Improving Your Adwords Lead Quality

When you are optimising and improving an Adwords campaign for an eCommerce site there are 3 main metrics which count; the cost per sale, number of sales and revenue generated. The main goal is to increase revenue and profit and this can be done purely from analysing your figures. With lead generation campaigns however, there is one variable which cannot be ascertained easily from data alone – lead quality. Whether you are a law firm only wanting large cases or your sales team are so busy you don’t want them wasting time on poor quality leads the same frustration applies, so how can you filter out and improve your lead quality?

A study by which shows that generating high quality leads is the biggest challenge faced in many organisations.

A study by which shows that generating high quality leads is the biggest challenge faced in many organisations.


One of the first and most obvious places to start improving your lead quality is in the keywords used. While it is true that good and bad leads use the same keywords there will still be some keywords you can filter out that almost always have bad quality leads – especially if you are using Broad keywords. Navigate to the ‘Search Terms’ report to see the actual keywords being used and go through all of the keywords with a fine tooth comb. Even keywords that are generating conversions that you would normally leave in should be reviewed to ensure they have a high chance of delivering quality leads (using ValueTrack discussed below can help here). A good example is keywords such as ‘cheap lawyer Auckland’ If you are not that cheap there is not a huge chance these people will later convert into a customer and will likely waste more of your sales teams time than it is worth. Ensuring you check and optimise keywords regularly and add the offending keywords as negatives will over time improve your lead quality.


If you are running campaigns on the display network you should be equally thorough when reviewing exactly which websites your ads are appearing on. Recently I have noticed a substantial drop in quality on the sites your advertising is placed on through the Google Display Network when targeting by keywords, interests or other targeting. This makes it even more important to keep an eye on these campaigns. It is a lot easier to pick bad website placements (ie. to add as negatives than keywords but the volume will be higher so it may take some time. Take note of the placements generating conversions and determine if your prospects have any chance of being on that type of website as this could be where your bad leads are coming from. It is also a good idea to disable your ads appearing in apps unless you have a specific reason to show there, this article will help you exclude apps.

Ad Scheduling

Google Adwords allows you to tailor your campaigns based on time, but by default your ads will show 24/7. Refining these times can improve the quality of your leads especially in time sensitive industries where your chance of closing the lead increases the quicker you call them. From my experience leads during the day in standard business hours tend to be a lot higher quality than weekend or night time leads however every business is different and the leads coming at different times of days should be reviewed to allow refinement of the hours your ads will run.


Qualifiers In Your Ads

A major way to improve your lead quality is through the use of qualifiers in your Adwords advert. A qualifier is essentially copy which dissuades the wrong people from enquiring. In the law firm example above you may improve your ad in the following way:


Putting the price of the product or service (Starting From $X) is also a great place to start. If used correctly using qualifiers in your ad copy will lower the number of people who click your ad and may help improve the lead quality. It will also decrease your quality score however as Google makes less money if your click through rate is low. This may mean you need to pay more per click than your competitors to be in the same position. Despite the negatives, using qualifiers in your ads should be tested as it can save you a lot of money (and time).

Qualifiers On Your Landing Page/Website

Unfortunately not everyone reads an advert in full so even when using qualifiers in your advertising you will still have a lot of poor quality prospects clicking your ad and going through to your landing page or website. Filtering out these people requires using qualifiers on your landing pages. This can be in the form of copy such as ‘We only lend to people with at least a 15% deposit’ or through using longer more detailed forms with a call to action which requires more commitment. The lead quality from a ‘Make An Appointment’ call to action with 15 form fields would be far higher than a ‘Brochure Download’ call to action which just asks for Name, Email & Phone Number. Of course there is a negative side to this as well, you have already paid for these people to come through to your website and landing page and preventing them from becoming a lead won’t decrease your costs. Your cost per lead will rise dramatically if implementing these changes but if your sales team are busy, it is important they focus on quality leads making the increase in cost less of an issue.

Asking someones budget on a lead form is a good way to improve the quality of your leads.

Asking someone their budget on a lead form is a good way to improve the quality of your leads and help your sales team prioritise prospects.


To take your lead quality improvements to the next level you should immediately implement ValueTrack tracking. Essentially ValueTrack is a modification you make to your destination URL so that the keyword or placement gets passed through to your site and when combined with some code modifications on your website these variables can be passed on with the lead. Filtering out bad leads then requires you or your sales team to keep an eye on these variables and when a bad lead comes in review the keyword or placement they came from. You can also pass other details such as Device, Network, Ad Position and Ad Type which can help you to refine your campaigns further and improve your lead quality.

  • Example Destination URL with ValueTrack:{keyword}&matchtype={matchtype}&device={device}


Taking the above actions will allow your sales team to concentrate on prospects which have a good chance of becoming customers. You should also ensure that the lines of communication between your sales team and marketing departments are open as getting feedback on leads is essential to improving the quality and increasing the ROI your Adwords campaigns generate.

Duncan Jones

About The Author - Duncan Jones

I am a growth marketing specialist from New Zealand and im passionate about growing businesses through creative and performance focused digital marketing. I insist on tracking everything, follow proven growth processes and I still love the thrill of getting a first conversion then optimising & scaling the campaigns for clients across a huge range of industries. You can find me on LinkedIn here, find out how to hire me here or you can contact me here.

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