When you think about what it takes to get a qualified sales lead, two things probably come to mind: time and cost. Lead generation can be a time-intensive process, or it can cost you an arm and a leg. But what if it did not have take time or cost a ton? Good news – it does not, if you latch onto AdWords as your secret weapon for gathering sales leads.
In late 2007 and early 2008, the US housing bubble popped. Exploded might be a better way to put it. Do you know why? There were multiple economic factors, but one of the biggest reasons was that many people who got mortgages earlier in the decade were bad leads. They were poor prospects who turned into poor customers. No business can feel secure about its future cash flow if its customer base is built on bad leads. Good leads turn into good customers. All you have to do is find them. AdWords can help.
Google is based on a simple idea. It lets people search for keywords and keyword phrases (those terms are used interchangeably, by the way). Then Google goes out and finds pages on the web that most closely match the search in terms of relevance. But Google also displays ads related to that search.
Those ads are based on relevancy, too, but they're also based on how much the advertiser is willing to bid for clicks on his ad. And Google also considers the quality of the landing page behind the ad, in terms of content and relevance. They want to point people to helpful content that's exactly what they're searching for.
That's why using AdWords and some testing to optimize landing pages can pay off big for anyone looking to gather solid sales leads. Imagine that Sue sells life insurance. She wants low-risk prospects with lots of life ahead of them, preferably families who want to insure lots of people.
Now, she can advertise in the phone book, or hang out in shopping malls and hope for foot traffic, but she knows that the web is the first place most people start their search for life insurance. That's where her best sales leads will come from.
So she spends some time figuring out what she needs to know about each prospect. She needs a name, an email address to add to her mailing list, a phone number, and several other pre-qualifying data points. But that's simple-it's just a basic web form attached to an autoresponder on the back end. When people fill out the basic form, Sue gets their information by email and can follow up with a phone call.
What's important here is the page and the ad that gets people there. Sue needs to target keywords in the life insurance niche that have reasonable competition and a healthy number of searches. When she finds those "long tail" keywords, she needs to create an AdWords ad that targets those keywords and has an obvious, strong call to action to get clicks through to her lead generation page.
Then she needs to use free tools like the Google Website Optimizer to do simple A / B split testing and multivariate testing. It's easy to set up, and even a novice can experiment with pages to find which page elements and layouts convert best.
Yes, it takes some time to test various page combinations. And yes, Sue will have to pay for the AdWords clicks she gets as she's testing. But she can control both the time and the cost. That small extra effort and ad spend can give her a steady flow of solid sales leads, and extremely healthy book of business. That's what it's all about.