11 Hacks to Qualify Your PPC Leads

This is a guest post from Luke Alley, Director of PPC at Avalaunch Media

2010+Wimbledon+Qualifying+Session+XJhvxDG9-QTlI really enjoy tennis. Watching and playing it. One of my favorite players is Rafael Nadal who is currently the #1 player in the world and who I even had the chance to talk to once upon a time. Last week I told a group of teenagers about that and they shockingly replied, “Who is Rafael Nadal?” Seriously kids?! That’s my only claim to fame!

What does this have to do with PPC? Well, Rafa plays in the premier tennis tournaments in the world and in order to play he had to qualify. Wimbledon won’t let anyone into their tournament; they qualify the players before they get in. Only 128 are allowed in. The same goes for generating leads with PPC! You don’t want to let any leads in; you want the most qualified ones. See how I tied tennis and PPC together like that? A bit of a stretch, I know.

So… How do you qualify your leads? Here are 11 hacks from keywords to closed sale that will help you qualify your leads.

  1. Use Negative Keywords to Filter Unqualified Searches – if you know a type of searcher that you need to avoid, use terms common to them as negative keywords. For example, we had a client in the financial space that wanted to avoid anyone with bad credit. We added terms like “bad credit”, “low credit”, “poor credit”, etc.
  2. Prequalify Using Ad Copy – if there is a type of buyer that you want to avoid, mention something about it in your ad copy. If you want to avoid price sensitive shoppers, say something like “Starting at $10k”. On the other hand, you can appeal to specific groups by talking to their tastes and interests.
  3. Don’t Over Prequalify – the downside to ad prequalification is you lose space to talk about your unique selling propositions. Typically you’ll see a drop in CTR as you prequalify. With limited space available in your ads you have to balance CTR declines and more qualified visitors. Your quality scores may also see a decline as CTR drops.
  4. “Prequalifying Ads” Save You Money – by prequalifying using ads you can avoid wasted clicks and even leads who don’t turn into customers later.
  5. Target Geos With Qualified Leads – it’s easy to see which geographic areas bring in the most conversions. Take this a step further and pivot your leads by your most important qualifier (credit score, office size, budget, etc.) and then by geo. Setup your campaign so you can modify bids based on this data.
  6. Tailor the Landing Page to Your Most Qualified Customer – from the copy to the content to the images, make everything speak to the type of customer you want. Are you targeting families? Add a picture of a family. Are small doctors offices your target? Talk about how small offices benefit. Do they love popcorn? Make the page smell like a movie theatre… just kidding! You get the point.
  7. Add A Qualifying Question on Your Form – often times we see very simple forms just asking for name, email and phone number. Do you want to make sure that you are getting business owners? Add one simple question, “Are you a business owner?” Conversion rate will drop, but you will save yourself or your sales team time.
  8. More Info Can Focus Your Sales Efforts – 10 leads just came in the last few minutes, which should you follow up with first? Along with saving your sales team time, knowing which leads should be followed up on first can help them follow up more effectively.
  9. Clarify Vague Form Questions – some people don’t actually know everything you are asking for on your form, so they will guess or even give up on filling out the form. If you are getting inaccurate information it can hurt your sales efforts further down the line. We add small information bubbles by form fields that may be ambiguous.
  10. Use Multi-Step Conditional Forms to Direct Leads – have a lead that doesn’t fit your qualifications? Don’t throw it out yet.  Use a multi-step form and have one of the intermediate questions qualify them. If they don’t fit your qualifications ask for other information that the client could use for a different service or an upsell.
  11. Tie Keywords to Leads and to Track Quality of Keywords – beyond qualifying the initial lead, you can tie keywords to leads to determine which keywords bring in the highest quality leads. After getting a sample of leads in you can start finding trends as to which keywords bring in higher quality leads, and which do not. Based on that you can better focus your efforts on the quality lead generating keywords.
  12. BONUS – Only Count Quality Leads as Conversions – though not right in every situation, in one instance we have setup conversion tracking to only trigger if certain criteria on the form is met. For example, if a client only has use for leads from business owners rather than consumers, you can setup the form to send business owner leads to a thank you page that has the conversion pixel. All other leads would go to a thank you page without the code. This way you can optimize your Adwords account only off conversion data.

Have your own tips on improving lead quality or on tennis? Share the wealth of knowledge and let us know in the comments!


Luke does Pay Per Click advertising with a focus on lead generation. He’s started and grown the PPC division for two companies from a handful of small clients to several million dollars managed annually. Here is the Director of PPC at the Utah Pay Per Click company Avalaunch Media.