5 Opportunities to Improve Lead Quality

Posted at Aug 31, 2020 11:00:00 AM by Jordan Kremer | Share

Let's face it, driving leads can be hard even when investing in paid search. However, attracting leads is just part of the story. Improving the quality of PPC lead generation or any paid media channel is just as difficult. But there are certainly ways to track and create actionable items to improve the quality and, in turn, the conversion/closing rates once passed to the sales team.


Improving PPC Lead Quality


What does improving lead quality mean?

First, we believe it is important to set the stage on what lead quality really means and what other data would likely be affected by the improvement. Of course, the particular question of, “what is a quality lead?” is really dependent on the industry and business your leads are for. One easy step to help answer this is to get the buy-in of your sales staff or intake team. Some tried and true questions to ask them are: 

  • What concerns are voiced by inbound leads?
  • Do those pain points align with those of our clients?
  • Are the inbound leads looking for our provided services?
  • Are the leads qualified when calling in? 
  • If not what makes them unqualified?
  • What qualifying questions do you typically ask? 
  • What are some common questions you are asked while speaking with new leads?

After getting input from your sales team, consolidate the list and take those answers into consideration moving forward. 

As mentioned before, it's important to consider that the following additional metrics may change while working to obtain a more high-quality lead. Laying out these items as you report key performance indicators (KPIs) to the stakeholders at your company would be beneficial for all parties: 

  • Traffic may fluctuate and most likely decrease as more emphasis will be placed on a set of competitive terms.
  • Due to traffic reduction and qualifying, overall leads may decrease - which in turn leads to higher overall cost per lead (CPL).
  • Although total CPL may increase, the CPL of higher quality leads will decrease.
  • Lead-to-sale rates will increase and time spent on vetting new leads will be saved.

Now that we have these points covered, let's dig into five key ways to improve lead quality.

5 Ways to Improve Lead Quality

1. Refine Keyword Targeting & Add Negative Keywords

Keywords can tell you quite a bit about the visitors coming to your website. Their intent and natural language can often be determined by a search term report, behavior determined by Google Analytics behavior flow reports, plus much more.

Take a moment to review some of those terms with your sales team to get their buy-in and feedback. Once doing so, an important change like updating keyword types from broad match to broad modified or exact match will help cut down on unqualified traffic. For instance, adding exact match versions of keywords with high lead counts can cut through the clutter and allow you to hone in your budget for those terms that bring in the leads. Here is more on keyword match types.

Additionally, be sure to continuously update those negative keywords. By negatively matching terms like “free”, “D.I.Y”, or “Reviews”, you will open up more budget for the low funnel queries. Here is a quick example of exact match keyword types:

Exact Match Example(photo credit: Google Ads help)

Pro tip: To go along with this section, be sure to connect your Google Ads account with Google Analytics and allow auto tagging to maximize your data views. Additionally, check out the auction insights tab. Are your typical competitors found in the report? If not, you may want to revisit your keywords to test more keyword strings. There are plenty of scraping tools out there, but Google Ads keyword planner is a great place to start.


2. Improve Ad Text & Creative

Ad text is another great opportunity to add a level of qualification to the traffic coming to your website. Using direct and actionable ad text helps visitors to know what to expect once reaching your site. In addition, improving the text in the ad copy to match more closely to the keywords will improve quality scores and decrease costs.

Try avoiding the use of broad and duplicative ad copy across multiple ad groups and campaigns. Users and search engines want the most relevant results presented to them. Adding specific ad text per ad group will improve that experience and entice a more qualified audience.

This also presents a great opportunity to once again get the input of your sales team to understand the typical steps to a qualified lead. What type of offer or resource would be relevant to the ad copy or search intent of a qualified visitor? The goal here is to improve your click-through rates while narrowing in on the best keywords for a qualified lead.


3. Improve The Landing page experience

Going hand and hand with ad text qualification, the landing page plays perhaps a larger role in qualifying those individuals than even the ads themselves. You managed to drive traffic to the website, it's time to capitalize on your well-spent marketing dollars.

A few different considerations to improve that experience can start with customizing the landing page for quality score purposes per ad group. Again, the more specific the keyword to the ad and to the landing page, the better experience you provide.

Additionally, it's important to again involve your sales staff on this particular step to determine what a qualified user would be looking for per ad group. Would a consultation form, an eBook download, or a phone call be more beneficial? What questions would you add to the submission form? Don't forget to test those conversion point options! 

Pro tip: When considering a call to action (CTA), we would recommend implementing a less daunting “ask” to take the pressure off converting users. It is an important balance of asking qualifying questions vs. overwhelming landing page visitors. A good reference point may come from reviewing what competitors have in market for their lead capture calls to action.


4. Cut out low-performing campaign targeting settings

Frequently overlooked options for PPC marketing are the additional targeting dimensions outside of keywords. Options like day parting, time adjustments, and demographics such as household income help once again focus on the most important searches, and now at the most important times.

These additional settings are found in the demographic and ad schedule tabs and can be negatively bid against or focused on entirely. For instance, implementing a negative 100% bid on household incomes that may not qualify for your particular product or service would be a good place to being.

Additionally, consider reviewing some of the available audience provided by the ad networks at hand. Interest-based and in-market audience targeting can similarly be bid against or toward. These audience segments are best utilized in testing phases to find the best segments. 

PPC Ad Schedule Example

Pro tip: Implementing first-party audiences like remarketing or non-converting lists from Google Ads and/or Analytics gives you a pure data set to utilize. If the purchase cycle for your product or service is longer than a couple of days, it may be beneficial to use remarketing for search targeting (RSA).


5. Improve Lead Response Time & Delight Customers

Now that you have some great optimization opportunities to start improving lead quality, how can you maximize the leads that are submitted? We would recommend starting where we have in nearly each of the other sections: ask your sales team for input on the optimal experience for users. With your sales team's buy-in, improving the lead response protocols on their end should help bring home a better overall user experience.

The first suggestion is to improve lead response time. According to HubSpot, “the average first-response time of B2B companies to their leads was 42 hours. However, the odds of the lead entering the sales process, or becoming qualified, are 21 times greater when contacted within 5 minutes versus 30 or more minutes after the lead was submitted.” Dictating those lead response times or setting up lead sequencing in your customer relationship management (CRM) system could help bridge the conversion gap.

Lastly, don't forget the importance of delighting potential and current customers. For instance, offering guides, checklists, or other thoroughly researched resources could set your company apart when compared to your competitors. Our suggestion would be to make the process feel personal. 


Next steps

Hopefully these suggested optimization tactics will help you and your team improve lead quality and the quantity of quality leads from your paid search marketing strategies. Try some of them out and contact THAT Agency today for more digital marketing tips and services.


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