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Tackling the Problem of Bad Leads: The Journey to Cleaner Data

Imagine you’re managing Google Ads campaigns for your clients, making sure everything’s running smoothly. But then, you’re hit with a problem: your client starts to complain about the quality of leads they’re receiving. It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack as you investigate all possible causes: search terms, audiences, the wording of adverts, where the adverts are placed, and so forth.


You find some issues, fix them, but the problem doesn’t entirely go away. The reason? It’s a bit like a snowball effect, but with bad data. This effect, which we can call the “dirty data snowball effect,” occurs when you’re running smart bidding campaigns. Basically, the more bad leads you get, the more Google starts looking for similar people. It’s like a weatherman giving a wrong forecast because he’s basing it on faulty data. Google works the same way.

To improve the quality of leads, Google suggests using offline conversions. This is a technique where you import information about successful transactions back into Google Ads. Ideally, Google’s system requires at least 15 conversions in a month for the Target CPA option, and 50 for the target ROAS option to function at its best. Unfortunately, hitting these numbers is a challenge for many smaller businesses.


Here’s where we change our approach: we can factor in different conversion actions, such as quotations, alongside actual sales, into our conversion data. However, these actions should be assigned a lower value relative to completed sales, reflecting their lesser impact on your bottom line. Google provides a handy tool that helps you determine appropriate values for each conversion action. This way, even smaller businesses can better leverage Google’s smart bidding strategies to achieve their goals.


By doing this, over time, you’ll notice your search terms (if you’re running search campaigns) becoming more relevant. Not only that, but the people searching those terms will also become more relevant. For example, two people might search for “accounting firm,” but one might be a job-seeker while the other is a potential customer.


So, what’s the takeaway here? If you’re dealing with a lot of bad leads, you should switch to using offline conversions. It’s a bit like changing course when you realise you’re heading the wrong way. It won’t solve all your problems overnight, but it’s a step in the right direction.

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