quality. What tactics do you utilize to improve lead quality?