When it comes to lead generation channels, there's a clear winner way out in front of the crowd. While paid social, programmatic and native display networks have all made inroads into the mix over the last decade, Google paid search remains the gold standard for lead quality (If you do it right).
That may seem like a big claim, but several of our clients enjoy significantly higher conversion rates from Google leads than from any other medium.
One of our longest-running clients has a Google paid search lead-to-sale ratio which is four times higher than seen from Facebook leads. But why is this? It comes down to several factors, which we're going to discuss below.
How paid search all began
Google is the product of a friendship between Larry Page and Sergey Brin. After meeting as students at Stanford, they worked from their dorm rooms to bring their idea into existence, with a mission to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
They downloaded the internet in its entirety, and developed a mapping/ranking algorithm which dramatically improved the way individuals could search online.
Its main improvement from early search engines was that Google’s entire business model was focused on providing a better user experience. The algorithm accounted for multiple factors, such as page quality, number of links and relevance to a user’s search, in addition to how much advertisers pay, thus improving Yahoo’s original model.
Because Google provided the best product, everyone wanted to use it. Therein lies one of the main reasons for Google’s dominance - it has integrated itself into our everyday lives.
Another reason why Google paid search is so great for lead quality Is high buyer intent. Paid social is great for presenting information to a consumer, giving them a bit of a taster of what you have to offer. However, it’s what happens after that process that will determine the quality of leads.
When a person has an ambition or a problem, they will normally search online for potential solutions. That’s where Google has wedged itself into our daily habits. Google's search engine has become the primary source for all online queries, whether they are desktop, mobile or voice-based.
Once a person has reached this point in the buyer journey, they have a high level of intent. They've researched their need or challenge, become aware of the potential solutions and other areas of discussion, and they're ready to talk to your sales team.
This level of intent is hard to match across other channels without affecting your UX significantly, which further increases the appeal of using Google.
So why bother with anything else?
Whilst Google leads are normally higher quality than paid social or other channels, you would be crazy to base your entire lead generation strategy on one channel. In order to create a sustainable and profitable lead generation campaign, you need to consider cost and volume alongside lead quality.
Consider your sales funnel as a whole. Lead quality, volume and cost are all fundamentally linked, and as you increase one, the others will decrease. For example, higher quality leads will often be more expensive and you will probably get less of them. Focusing exclusively on a Google paid search campaign will incur significant costs, whereas a paid social or native display campaign will lower your cost and increase value whilst sacrificing some lead quality.
If you have a sales team sat around the office, you need to keep them active and hungry for profits, as well as converting. You may need to have high quality leads mixed in with medium quality leads and so on. This way you can have a sales funnel with a decent volume of leads at each stage, and ensure that your team has a constant stream of opportunities.
How do you perfect paid search?
It’s difficult to get a full scope of your business needs and figure out how a paid search strategy fits around this.
Luckily, we have a lot of experience in this field. With support from the right marketing agency, you can benefit from their knowledge and time, and ensure that you get the right lead generation mix for your sales team. This can be tougher than it sounds, but we can help to take that burden off your shoulders, leaving you to concentrate on running your business.