How To Generate More Leads With Google Ads Search (Without Raising Your Budget)

First of all, some fun facts – do you know there are over 80,000 searches happening on Google in every second? That sum up to more than 7 billions search queries on Google every single day. On each day there are 7 billions opportunities of being found on internet when someone turn to Google every single day and demand for information. During that micro moment, every searchers have their state of mind fixated to expect something in return that would shed some light on their next course of action. As a marketer, how do we seize these opportunities to be on top of their mind when your potential customers are scouring through sea full of search results? Enter Search Engine Marketing, a.k.a. SEM where marketers’ ad are presented (usually above organic results) on search engine result page, when the search query is matching the keywords of what the marketers are bidding, with the condition that their ad won the auction. Due to the fact that Google is dominating over 80% worldwide search market it has been no-brainer that Google Ads Search is the go-to platform for SEM. Now with this almighty tool how do we yield the most sales & leads with limited ad budget?

1. Keep taps on metrics that matter in customer acquisition cost

The root of digitalization originated from ‘digit’ which is imperative to be mindful that digital is something measurable, something that is relative to analyse customer acquisition cost. Hence to make sound decision in generating most leads with limited budget the first thing to do is benchmarking 2 metrics that matter the most: cost per conversion & total conversions.

Note that ‘conversion’ is the common metric for any ultimate action to be expected from Google ads. Depending on the nature of business the marketers would define its own ‘conversion’ for the Google Ads account. In this topic we will take lead generation as the conversion for Google Ads Search. 

In order to maximize leads generation without raising the budget it is important that the marketers keep tabs on this chart on Google Ads to ensure upward trend of ‘total conversions’, and downward trend of ‘cost per conversion’, with the goal to always working to maximize the gap between these 2 metrics 

Google Ads total conversion vs cost per conversion
The above chart is one of the example that demonstrated promising progress in maximizing leads generation without raising the budget, with the decreasing cost per conversion overtime it had spare more budget to increase its leads volume with the same amount of budget. However the next question is, how do we know if the cost per conversion is already hitting the lowest point? How do we further drive down the cost per conversion?

2. Improve keywords bidding efficiency

As Google monetize its search platform by offering keywords bidding, hence keywords is the fundamental component to review whether you have been bidding at the most cost-effective manner. You could have thousands of keywords in your bidding list and it would not be time efficient to scrutinize one after another, hence the quick fix would be taking a look at your overall keywords match type and find out how each match type perform in conversion volume, cost per conversion, and conversion rate. Check out below example that have the all 3 match types bidding and its overall performance.
Google Ads keywords match type overall performance
The overall performance shows that modified broad match is the clear winner in generating most conversions with the lowest cost per conversion and most importantly at the highest conversion rate. If you have been bidding all 3 match types of keywords, chances that you are bidding the same keywords in different match type is high. In most cases, you could have bid your targeted keywords with just one match type instead of having same keywords bidding in all 3 match types. While the result shows that modified broad match has been hitting the jackpot in cost efficiency it would be cost efficient to weed out other match type keywords that have been driving up your bidding cost.

3. Improve audience targeting relevancy

The core of digital advertising capabilities is being able to show your ads to your potential customers, which typically predefined by specific sets of demographics, interest & behavior, a.k.a audience in the context of digital advertising. These capabilities had empowered marketers to scrutinize audience targeting efficiency by knowing which audience group perform the best in conversions and which are not. Suppose you are rolling out an MVP and would like to test the water to prospect your ideal customer profile, it would make total sense of not restricting your campaign to specific audience, instead you would start off the ads with broad audience and have the market to answer which are your audience that return the most leads with the most efficient cost. Over time with substantial results we could then dissect the audience performance and equipped ourselves with informed decision to refine audience targeting. Let’s review some examples below on how to dissect audience performance on Google Ads Search.
Google Ads audience performance by country

In this specific lead generation campaign that span over 18 countries we have the performance break down by countries in Google Ads report to gain better insights which countries should be excluded due to costlier leads and returned insignificant volume. 

Google Ads audience performance by age

We also learned that the age range between 18 – 44 performed the most cost effective conversion with the most volume. However this finding might be too generalized so let’s further dissect how the age group performed in each campaign. To do this we will extract all cost per conversion data from Google Ads report and pivot the data into table below by age group.

Google Ads cost per conversion by age group
Turns out it seems to be 2 age groups that performed expensive cost per conversion in all campaigns averagely.
Besides demographics, another audience optimization capability to look out for are audience type & audience segment. Let’s review the following charts example that were generated from Google Ads chart report.
Google Ads audience type performance
Google Ads audience segment performance
In a glance of audience types we learned that ‘similar audience’ and ‘in-market audience’ generated the lowest cost per conversion but with only minimal amount. And to further dissect the specific audience segments we learned which are the potential in-market segments that had generated relatively lower cost per conversion but lack of ad budget to yield more conversions. Now we have more audience optimization insights, we could head over to make bidding adjustment for respective audience in each campaigns just as example shown below:
Google Ads audience bid adjustment sample
Google Ads audience bid adjustment sample

4. Improve landing page experience

One of the major component that are often overlooked but will make or break a Google Ads conversion, is landing page experience. Let’s review an example below:
Google Ads vs landing page

 This Google Ads promotes outsourced sales service with the call to action ‘learn more here’, user would be expecting more information regarding this outsourcing service instead of having to click the ad and landed on a plain page with email subscription field. Such inconsistent experience from ad to landing page often times are costing wastage on Google Ads clicks as users find it counterintuitive to perform the expected conversion on landing page. One way to find out if your Google Ads account is serving poor landing page experience is to check out Google Ads report and add ‘landing page experience’ dimension along with campaign, ad group or ad as another dimension, sort the result from low to high, or simply select ‘below average’ to check the least performed ads in terms of landing page experience.

Google Ads landing page experience result
 5. Improve quality score
So far we have been only reviewing the distinctive components in Google Ads Search, namely keywords, audience & landing page, and how to improve cost efficiency in each of these 3 components individually. Now what about a way to drive down the cost of each clicks every time Google user seen your ads? How to apply a ‘discount’ across the board for your Google Ads account? The remedy is to achieve highest quality score possible.
Google Ads quality score range from 1 – 10 and it is assessed by 3 factors:
  • Ads relevance
  • Expected CTR
  • Landing page experience
How is earning high quality score help to decrease cost per click? This is because Google take ‘quality score’ into calculation for the the actual cost they are charging you each time user clicks on your ad.
how actual cpc is calculated
The actual cost per click formula
As per the formula indicated, every time a user clicks on your ad, Google will take the ad rank value of the bidder below you and divide by your quality score value, plus $0.01. Hence you will want to make sure your quality score achieve the highest possible value in order to return least actual cost per click.
To find out your Google Ads quality score go to report and add ‘search keyword’, ‘quality score’ & view by ad groups 
Google Ads quality score report
Google Ads quality score report
Or check out ‘Search Keywords’ in the main dashboard and add ‘quality score’ column into the reporting table
Google Ads quality score in main dashboard
Google Ads quality score in main dashboard

So there you have it, these are some of the tips to generate more leads via Google Ads Search without raising more budget. If you have been running Google Ads for a while now and been the hitting conversions plateau, it is time to optimize these components elaborated above to lower down your cost per conversion. However if you have been achieving optimal cost per conversion and would like to scale up the volume then that will be another topic on impression share.

Picture of Skye Lee

Skye Lee

Growth Marketer | Digital Marketing Specialist | Digital Evangelist | Data Driven Marketer | Tech Startup Marketer | HRDC Certified Trainer