How to Get Ideal Customers with PPC Lead Generation

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Last Updated on: 24th May 2024, 06:18 pm

When you first started your business, it was all about selling directly. Perhaps you’ve tried cold outreach, talked to the right people in your network, and held endless calls to explain your value.

But as you grow, putting in the work that doesn’t scale leads to diminishing returns. You come to a point where you start considering SEO, sponsorships, and ads to generate new leads.

Out of the three, PPC lead generation gets you the best results fastest. It’s also the method I’ve used to scale my and my clients’ businesses. In today’s article, I’ll explain the holistic approach that leads to not just more leads, but the right leads who will grow with you.

Ready? Let’s take a look!

1. Why You Should Hyper-Focus with PPC Lead Generation (and Not Cast a Broad Net)

The moment you enter the Google Ads dashboard, you hear the siren call:

“Use it to the maximum (perhaps even with Performance Max). You don’t have to do much. Google’s AI will take care of things for you. Go wide. Give it all your data and let it make the call – after all, who knows better?”

There are two problems with this:

1) No, Google’s AI doesn’t know best. (You do.)

2) The easy way is not the best way.

Even though Google’s latest ventures into Smart Campaigns promise results no matter what, keep things under control. And keep them separate. Just as you wouldn’t create a landing page for people who already know your niche very well and those who’ve only recently heard of it, you wouldn’t create the same ads for both.

When you cast a wide net with Google Ads, you also lose out on the Quality Score, which inflates your Costs per Click

In contrast, when you create dedicated ads for each Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) group, you can tailor them to each group’s preferences and needs. This leads to higher click-through rates which, in turn, improves your Quality Score and allows you to serve your ads for less. 

Shouldn’t I Just Target All the Possible Customers with My Google Ads?

If your business is growing, you don’t have to “waste” your ad budget on low-quality leads. In fact, as a Google Ads coach, this is something I always recommend against. 

You don’t want people who will waste your clicks and never convert. You want the people who are just like your existing best customers.

2. Where Do I Find Data on My Ideal Customers?

Ideal customers are always a nice idea in theory. Practice is where things get muddled. You have marketing coming in with their ideas, sales disagrees, and, by the time it reaches you, the ICP picture gets distorted.

First, I want you to look at your data to find the best customers for your PPC lead generation:

  • Who has the best sales velocity? (I.e., How quickly do they go from a lead to a customer?)
  • Who has the highest order value (if you’re in eCommerce) or deal value (if you’re in SaaS or real estate)?
  • Who has the highest lifetime or repeat purchase value?

Based on that, reverse-engineer your Ideal Customer Profile

Start by collecting data on their demographic, psychographic, and firmographic profiles. Then, dive into the pain points. Schedule chats or interviews with your customers to understand how they found you and what their search looked like up to that point.

I’ll show you two examples of what I mean:

Example #1: Plumbing PPC Lead Generation

Perhaps you do emergency services (a very profitable segment for local Google Ads), but your biggest – and most lucrative – renovation projects come from customers aged 35-55 living in the countryside.

You pick up the phone and talk to 10 of your previous best plumbing customers. In your conversation, focus on what drew them to you, what they value, and what they were worried about. You might find this group tends to be proactive about home maintenance, has disposable income, and values good service and reliability.

Then, you give them a name and a face. 

For example, Homeowner Hector prefers local businesses and needs assistance in bigger renovation projects. He’s more likely to search for keywords specific to renovation types, such as: “water heater installation” and “plumbing renovation.” 

This gives you a phenomenal starting point!

Example #2: B2B SaaS Google Ads for Lead Generation

If you’re in B2B SaaS, I do hope you collect first-party data in your CRM. Based on that information, focus on the most profitable long-term customers. 

Suppose you’re offering project management software. Identify common characteristics among the most valuable customers. For example, growth-oriented startups needing scalable and user-friendly project management tools to improve their operations.

You’ll isolate a specific type of persona that turns out to be your most valuable customer: Agile Andy, CEO of a technology startup, aged 35, leading a team of 20 employees, who wants flexible project management tools to support rapid growth and the existing development processes.

Agile Andy’s key pain point is lagging in agile development while growing incredibly quickly. Her team deals with obstacles daily, and she knows that her ideal solution needs to integrate with the team’s existing tools (e.g., Slack, Jira) and scale with any future frameworks.

Knowing this, you’ll also know she’ll look at keywords like: “agile project management,” “project management for dev teams,” and “project management for tech companies.”

And that leads me to my next point…

3. The Key to Unlocking Profitability with Google Ads? Understanding Your Buyers’ Keyword Journeys

Armed with your knowledge of your ICPs (and, hopefully, a visual representation you feel you can talk to and ask questions), you can brainstorm or use tools like ChatGPT to help you build out a buyer’s journey.

For example, I’ve asked ChatGPT to help me identify the keywords Agile Andy would use during her buyer’s journey:

examples of using chatgpt to help with ppc lead generation
I’d get rid of all the “women entrepreneurs” mentions, although there might be a good discount or two in there for us!

Depending on your positioning and market share, decide which funnel stages you’d like to target

If you decide to target all 3, create dedicated ads.

Incorporate keywords relating to specific features they would (not) like to see. For example, perhaps your best customers don’t want a tool that offers time tracking, so they’d search for: “project management tools without time tracking.”

Conversely, Andy might want a tool specialising in managing dependencies, so she’d search for: “project management tool for development teams dependency management.”

Once you insert these keywords into your Google ad, however, you might be in for a surprise…

Don’t Let Keyword Volume Affect Your PPC Lead Generation

The best Search campaigns are so specific that, sometimes, it feels like the volume is too low to be targeted. This is a double-edged sword: on the one hand, the more specific your audience, the easier it will be to create an excellent ad.

On the other hand, you might worry about your impression share.

For example, if you target a broad keyword like “agile project management software demo for startup founders,” you’d get search volumes in the hundreds, if not thousands. 

But if you target something highly specific like “project management tool for development teams dependency management,” you’ll see lower figures.

This is good

This gives you the chance to shine and truly differentiate yourself from your competitors who are serving generic ads en masse, without deeply considering what pains their audience.

You’re here, and you can do better.

Get Rid of The Wrong Keywords

At this point, you know how to do everything right. But what about the wrong keywords, the “free deals” in the sea of “enterprise tools”? 

You use your negative keywords list:

negative keywords list

This is the place you add all the keywords you definitely don’t want your ads to appear. Even if you choose exact match keywords, there is a chance additional adjectives will creep into the searches. 

Stop them from wasting your ad spend.

You can also use the negative keyword list to eliminate keywords that aren’t bringing you profitable prospects. For example, perhaps you realise that no conversions come from “task tracking tools for small businesses.”

Add that keyword to your list!

4. Increase LTV with Retargeting

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a solid relationship with customers who plan to stay with you for years to come. Think of your main ad campaign as the first touchpoint in a multi-touchpoint journey needed for your customers to convert. 

Once the best customers are acquainted with your offer, add them to your remarketing list. 

retargeting in google ads new version 2024

If you already use Google Analytics 4 to log your website visitors, connect it with your Google Ads account and the audience will be automatically filled. You can also add your first-party CRM data, offline conversions, phone calls, and more.

Then, serve them with a Display or Demand Generation ad:


Source: LeadsBridge

Remember: these are your best customers. You know how much revenue you can expect from them. And when you deal with the best, increasing your acquisition costs slightly isn’t an issue – it’s an investment you’ll soon see returns on.

Play the Long Game with PPC Lead Generation

I’ve never been much of a believer in quick returns that don’t come back to pay off in the long term. Sure, you might get a handful of leads to spend some money with you today. But will they be back tomorrow, or will you have to return to the drawing board?

When you invest in PPC, do it right. Start with your ideal customers and gain a deep understanding of how they use the internet and where you can best intercept them. 

Then, create campaigns that are a natural extension.

If you need a done-for-you Google Ads campaign, contact me. My team and I have helped drive over £1,000,000 in revenue for our clients. Or, if you’d like to get started yourself, get your copy of my best-selling Google Ads book that shows you how to launch a profitable campaign in 7 rapid steps.

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