Pete Bowen's site

How do you get more leads from Google Ads when you’ve maxed out impression share?

I faced this problem with a client of mine. Google Ads is working really well for his business but his sales team was craving more leads.

We’ve got a wide set of keywords covering every possible way we’ve seen people search for his services. We’re advertising on search and search partners and running the ads 24/7. We’ve got all the budget we need, and more. We’re getting almost 100% impression share.

I’d done all the normal things to optimise the Google Ads campaigns:

And they've worked. They’ve got us from a pilot campaign generating 79 leads a month to a steady 500+ leads every month.

But, we’ve hit a plateau.

The strategy that got us from 0 to 500 leads a month isn’t going to take us from 500 leads to a 1 000 leads a month. We needed a different approach.

The solution: advertise on complementary searches

In economics, the concept of complementary goods describes things that you buy together.

When you buy a car, you buy fuel. When you buy a printer, you buy ink. You buy computer hardware and then you buy computer software.

Cars and fuel are complementary goods, as are printers and ink, and hardware and software. You can’t use one without having the other.

My client helps people immigrate from South Africa to Australia.

Someone thinking about moving to another country will also think about where they're going to work and live. They'll Google for jobs, property prices, medical care etc.

These searches are complementary to immigration services, in the same way fuel is to a car.

A search for "plumbing jobs in sydney" is a clue that the searcher is thinking about emigrating. So is a search for "perth property prices".

I set up a test campaign targeting South Africans searching for a job in Australia. It’s worked better than expected so far.

We’ve only had 70 leads so far so it’s very early days, but, the sales team tell us that these leads are as good as the others we’re getting from Google Ads.

We’ll keep monitoring to see how many of these leads turn into clients. If it’s a reasonable number we’ll optimise the campaign to get as many leads as possible.

If you’re interested in a similar sideways approach to using Google Ads you should check out the rubber glove approach to cold calling.

Want to increase your conversion rate?
I’ve seen conversion rates double, triple and even 10X after a few quick and easy changes to the enquiry form. Subscribe now, and I'll send you a free copy of my in-depth ebook High-Converting Enquiry Forms.
You're already paying for clicks. Now turn them into conversions. Privacy policy. Unsubscribe at any time.

Related articles

Getting a lot of junk leads from Google Ads?
You can spot conversion fraud because the leads have genuine email addresses and phone numbers but when you call them they don't remember filling in your form.
A love letter to statistics
This is for you if you’re interested in making data-driven decisions about your Google Ads. Amy Hebdon, founder at Paid Search Magic, wrote a fantastic article she described a love letter disguised as a how to about PPC data interpretation.
Allocating budget
How do you know the best way to split your ad budget between search and display, between Facebook and Google, between one keyword and another?
Does Google rip advertisers off?
I'm not saying that everyone who's paid for Google ads has turned a profit. That's definitely not the case. But, when people lose money on Google ads its likely to be because Google Ads was a poor fit for their business, or because of the way they did Google Ads. I can't see Google risking their future to steal your advertising budget
Don’t believe every recommendation from Google.
The optimisation score is Google’s newest way of telling you how to run your Google Ads account. Read on to see how following it blindly can hurt your business.
Don't believe my writing
I'm not trying to bamboozle you, it's just that my - and everyone else's - writing isn't always right for your circumstances. Read on to find out more...
Google showed your ads to the wrong people today.
Google showed your some of your adverts to the wrong people today. You (or someone you hire) must deal with this or your ads are going to start costing more and generating fewer leads. Here's how.
Has Google jumped the gun on mobile?
How much commercial activity happens on mobile phones? Is it enough to justify a mobile-first approach to development? Case study with mobile vs desktop AdWords generated leads across 7 industries.
How to get fast traction on a brand new Google Ads campaign.
I worked out a process for getting fast results from new AdWords campaigns so I didn't have to worry as much. You're welcome to copy (and improve) my process.
I’m getting too many B2C leads. I want only B2B.
I’ve bumped into this problem with almost every client who sells to other businesses (B2B) not to consumers (B2C). Here are some options ..
I'm scared I'll break my campaign
If you don't feel confident making changes to Google Ads campaigns this might help...
Improve conversion rates by adding extra calls to action.
Need to improve your conversion rate? Here's a tested approach that takes only a few minutes.
Putting a little science into AdWords
In the past I relied on a combination of the change history in AdWords, some rough notes and my memory to keep track of my testing. It worked but it wasn't great. It became more difficult as my business grew. I started to feel like I was losing control. I couldn't answer questions about an account without having to root around in Google docs, AdWords and email. Read on to see how I fixed this.
Should you advertise on Search Partners?
We check the campaigns we manage regularly to see how much it costs to generate an enquiry on Google search versus search partners. Most of the time it costs more or less the same. Sometimes the difference is huge.
Should you show ads to people on their phones?
It is a fact that more people use the internet on their phones than they do on computers these days. But are these glued-to-their-phone types going to buy from you?
The hidden trade-offs of automated bidding
I like automated bidding. But, there are some trade offs with automated bidding that are not well documented.
Using the Search Terms Report to find negative keywords.
The Search Terms Report is a great place to find negative keywords to add to your AdWords campaign. It shows (some of) the actual words and phrases that triggered your ads.
You don't have enough data to be confident that you're making the right decisions.
Here are 3 rules of thumb I use to to help me make more of the right decisions when data is scarce.