PPC for lead generation

PPC ads are an effective way to generate leads. Many successful businesses use this form of advertising as a way to get people into their sales funnels. 

But it can also be complicated. To run an effective campaign, you need to tailor your lead generation strategy to the unique features of PPC advertising platforms.

This article will explore PPC lead generation and how you can use it to grow your business.

What is PPC for Lead Generation?

PPC for lead generation is simply using pay-per-click advertising to generate leads.

When we talk about 'lead generation' we're referring to businesses to are looking for initial leads rather than making a sale on the spot.

Businesses like:


PPC lead generation is effective because:

  • Granular targeting options allow you to put your ad in front of specific groups of people.
  • You can track the customer journey in detail. You can show the customer offers and ads based on pages they’ve visited or how they’ve interacted with your other promotions.  
  • It is cost-effective; ad clicks typically cost between a few cents and a few dollars. 
  • You can generate a positive ROI on your ad spend. 

Why is My PPC Campaign Not Generating Leads?

It can be challenging to generate leads—or at least high-quality leads that are likely to convert—via PPC. This is especially true if you are running a campaign for the first time. 

At PPC.io (our agency), we typically find that clients struggle with one or more of the following PPC lead generation issues. These are good places to look for problems if your campaign isn’t as effective as you hoped.

Your Ads Aren’t Targeting the Right Audience

PPC platforms provide granular targeting options. If you aren’t using these effectively, you may struggle to generate leads. Consider narrowing your target audience further or focusing on other customer segments.

Your Offer isn’t Appealing

Your offer should be something that provides value. Many businesses fail to use one that sufficiently appeals to potential buyers. 

When creating your offer, think about what is most likely to convince a lead to give you their contact details. This could be a useful piece of content targeted at their needs, a software demonstration, or even a free trial. 

Also, be sure to show the value of your offer in your ad through quality design and copy.

You Haven’t Optimized Your Post-Click Experience

Someone clicking on your ad is just the first step to them becoming a customer. You need to make sure that everything that happens after they click pushes them towards becoming a lead.

  • Use separate landing pages for each offer and follow landing page best practices.
  • Create a simple lead gen form that is easy for customers to fill out.
  • Ensure your ad is part of an effective sales funnel. 

There may still be other issues after fulfilling these requirements. 

For example, if you get lots of clicks but not many people signing up for your offer, the issue could be something to do with the post-click experience. Consider optimizing your landing page.

Or if you are getting sign-ups but these people aren’t converting into paying customers, it could be that your offer is targeting the wrong people or your sales process isn't great.

This is one of the reasons we offer a lead nurturing service, to help companies improve their conversion rate after they've managed to attract visitors to their website.

With that in mind, here are our top ten PPC lead generation tips.

10 Tips for an Effective PPC Lead Generation Strategy

1. Segment Your Audience

The first step to generating better leads is to segment your audience effectively. You’ll then create individual campaigns that target each of these groups. 

Your existing customer base is a valuable resource here. Look at the people who already buy from you and identify patterns. 

Here’s a quick example.

Think about an email marketing tool. Many different groups benefit from the product, so there are many ways it could segment its customer base. 

One way could be based on the type of company the buyer works at.  

For example: 

  • Small business owners who want to improve their email marketing.
  • Heads of marketing teams at large companies.
  • Marketing agency owners who want to offer more services to clients.

Or the team could segment its audience based on the reason the buyer uses the software.

People may use the product for:

  • Sending email newsletters.
  • Cold emailing.
  • Marketing automation.

Each of these groups will have different needs and will thus respond to different types of PPC advertising. 

Targeting ads, offers, and landing pages at specific customer segments will generate more high-quality leads.

This is the approach taken by email marketing software Woodpecker. 

Google search shows subtly different ads for Woodpecker for the terms “Marketing Automation Email” and “Cold Email Software”.

Ads on searches for “Marketing Automation Email” highlight the software’s ability to personalize and automate emails. 

While ads on searches for “Cold Email Software” promise to boost replies and deliverability. 

Check them out in the images below.

Google search results for Cold Email Software

2. Find Better Keywords

Now you have your audience segments; you can find keywords that these people are likely to search for when looking for your service. 

Imagine a business accounting company that wants to find keywords that directly indicate someone who requires their service.

It may be tempting to target a keyword like “business accounting.” But there could be many reasons why someone would search for this keyword. 

The searcher could be a CEO looking for accounting services. But it may also be a student looking for career information or a small business owner looking for articles explaining how to do their books.

Only one of these searches is likely to require a business accounting service

Specific long-tail keywords are better options for PPC ads. For example, “Business accounting services,” or “Business accountant London.” 

There is no question that people searching for these terms are looking for an accountant.

This search results reflect this. 

The ad shown on the keyword “business accounting” is for Freshbooks, a tool that helps small businesses do their own accounts.

Google PPC ad search result for business accounting

But the more specific “Business accountant London” is full of accountancy firms promoting their services. 

Google PPC ad result for business accounting in london

You can use tools like SEMRush to find suitable keywords. Google Ads manager also offers helpful suggestions.

3. Experiment with Audience Targeting

When running PPC ads on social networks, experiment with audiences to get better quality leads. 

If you are on a tight budget, only show ads to the people that are most likely to buy. 

Using retargeting is an excellent way to do this. This means showing your ads to people who have already interacted with your business—for example, your website or social media page.

There is a high chance that these people are interested in what you do. Turning them into leads may just be a case of showing them a good offer.

Check out the ad for SaaS product Chili Piper below.

PPC ad for Chili Piper

I was shown this ad after visiting the company’s website but not signing up. As I visited the site, the marketing team can assume I am interested in the product. 

The offer of a free preview may be enough to convince me to sign up.

4. Identify Content People Love

Exchanging content for contact details is a typical lead generation strategy. But the lead magnet needs to be appealing enough to the target buyer to convince them to take up the offer. 

Look at your existing content to see what people like. 

Are there particular case studies, eBooks, or blog posts with lots of views or high download figures? If so, people may enjoy this type of content. 

Offer this content as a lead magnet in your ads, or repurpose it into a format more likely to generate leads. For example, you could change a blog post into a downloadable ebook, or an ebook into a pre-recorded webinar. 

Check out the Facebook PPC campaign below from DashClicks. This is an excellent example of a B2B company using PPC to get great results.

They are using a free training course as a lead generation tool. It’s a super-specific offer targeted at agency owners.

The company’s PPC data presumably shows that their target audience reacts well to this kind of offer. 

PPC ad for Dash Clicks

5. Use Individual Landing Pages for Each Offer

The landing page you use is critical to whether the person who clicks on the ad becomes a lead. As you’ve already paid for the click, any issues on this page can seriously reduce your ROI. 

The key is to make the landing page directly relevant to the ad. Consider creating separate pages for each offer that contain the exact next steps the customer should take.

This is the landing page for the above offer from DashClicks. It is relevant to the ad and provides more information about the offer. The lead knows exactly what to do to sign up.

Sample training ad

6. Use Simple Lead Gen Forms

Another post-click strategy you can use to increase signups is to keep your lead gen forms as simple as possible. 

This is important, as you want as many people as possible who click on your ad to follow up on the offer. If they don’t, you’ve thrown money away.

Ask for the minimum amount of information you need for the lead to be worth it. A name and an email address are ideal, although you may need to adjust this depending on what you consider essential data.

The ad from User.com below is a good example. It contains just four boxes. 

Sample ad for user.com free Ebook

7. Track Lead Conversion on Each Campaign

It’s not enough to simply generate leads. You have to convert these people into customers. But not every campaign you run will generate leads of the same quality.

Using tracking techniques, you can follow leads throughout the sales funnel to see which ones end up converting. Google Ads has conversion tracking built into the platform. You can find out more about how it works in this article

Discovering campaigns that lead to conversions lets you double down on the promotions and offers that are working.

On the other hand, you may find that some of your ads generate many low-quality leads that are happy to take up your offer but aren’t converting.

If this is the case, consider adjusting this campaign—perhaps by changing the targeting, offer, or even the ad’s content. 

8. Filter People Out Before They Click

If many people sign up for your lead magnet but not many convert into customers, try to filter people out before they click on your post. 

Audience and keyword targeting is an easy way to do this. Another solution is to tailor the content of the ad towards a particular audience.

For example, if your product targets SMEs you should state that in the advert. This makes it less likely that enterprise clients or freelancers will click on the ad—even if the offer is one that would otherwise appeal.

The example from tax software HR Block below is an excellent example of this. The ad makes it clear that the software is designed for “U.S. ex-pats.” There is little reason for anyone else to click on the ad. 

This strategy may result in fewer leads, but the leads it does get will be of higher quality and you’ll save money by not showing your ad to people unlikely to convert.

PPC sample ad for H&R Block

9. Spend Time on Your Ad Copy

The key to generating quality leads is to make your product or service as appealing as possible. Excellent copy is one of the best ways to do this.

When writing your ads, focus on how your product helps the customer achieve their dream scenario or avoid their nightmare one. Thinking about why each customer segment uses your product can help with this. 

Many of the examples we’ve used in this article do this well:

  • DashClicks promises to help leads get “10 scheduled appointments per day.”
  • Chili Piper promises to help inbound marketers “convert more leads into sales meetings.”
  • Freshbooks promises users will “make smart business choices and save time on accounting and invoicing.”
  • Woodpecker promises to “boost replies and deliverability.”

Also, be sure to optimize the copy for the platform you plan to use. 

When advertising in Google Search, you only have a line or two to get your message across. On the other hand, Facebook ads can contain much more detail. 

The sponsored post from Diggity Marketing below is an excellent example of Facebook ad copy. It starts by highlighting a particular pain point before clearly explaining how the product can help.

Sample of facebook ad copy

Compare this to the much shorter copy on the Google Ad for the same offer. 

Google ad sample of Affiliate Lab training

Consider hiring a professional to write your ads. If you use a PPC agency, they will likely have access to expert copywriters. 

10. Perform Competitor Analysis

Researching your competitors can be an effective way to gain inspiration for your own PPC strategy. 

Competitor analysis tools like SEMRush provide valuable insight into how businesses in your sector spend their advertising budget. 

You can see:

  • How much companies are spending.
  • When they spend on ads and how ad spend differs throughout the year. 
  • Which keywords your competitors are bidding on.
  • Which pages competitors are directing traffic to.
  • Example ads.


Why is this important for PPC lead generation? 

It shows you the strategies other companies in your sector are using to generate leads. You can use this to influence your campaigns.

Time to Improve Your PPC Lead Generation Strategy?

To set up an effective PPC lead generation strategy, you need to make sure all parts of the campaign work together to generate results.

You want to ensure you are bringing in leads that are likely to convert into customers. Hopefully, some of the strategies in this article will help.

Consider using an agency like PPC Genius to run your campaign if you’d rather have expert help. You’ll get a team of PPC specialists dedicated to generating more high-quality leads for your business. 

Click the button below to get a free lead gen proposal.

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Stewart Dunlop