Drive sales and generate leads

One of the most common goals among business owners is to drive sales and generate leads. This often means running direct-response campaigns that encourage customers to pursue a specific action - such as buying a product or signing up for a newsletter. These campaigns are also called traffic-generating campaigns or lead-generating campaigns, and there are some best practices to keep in mind when setting them up in Google Ads.

The goals of traffic-generating and lead-generating campaigns

  • Encourage customers to complete a purchase.
  • Generate leads by gathering contact details through a sign-up page.
  • Increase traffic to your website so that you can distribute information.

Where you should run your campaigns

We suggest that you use a mix of keyword-targeted campaigns on the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network. Here's why:

  • Google Search Network
    When you advertise on the Google Search Network, your ads can appear on Google search results pages. You pick keywords related to your business and set bids. When people search for a keyword you've chosen, your ad can appear.
  • Search Partners
    Google Ads provides you with an option to have your ads appear on search sites other than Google. These sites can deliver additional high-quality traffic to your business to help you generate leads. Your ads can appear next to search results on these Search Partner properties.
  • Google Display Network
    You can use contextual targeting on the Google Display Network to direct your advertising campaign to specific pages that are thematically relevant to your advertising message. With contextual targeting, we match your specific keywords with relevant pages across the Internet. This way, we can connect your message to customers reading and browsing related content who're more likely to be interested in your products or services.

What to know about placement targeting, ad formats, and bidding

  • Placement targeting
    This form of advertising enables you to pick and choose "placements" - specific websites or sections of sites within the Google Display Network where you can run your ads. You can select sites based on specific topics or the target audience you're trying to reach, or you can target any site that meets your branding criteria. To get some ideas, you can try Display Planner.
  • Ad formats
    With traffic-generating and lead-generating campaigns, you'll most likely want to engage your target audience with your main product or service. We recommend using text ads with a strong, clear call-to-action, as well as rich-media ad formats (like image or video ads), which can help deliver your message in ways beyond simple text.
  • Bid strategy
    Since the main goal of a traffic-generation and lead-generation campaign is to increase return-on-investment through conversions or traffic to your site, we suggest using cost-per-click bidding for both your contextual and placement targeted campaigns.

How to measure effectiveness

You can measure a few things to see if your campaign is successful. The first step is to start keeping track of your conversions with a free tool called Conversion Tracking. Once you've set that up, you'll be able to keep an eye on some important metrics, including number of conversions, cost per conversion, and conversion rate, as well as keyword conversion data and data on landing pages.


To make a direct-response campaign effective:
  • Highlight a distinct offer that the customer can take advantage of.
  • Provide sufficient information for the customer to make a decision on whether to act, as well as a way for them to respond (ideally you'll offer multiple options, such as a toll-free number, a webpage, and an email address).
  • Include an explicit "call to action" - that is, what the customer should do next.
  • Make sure that your website is easy to navigate and is accessible, especially the pages describing the specific products you're promoting.

Related links

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