Although most people would assume that this is a set up problem, or choosing the wrong keywords, 99% of the time it’s not. It’s a data problem (or lack of data as is the case most of the time).

The problem is that the vast majority of advertisers, including big brands I’ve come across spending upwards of £1m per year have no way of linking what happens offline back into Google Ads.

Most advertisers can tell you that their advertising generated 100 leads which converted into 20 sales, but they can’t tell you which keywords generated the 20 leads that converted into sales.

This is the key piece of data that you need as you will find that certain keywords generate a lot of leads and minimal sales whilst some keywords might only generate a handful of leads but convert a majority into a sale offline.

To optimise your account to generate better quality leads there are three things that you need to do:

Record all of your sales data in your CRM

This may seem obvious, but unless you have a functional CRM like Salesforce or Hubspot that is actively being used by your sales team and recording which deals close, you won’t be able to track the performance of your ads effectively.

You will also need to store the Google click ID (GCID) inside your CRM alongside your contact details. This is a unique string of numbers and letters that Google use to identify the keywords and ads that generated the lead.

This is fairly simple to do and is done by adding a hidden form field to your contact-us page form.

Users won’t be able to see this field and it will be auto populated by Google using a piece of code added to your page.

Once they hit the submit button to make an enquiry the users details such as their name, email address, telephone number and Google click ID will be pushed into your CRM and stored in their user profile.

If a user has called you instead of submitting a form then you will instead want to record the phone number that they called on. For this to work you will need to be using a Google Forwarding number.

Google can then link the phone number to the keywords and ads that led to the phone call.

Import the data back into Google Ads

Once you’ve got the data stored within your CRM system you then need to import the data back into Google Ads to see which leads converted into sales.

To do this you will want to use offline conversion imports. Here you will want to import only the Google Click IDs and the phone number of the leads that converted into sales.

Once imported into Google Ads these conversions will appear in a separate column (Segment) within Google Ads alongside both your ads and keywords.

Optimise for sales, not leads

Once you’ve got keyword level data for Ads showing which keywords generate leads that convert into sales you need to start using this data to optimise your account towards generating more leads that convert into sales.

This will involve pausing keywords that generate leads that don’t convert well offline, pausing poor performing search terms that generate leads that don’t convert well offline and distributing budget to the best performing keywords that generate leads that convert offline.

We often take this even further and split campaigns by converters vs non-converters. The converters campaign only includes keywords that have generated a lead that has converted into a sale offline and the non-converters contains all of the other keywords that may have generated leads but have yet to generate a closed sale.

We then distribute the bulk of the budget to terms that have previously converted and if there is any left we distribute this to the non-converters campaign.


Overall when it comes to the question of generating better quality leads, the key is to first get the right data in place so that you can make informed optimisation decisions.

Work with a developer to store the Google Click ID in your CRM when forms are submitted and make sure that you actively use the CRM to track deals.

Finally import the data from your CRM back into Google ads periodically for the deals that have closed. You can then use this sales data to optimise your account for leads that generate sales.

Don’t be blinded by high lead volumes, if you’ve got keywords that generate a lot of leads but no sales, they’re not adding value to your business and should be paused.

PPC Best Practice Guide