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What Are Your Leads Leading To?

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We’re lucky to work with an eclectic mix of lead generation clients at RKG spanning finance, medical supplies, home services and more. These businesses are all attempting to drive some sort of secondary conversion. For example, a local lawn care service might collect lead forms of prospective customers’ personal information to follow up with directly.

The secondary conversion could be tying back the lifetime value (LTV) or real revenue that the initial lead eventually returns. Every lead generator is different, but in the end they all need to get customers to the site, optimize landing pages for lead conversion, and learn to improve the lead capture process by valuing leads all the way through to the secondary conversion.

Getting Customers to the Site

Within paid search, lead generators often have to pony up a bit more for the high-value, competitive clicks they are after. First page bid estimates and top-of-page rates tend to be higher given the types of businesses vying for this real estate.

The LTV of a user in search of financial services, for example, can be much higher than that of the average retail customer. For this reason, lead gen advertisers are often willing to pay significantly more per click. Lead generators need to be hyper vigilant with their targeting strategy to reach the most valuable customers and avoid breaking the bank. Targeting examples include:

  • Taking advantage of Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs) to spend more on users that have already familiarized themselves with your site. In addition to targeting customers in research mode, you may want to create an audience of existing customers who are using search as a navigational path to your site and bid them down.
  • Making use of Google demographic and income targeting. If your service appeals to a wealthy, older audience, you may consider increasing bid modifiers to be competitive on their clicks.
  • Adjusting based on geography. If the weather, population density, gas prices or any other regional differences affect how customers interact with your brand, analyzing value per click and subsequently implementing geo bid modifiers is a necessity.

With highly targeted ads, lead generators can be confident that the high CPCs they are paying are yielding valuable traffic.

Capturing Leads

We have discussed how important it is for lead generators to always be testing given that there are usually fewer ads and landing pages to work with. Small improvements in conversion rate can lead to big differences in the volume of leads generated. Landing page optimization is paramount to both the initial and secondary conversion in the lead gen space.

Considering how the content of the page is presented, clarifying the service you offer and being transparent to the user on how his or her personal information will be used are all best practices. Google is pretty clear about what they are looking for in landing pages. The guidelines for “Transparency and Trustworthiness” are directly applicable to lead gen. Not only will following these practices help increase conversion rates, it will likely improve quality score and allow you to bid less for the same clicks.

Optimizing Based on Secondary Conversion Rate

We have waxed poetic about how important it is to tie a lead to the real value it drives. We want to tie that value all the way back to the keyword or target that drove it. However, it’s not enough to stop there. Analysis of secondary conversion rate should lead to action. If you’re getting leads that aren’t converting, there are a few questions you need to consider.

Are you bidding on misleading keywords?

If you are bidding on a keyword like “free checking account” and you require a large minimum deposit, your conversion rate will obviously suffer. Combing your keyword list for poor secondary conversion rates will lead you to the worst offenders.

Are your product/service descriptions less than transparent?

There is a big difference between a premium landscaping service and a local lawn care provider. Make sure the language on your site is clear so that you don’t experience a big drop off in secondary conversion rate.

Is the actual price or indication of price clear to the customer before they become a lead?

It’s best to be transparent about the price to your potential customers. They are going to find out one way or another. If you aren’t able to provide a price at the time of the lead, consider testing different language like “competitive” or “premium” to indicate price points.

Is the lead follow-up process optimized?

A lot can be learned from human follow ups with potential customers. RKG has clients that randomly call leads to hear about their experience with the site and learn more about what the customer is looking for. Patterns emerge from these discussions, and that feedback can be crucial to see if customers are getting what they are expecting.

If you’re counting progress through an application as a lead, is the application too long or complicated?

RKG can track drop-off throughout a lead form to see what the biggest pain points are for customers. It could be that the page is worded confusingly or it may be unclear why you are asking for certain personal information.

These are actual challenges we have been approached with, all of which require unique, creative solutions.

So what are your leads leading to? They should be leading to a secondary conversion that teaches you about your highest value customers, lead capture processes, and strategies for improving your secondary conversion rate.

  • Bryan Layman
    Bryan Layman is a Paid Search Team Lead at RKG.
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