Online Lead Generation with Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)

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Online Lead Generation

There are a lot of business owners and executives out there who don’t understand the importance of online lead generation. In person networking is great way to generate leads and close new business, but it is not scalable.  While highly effective, you are essentially trading time for money and your growth is limited by the time invested.  As soon as you stop networking, the leads stop trickling in and referrals stop coming your way.  Individual contributor level employees also aren’t typically driving in leads since their compensation structures aren’t aligned with the success of the company, at least not to an extent that they are personally motivated to sell.  That’s why for organizations to continue growing they need to build an online lead generation funnel.  One of the best ways to do this for new and seasoned digital advertisers alike is with pay per click advertising campaigns.

Pay Per Click Advertising

Pay per click advertising is an effective and cost efficient method of bringing inbound leads.  When you search on a search engine like Google or Bing, pay per click advertisements are the search results with a tiny little word, “Ad” next to them at the top.

Online Lead Generation With Pay Per Click Advertising

These are ads are a way for smaller businesses to jump to the top of the results page for a given term so that they can compete with other paid advertisers and the organic, or unpaid, results. The cost of a click can range from anywhere between a few cents for low competition low deal size keywords to well over $100 for highly contested high deal size keywords.  Keywords are the words users type into the search engine to find a product or service, “tennis shoes” or “realtor” for example.  With pay per click advertising, you swap from trading time for money to money for time. For business managers and owners it’s not uncommon for their time to be valued $100 and hour or more.  When you consider this value, outbound sales and working the network for leads becomes a very expensive endeavor. $100 of pay per click advertising can go a long way depending on the product or service.  A business owner that manages a roofing company may decide to canvas a neighborhood for new leads. They have to choose a neighborhood, drive to it, walk around each house inspecting it for replacement, knock on peoples doors (if they are home), speak to them about the roofing services and try to sell them a new roof, drive home, and document any deals closed or leads qualified.  This could easily be a 4-6 hour process, or $400-$600 of time.  Alternatively they can spend $500 of advertising on pay per click at an average of $20 per click, convert 1 out of every 5 visitors that click into a lead, and have a chance to close 5 deals. By doing this they also retain their ability to oversee production and continue to build the business.  There is initial setup of an ad campaign, but once a campaign is configured it can be re-used by pausing and un-pausing the campaign as needed with only the cost of additional ad spend.

Scalability and Online Lead Generation

One of the great things about using tools like pay per click advertising as part of an overall online lead generation strategy is how easy it is to scale up and scale down investment. Hiring, firing, on-boarding, and training employees like outside salesmen can’t get very expensive and investment comes in chunks. I like to think of these chunks are “hiring units”.  There are times when you would like to increase the number of leads you are generating but don’t have revenues to support hiring new full time employees.  You may have a website or other digital investments in place so naturally paid advertising in pay per click campaigns is a great way to scale up your online lead generation efforts.  Many businesses typically have a monthly ad spend budget with a daily spending target.  In the event of a down turn or reaching full capacity, it’s also very easy to scale down online lead generation.  You simply stop spending or spend less to generate fewer leads.  It makes your business more elastic and is a great tool for smoothing demand and bringing predictability in workload.

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Hunter Nelson

Hunter has more than 10 years’ experience building web applications and crafting digital strategies for companies ranging from scrappy startups to Fortune 50 household names. When not on the clock, you'll find him spending time with his family and pups, relaxing on the beach, or playing competitive online video games. See LinkedIn for more.

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