Best Practices for Generating Leads

Some of our advertisers have forms on their websites for individuals to submit their contact data in order to obtain more information about the advertiser's products or services. Information in these forms, once submitted to the advertiser’s website, are leads for the advertiser to follow up on with an email or phone call. In this article you will find best practices to help you to get the most out of the leads submitted.

Optimize your AdWords Campaign

When visitors click on your ad they have often have an expectation of what they will be able to do when they arrive on the landing page. It is important to make sure you set the right expectations before the visitor clicks on your ads. You can do this by optimizing your AdWords campaign, bid on the right keywords, use negative keywords when needed (see also your search terms reports), use accurate yet descriptive and engaging ad text and set up conversion tracking. Monitoring the bounce rate and conversion rate of the landing page and comparing this to the various ad text driving traffic to the page can help you determine which ad was more effective. If you would like to learn more optimization tips on improving your return on investment in AdWords, please read Tips for Success.

Optimize your Landing Page

Once a visitor comes to your landing page you want to make sure that your landing page meets or exceeds their expectations. Make sure that your landing pages load quickly, are easy to navigate and adhere to Google landing page guidelines.

When generating leads using forms on landing pages, it is important to make the forms as friendly as possible and easy to fill in. Keep in mind that visitors to your landing page may feel uncomfortable providing their information if they don't feel that your website is trustworthy. By reducing the information you request from a visitor to only what's absolutely necessary for you to follow up with them, you can help to increase the likelihood that they'll finish filling out the form. If a visitor starts filling in your form but then decides to leave before submitting (e.g. because they find that the form is too long) your web analytics software may record this as a bounce.

To test the effectiveness of different versions of the forms on your landing pages, we recommend using Content Experiments. To make sure you get the best return on your investment, we recommend that you measure the effectiveness of your AdWords campaigns and use Conversion Optimizer.

Get Genuine Leads

It is possible that not every lead you get through your forms will be a genuine one. This can happen for various reasons: the landing page was not clear enough, your form does not validate the information submitted, or your form was crawled by an automated program that crawls the web and generates spam, etc.

We understand that this situation can be frustrating and potentially wastes valuable time and resources. It is important to keep in mind that Google doesn't have any control over a user's behavior once they reach your website. In addition to improving your AdWords campaign and landing page, there are also other methods to protect your website from getting 'fake' leads.

Add a Captcha

We recommend adding a captcha to the forms on your landing pages to validate that the submitter of your form is human. Keep in mind that not every captcha is effective, so if you already have a captcha on your landing page but are still getting 'fake' leads, try a different one. You may also want to try the free captcha service offered by Google.

Enable Auto-Tagging in AdWords

When using AdWords to generate traffic to your landing page, we recommend enabling auto-tagging. Auto-tagging will attach a GCLID-parameter to the URL of your landing page which identifies the pageview as the result of a click on your ad. If this parameter is missing when you review your site activity, but auto-tagging is enabled in your AdWords account, it is safe to say that the visit to your landing page did not come from your AdWords ad.

Record Submissions

When a visitor submits a form you may want to also record the IP address, the GCLID-parameter (if applicable), the referrer URL and user agent of the visitor with each form submission. Based on these details, you can determine if the traffic is coming from clicks on your ads and if there are any patterns that look suspicious. If you do see a suspicious pattern of activity from visitors coming to your site via AdWords, please contact your AdWords representative through our invalid clicks troubleshooter and forward the GCLIDs or IP addresses of the suspicious activity to Google and the Google Ad Traffic Quality team will investigate your account.

Please note that you may need to talk to your webmaster or technical department to implement the types of changes discussed above.