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3 things to do when people are clicking on your Google Ads, but not converting

People are clicking on your paid search (PPC) ads, but not converting when they land on your site. They’re biting, but they’re not staying on the hook. They’re not buying, downloading your app, filling in a form – whatever you want them to do – but you’re still paying for those clicks. Here’s how to make sure you’re getting the best ROI from your budget…


Successful PPC isn’t all about getting people to click on your ad – if you want a respectable conversion rate, you also need to put careful thought into what they see when they arrive on your landing page; if it doesn’t match the expectations you set in your ad, it’s unlikely they’ll convert.

However, one of the biggest advantages of paid search is the ability to track the progress and success of your campaigns. By tracking these conversions, you’ll know which ads, keywords and campaigns are the most successful. This will help you invest more wisely in the best ones and ultimately, boost your ROI.

1. Make sure you’re monitoring conversions accurately

Make sure your campaigns have conversion tracking properly set up, otherwise you are effectively spending money in the dark. This is fundamental to measuring any campaign performance – without this you are effectively spending money in the dark. With further understanding on the value each conversion has and CPA targets, you can optimise the account to improve conversion rate and overall ROI.

Google Tag Manager is a free tool that allows marketers to easily add and remove tracking code to websites whenever they want. It only requires developer input once, after its set up you can avoid the bottleneck of relying on other teams or agencies.

Use Google Ads Conversion Import

Collect the “GCLID” from leads driven via Google Ads, this can come through as a hidden field in an enquiry form and be easily imported into many CRMs. When your leads are given a grade or value, they can then easily be imported to Google Ads to determine the keywords and ads that are driving your best leads and worst leads. Are those generic keywords used by people who are going to buy? Are some ads just generating customer service enquiries?

Track offline conversion rates

You may not have the technology to track each offline conversion back to its original source. However top line data about leads to conversion is still better than nothing. If your offline conversion rate and lead time is normally consistent, share it with your campaign managers and it may be possible to map improvements or reductions back to changes on campaigns.

This can be done with very little investment and, if you have Google Tag Manager, it can also be set up without technical assistance.

Track phone calls

This can be done for free with Google Ads Call Conversions which limits you to phone calls received from Google Ads traffic. For a relatively low investment phone calls can be tracked at session level across all sources through other call tracking software. This shows you how much you currently spend on display advertising or SEO without knowing how many, and what type of phone calls the traffic generates?

Feedback on the quality of calls or leads

Many businesses can be put off by the large amount of admin and process involved in tracking enquiries through to conversion and beyond. While this is the ideal, it’s much easier to provide basic feedback that can improve your campaigns today. For example, basic feedback such as a grading system or potential leads value can be valuable data.

Check your Google Ads account linked to the correct Google Analytics property

Linking a Google Analytics property to your Google Ads account can help you analyse customer activity on your website. This information can shed light on how much of your website traffic or sales comes from Google Ads, and help you improve your ads and website. After linking Google Analytics and Google Ads, you can do the following:

  • Import Google Analytics goals and transactions into Google Ads as conversions.
  • View Google Analytics site engagement data in Google Ads.
  • Create remarketing lists in Analytics to use in Google Ads for targeting specific audiences.
  • Automatically view your Google Ads click and cost data alongside your Analytics site engagement data.

2. Landing pages

Make sure that the most appropriate ad group, and keyword relevant destination URL is being used. Having a highly relevant landing page will not only improve your conversion rate but will have a positive effect on Quality Score. Use your landing page Quality Score factor to identify poor quality landing pages which need improvement, or to be changed to a pre-existing more relevant landing page.

Create multiple landing pages with content tailored for different levels of intent

The content of each landing page should follow logically from the ad that triggers it, giving users a consistent message. The type of landing page you create will depend on the goal of your ad campaign, as well as match the intent level of the search you wish your ad to show for.

Generating leads – your ads appear when people are actively searching for the products and services your business offers. You need to ensure you send searchers to a landing page containing content that is specific to their search and includes a clear call-to-action such as a callback request form, email subscription form, and/or a downloadable brochure.

Generating revenue and profit – your ads appear when people are looking for a product or service you sell, or searching for a need or solution that one of your products could fulfil. Here, it’s important that your landing page includes relevant products – remember to emphasise the benefits they offer, rather than simply listing features.

Brand exposure and awareness – your ads promote your brand to a highly relevant audience, with the potential to increase traffic to your site. It’s vital here that your ads are creative enough to engage people with your brand – the content on your landing page should reinforce this message and encourage people to interact further.

3. Ad copy

A PPC ad is the search marketing equivalent of an ‘elevator pitch’, it has to have punch, convince and convert in a tiny space. Here are some tips on writing effective ad copy, but you can also explore specific PPC techniques to help you reach the right audience – those with intent to convert (there’s no point in having a high volume of clicks that aren’t converting).

Don’t rely too heavily on dynamic keyword insertion

It’s better to ensure that ads are naturally keyword dense after splitting out ad groups into tighter themes. This means you can write more compelling ads without the need to relying on the keyword being pulled in.

Try using expanded text ads

These give you more room to convey your message to customers, with ad length of up to 300 characters, three headlines and two descriptions. If you’re not implementing this feature across your account, you could be losing ground to competitors who will be taking advantage of the increased CTR and improved Quality Scores seen from the new format. Here’s an example of an expanded text ad, taking advantage of the optional third headline and second description:

expanded text ad

Try adding responsive search ads (RSAs) into the account

These allow you to enter up to 15 headlines, and four descriptions for each ad; a maximum of three headlines and two descriptions will show. Google will test and run all combinations, then select the best combination using machine learnings. Not using RSAs means you could be missing out on more relevant searches, and additional ad testing.


This blog scratches the surface of improving conversion rates – you need to be prepared to invest time in testing and refining your strategy if you want to receive sustained results. For further guidance, see our resources on CRO and PPC.



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