How To Improve Your PPC Campaign Targeting Part 1 - Lead-Generation

Jason Martin - Paid Search & Training Specialist

Jason Martin

30th August 2019

In the first of a two-part series, I’ll run you through four scenarios of PPC account setups, and how you could tailor your targeting settings to improve performance for your lead generation PPC account. The key areas I will be covering are:

Ad Schedule:

Ad schedules allow Google Ads users to set the time of day and day of week in which they would like their PPC ads to display. This will be 24/7 by default but can be changed to suit the needs of a business in terms of budget and operating hours.

Device Targeting:

The three main device types that can be targeted in PPC accounts are desktop, mobile and tablet – Smart TV is a growing platform but not one worth discussing just yet! Depending on what your user is looking for, how they are looking for it and what the end goal is in terms of interacting with your business, you may choose to prioritise some channels over others.


Google Ads is the main PPC platform for digital marketing, but Microsoft Advertising also provides a viable option to reach a whole new audience of search engine users. How do you know when to use one and not the other? Or both?

Before we begin though, let’s talk you through the basics of Lead-Generation for PPC accounts.

What are the characteristics of a Lead Generation PPC account?

This type of PPC account involves the marketing of businesses trading in tangible and intangible products or service-based offerings to prospective customers.  The website acts as a data capture tool and an extension of the business’s offline presence, rather than a platform to buy products or services - this is handled offline where necessary.

As the name suggests, the role of the PPC account will be to generate leads through calls, contact forms and more. Keywords will be chosen to target search criteria relevant to the business in a way that encourages direct action to be taken.

What are the key success metrics for a Lead Generation PPC account?

When looking at a Lead Generation PPC account the key success metrics may vary, but will predominantly be Conversions, Cost Per Conversion and Conversion Rate.

What types of conversion actions would you typically see in a Lead-Generation PPC account?

Typically, these will be quote forms/contact forms and website calls/calls from ads, but may also include brochure downloads, online bookings, event registrations, newsletter sign ups and more.

Now that we understand the basics, let’s look at how we can tailor our targeting options in Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising to positively impact the performance of your PPC account.

 “I run a Lead Generation PPC account designed for B2B customers”

This type of PPC account involves marketing products or service-based offerings to business customers. Examples of this could be business finance, consultancy services and more.

Let’s run through our three main areas mentioned above to see how we could tweak our account targeting to best fit this type of PPC account.


Users will be searching for your products or services at their place of work on computers set up by their business. It’s likely that some employees go in every day and use their computer in the way it has been set up, with minimal changes to settings or otherwise – likely to avoid the wrath of their IT department! By default, the search browser will be Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge, both of which have Microsoft Advertising as their default search provider.

How then, do you get in front of B2B searchers at work? By using Microsoft Advertising alongside Google Ads. Search volumes in Microsoft Advertising are about 20% of Google Ads on average, but competition and CPCs are also lower too. The ability to quickly and easily import your Google Ads campaign structure, and your best performing campaigns, into Microsoft Advertising makes it a hassle-free and obvious way to expand your presence on search engine results pages.

Ad Schedule:

Users will likely be searching for your services during working hours, therefore you could consider limiting your ad schedule to standard office hours to avoid spend wastage. If they are working 9-5 and you are working 9-5, why waste your PPC budget outside of that?

Device Targeting:

I’m running the risk of repeating myself here, but B2B users will be searching from your services from their work computer. Focus on getting in front of B2B audiences on desktop devices as an absolute priority before worrying about other devices.

That’s not to write mobile off completely as a targeting platform. For some businesses it will make perfect sense, especially where the main driver of action is calls – such as for businesses who are onsite and away from traditional offices. Examples could include building maintenance, security and more.

 “I run a Lead Generation PPC account designed for B2C customers”

This type of PPC account largely mirrors that of B2B in terms of online approach, but both the end user and product/service offering will be very different. Targeting end customers as a lead generation PPC account could be event registration platforms, insurers, plumbers and more.

Ad Schedule:

Users will likely be searching for your products and services all times of day, so your ad schedule will depend on what type of conversions you are receiving and how your business handles them. If your conversions are predominantly calls-based then you’ll need someone in the business to answer them, so ensure that your ad schedules align with your opening hours. If calls are only part of your overall conversion tracking, alongside tracking quote forms for example, you can edit call extensions individually to update their ad schedules.

For online quotes, free brochure downloads, event registrations and more it isn’t strictly necessary for the advertiser’s business to be in-office. In these scenarios, depending on budget, running 24/7 would be a viable option for your business.


Users will be searching for your products or services wherever or wherever they feel like it, meaning that your PPC account is open to all device types. For B2C searches we’ve seen a vast increase in mobile searches over the last few years, to the point where it’s often the dominant device type for B2C accounts in terms of search volume. Microsoft Advertising doesn’t have a lot in the way of mobile traffic, so if mobile is crucial to your business then focus primarily on Google Ads – especially for campaigns aiming to drive phone calls.

If you feel that your product caters to a demographic that is perhaps slightly older or less tech-savvy, you could consider Microsoft Advertising as a viable platform to test campaigns on. As with B2B, these users will likely be searching on a default search browser set by Windows rather than going to install Google Chrome and setting Google as the default search engine.

Device Type:

An increase in mobile B2C searches over the last few years, as explained above, means you should ensure that you have some form of mobile presence in your device targeting.

Conversion rates may be lower on mobile devices, depending on the type of conversions you are tracking. Calls may register higher in terms of conversions, but submissions through tricky online forms that aren’t mobile-responsive could suffer. If your budgets are limited, factor this in and ensure that you aren’t burning all your account spend on a device with poor user experience!

A less tech-savvy demographic may prefer to speak to someone on the phone rather than struggle through the process online – for this reason you shouldn’t discount Google Ads entirely due to its strong levels of mobile traffic.  Alternatively, consider keeping an eye on tablet device performance – Nan loves her iPad!

This is just a sample of the ways that PPC account performance can be improved using Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising tools. You can read part two here, where we discuss optimising PPC targeting for ecommerce websites. For more help and advice, contact us online today or speak to our PPC marketing specialists on 01536 316100.

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