In 2020, Google’s revenue was over US$160,000,000,000. How much of that 160 billion was yours?

Google can be a great source of leads for service businesses. But there is no point in handing over more money than you need to.

The goal of your Google advertising is to deliver the most leads at the lowest cost. The key metric to track is called Cost Per Lead.

Here are 7 tips for slashing your Cost Per Lead during 2021.

Crush Click Fraud


Click Fraud is when people click on your ads who have no intention of using your services. This type of behaviour can range from a competitor clicking on your ads randomly 1 or 2 times a month all the way through to systematic fraud designed to deplete your budget and drive your ads out of the search results.

Though Google is pretty good at identifying low-level fraud from competitors who are randomly clicking on your ads, it is possible to get around their fraud filters and eat up your campaign budget. In these cases you need click fraud monitoring software in place to identify and block fraudsters.

In high-risk categories like Plumbing and Electrical, it might be necessary to block people from seeing your ads after they have clicked on your ads just once. That means they get to click on an ad of yours only once and then are blocked for some period of time. This can be a very effective way to beat fraudsters and drive down your Cost Per Lead.

Explode Your Conversion Rate

Your website conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who make an enquiry. This enquiry could be a phone call, email, contact form or live chat.

Your website conversion rate is the big lever in your marketing program. A much higher conversion rate can change the course of your business by delivering many more leads and sales at no extra cost. For many service businesses, a doubling of conversion rate is very achievable.

Tips for increasing conversion rate include:

  • Faces connect. Include images of people’s faces on all your important web pages. They should be smiling and looking directly at the camera.
  • Confusion kills sales. Have one call-to-action on your website and cull the rest. The confused mind does not buy.
  • Build confidence. Your website needs to instill confidence in people. Customer reviews, names of business owners and photos of staff all create confidence in your service.

Precise Services in Adelaide implemented these tactics and experienced a significant increase in conversion rate. That means, they received many more leads and sales without increasing their marketing budget.

The higher you can get your website’s conversion rate, the lower your cost per lead. If you double your conversion rate, then you will halve your cost per lead.

Read more about increasing your conversion rate here.

Discount Your Bid

In Google Ads, your “bid” is the price you are willing to pay Google for someone to click on your ad and visit your website. As such, every keyword has a bid attached to it.

Decreasing your bid is quick and easy. By decreasing bid you are saying to Google that you are willing to pay less when someone clicks on your ads. However the downside is that your ads may appear lower down the page, beneath your competitors. Falling from position 1 to position 2 or 3 might be ok if your ad is still appearing near the top of the page, but falling to the bottom of the search page means you become almost invisible.

Decreasing your bid on a keyword is a fine science; though it will reduce your cost-per-click which leads to a drop in your Cost Per Lead, it can also cause a fall in your total number of leads.

Boost Your Quality Score

Your Quality Score is a rating out of 10 that Google gives to every keyword in your account. The higher your Quality Score, the less you will pay to Google. This means your bid can be lower than a competitor, but Google will still show your ad above theirs. So it is possible to out-rank competitors ads while at the same time paying less than they do.

Increasing Quality Score is done in three ways:

  1. Ad Relevance – your ad needs to be super relevant to the intent of the searcher
  2. Expected CTR – ads with a higher than expected click-through-rate are rewarded with a higher score
  3. Landing Page Quality – ads that deliver users to a landing page that solves their problem are rewarded

Keywords with a Quality Score of 7/10 or higher will help reduce your cost-per-click which will also reduce your Cost Per Lead.

Terminate Wasted Spend

Your Google ads budget is limited and cannot be wasted on users who will never convert.

Common sources of wasted spend include:

  • Showing ads to people outside your service area. There is no point showing ads to people in Melbourne if your service area is Geelong.
  • Showing ads when people search for your competitors. Yes, it might be a bit of fun to run an ad when someone searches for your competitor on Google, but these clicks tend to have a very low conversion rate. In most cases it is best to negative-match your competitors brand names in Google Ads.
  • Showing ads for irrelevant keywords. If you supply and service hot water systems you will target keywords around “hot water” in Google. But you don’t want your ads showing when someone searches for a “hot water bottle”. Careful keyword sculpting is required to ensure you target high-conversion keywords only.

By eliminating wasted spend you free up budget for those keywords that are likely to convert. This will produce a lower Cost Per Lead.

Cull the Under-Performers

We see it all the time: some keywords that work great in one suburb completely bomb in another suburb. It can be worth persevering – for a while. But if a keyword is continually under-performing it is a good idea to cut your losses and pause it.

This will free up budget for your best performing keywords and further bring down your Cost Per Lead.

Retreat to Off-Peak Bidding

There are certain times of the day, days of the week and weeks of the year that are far more busy in your industry than others. It is usually at these times that you and your competition are going your hardest with Google ads. That means bidding each other up and driving everyone’s costs higher. The only winner at these times is Google.

In some situations it makes more sense to drop out of these high cost periods. Rather than splurge your limited budget on high cost leads, it may be wise to sit out a few hours or even a few days and hold your budget for those off-peak times when competition is lighter and costs are lower.

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Your money is better in your pocket than Google’s. Now is the time to get focused on Cost Per Lead and implement tactics to drive down your costs while increasing your lead flow.

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