It's a knockout – it works incredibly well.
I've proven this with my own companies, as well as in managing many Google Ads accounts for clients in all kinds of sectors across the service industry, from marketing to consulting, headhunting, law firms, marine surveying, repairs, accounting, emergency, catering, boat, car and motorcycle rental, charters and more.
In almost all of these services, the sole objective of the campaigns is lead generation.
Someone searches Google for the service they need (in their country of residence or wherever they are at the time). The relevant ad comes up, they visit your website (this will all take just over 12 seconds), and if the offer meets the need, the lead will be generated.
Depending on the level of urgency and type of service, these leads tend to fall into three categories:
1. Call: This conversion to lead can be generated 2 ways: first, when the user visits the website and clicks on the phone number to call your business, and second, without even visiting the website, they click on the phone number that appears in the Google Ad.
This is the classic lead, especially in B2B. The user visits your website, and if your offer meets their needs, they email you.
3. Contact form: Most commonly used in B2C, this is an alternative to email.
To determine how much money we have to invest in Google Ads to generate a lead, we can measure each of these user actions.
Each person who visits your website through a Google Ad and generates any kind of action or conversion the same day (or up to 30 days from the click - we call this time to conversion, but we'll talk about this during our first meeting) will be thoroughly analysed thanks to the triggers and variables that we will connect to your website through Google Tag Manager.
Here's an example of Google Tag Manager for a client in the service industry, where we have 13 conversion elements:
Google Ads campaigns for the service industry are the biggest lead generator that any service business can have.
The prospective customer searches Google RIGHT NOW for your service, and RIGHT NOW the Google Ad for your business appears. An immediate, genuine need accompanied by an immediate response to this need.
Let's look at some real examples.
In Madrid, someone searches Google for a marketing agency in Madrid:
There are about 1,000 searches per month for related keywords from the region of Madrid alone. Yes, that's 30 searches every day, 365 days a year.
In Spain, someone searches Google for lawyer Barcelona:
There are more than 100,000 searches per month for related keywords from various regions of Spain:
In London, someone searches Google for catering London:
There are over 14,000 searches per month for related keywords from various cities across the UK:
Somewhere in the world, someone searches Google for rent a car Paris:
There are more than 20,000 searches per month for related keywords from various countries around the world:
In the US, someone searches Google for IT consulting company New York:
There are about 700 searches per month for related keywords from the USA.
Now let's talk about conversions, because that's the real reason you're reading this.
Without going into detail about the Google Ads conversion funnel that we manage for our clients, the path that the user has to take to become a customer is:
1. They search for your service on Google (they have a need).
2. They come across your ad on Google (which meets their need).
3. They click on it (to visit your website).
4. Once on your website, they quickly (we'll talk about the 12-second rule in our first meeting) understand that you have a solution to their need.
5. They contact you (call, email or contact form).
You can't even imagine how quickly these 5 steps happen and how a few details can be so decisive during the potential customer's decision stage (positive and negative touchpoints).
After this phase, a new contact (lead) has been generated.
Thanks to the fact that we're measuring conversions at all levels, we will know how much money you had to invest to get a lead (what we call CPL, cost per lead).
The average conversion rate across Google Ads is 4.40% on the search network.
This means that, on average, for every 100 people that reach website via Google Ads, you will have 4 new leads (at Biriwuanga, our conversion rate for the Services sector is over 20%).
This data is essential to then calculate the cost of acquiring new customers (how many leads, on average, had to come in to generate one new customer). This is what we call the lead-to-customer conversion rate.
Let's say the average cost per click of your Google Ads campaign is €2.
For every 100 clicks (€200) you get 10 new Leads (CPL = €20).
If you have a closing rate (lead-to-customer conversion rate) of 10%, you will have one new customer for every €200 invested.
There are various data and analyses on lead-to-new-customer conversion rates, which vary greatly depending on the importance of the lead, the level of urgency, whether it is B2B or B2C, the market niche and the level of specialisation.
Just like the real-life example in my blog post Google Ads for Startups, out of 10 leads that came through our funnel, 4 of them had a meeting with me, either face-to-face or online, and 2 of them became new customers).
Closing rate = 50% (our service being a very technical one).
€2.50 X 100 Clicks: €250 = 10 Leads at €25/lead.
Google Ads investment: €250.
New customers: 2
Cost per new customer acquisition (technically called CPA cost per acquisition): €125.
I also want to stress the importance of lead management and lead nurturing. Several times, I have found that the campaigns work very well, have good CTR and CPL, good performance in general and then, talking with the client, it turns out the closing rate is very low. This is due to several matters which we will also discuss together. To give a few examples:
1. If someone is looking for a catering service for their wedding, they are in a special emotional phase and can't wait 4 days for you to reply to their email. Remember, a service that is professional, attentive, fast and efficient is MUCH, MUCH more important than your prices.
2. If you contact your lead tomorrow, another company will already have done so today.
3. If your lead asks for A, answer them about A. Don't try to sell fruit to people who ask for vegetables. It's unprofessional and negative at touchpoint level (you don't do upselling and cross-selling at this stage).
That's all I'll say for now on the topic of lead nurturing because I would need another blog post just for that, but it’s an essential topic for ensuring a good closing rate.
In short, Google Ads campaigns allow you to be present on your potential customer's screen at the exact moment they are looking for the service you offer. That's why Google Ads search campaigns are perfect for local, regional, national and international lead generation.
On to the next conversion!