By Charly Mostert

So you just launched a new pay-per-click (PPC) campaign and you’re not getting any leads or conversions. What should you do?

Step 1: Don’t freak out, and learn from the data you’re getting.


Don’t make large changes to your strategy too early. Instead, allow your campaigns to run until you have a solid dataset to inform how you fix PPC conversions.

Step 2: Identify where exactly the problem lies when it comes to PPC leads and conversions.

Are your ads not showing? Or maybe the ads are showing, but nobody is clicking and you’re not getting any PPC traffic? Are you getting lots of traffic, but nobody is converting?

These scenarios are symptomatic of different issues. Troubleshooting each requires reviewing a different part of your larger campaign.

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Ads Aren’t Showing

This one typically results from a few common causes:
  • Your bids are too low: Other advertisers are outbidding you on your target keywords (or your keyword doesn’t have enough volume to trigger ads).
  • Your quality score is too low: This has to do with ad copy and landing page experience. Essentially, you need to be sure that there is alignment between your target keyword, its relevance to your ad copy, the ad copy’s relevance to your landing page, and the landing page experience overall.
  • There’s another issue with your account: Maybe your payment didn’t go through, or you have another internal conflict within your account (like geo-targeting ads where there isn’t any volume, billing or budget issues, or incorrect settings at a level within your account that you hadn’t intended).

Ads Are Getting Impressions, but Nobody’s Clicking

When this happens, it’s time to revisit your offer and make sure that it’s compelling and relevant to topics that searchers of those keywords might be interested in.

Alternately, you might have a great offer, but it doesn’t seem compelling to prospective clickers. Here’s a blog article from my colleague Chris Hutchens on how to improve your copy.

Visitors Reach Your Page, but They Don’t Convert

In this case, try to walk yourself through the experience of clicking your ad and landing on this page. Can you identify any misalignment in the experience? Examples may include:

  • The ad and landing page don’t use the same verbiage. 
  • The landing page doesn’t have one clear conversion that everything else on the page supports.
  • Most visitors are on mobile devices, but the page’s mobile experience is poor (loads too slowly, has a non-responsive design, and so forth).

As a bonus, you might consider adding a heatmapping tool like Lucky Orange or Hotjar to the page to better understand users’ on-page behavior. For more details on improving your landing pages, check out our Complete Guide to Landing Pages.  

Step 3: Make one change at a time, and review the results.

If you worry that your PPC campaign is completely off-base, it may make sense to rethink your strategy entirely.

However, many campaigns can be fine-tuned to perform better with some patience, data collection, and individual changes that you can clearly measure the impact of. In these cases, gather at least a month’s worth of data to be sure you understand what’s working and what is not.

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Charly Mostert

About the author

Charly Mostert loves researching and spreading the word on the newest inbound marketing best practices. He has diverse in-house and agency experience, and works primarily on Inbound and Growth-Driven Design projects as a SmartBug Inbound Marketing Manager. Read more articles by Charly Mostert.

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