Google Ads PPC Case Study: A 41.6% Decrease In Average Cost Per Lead

Goldman Marketing Group

December 2020

This client is a weight loss surgery group practice practicing within the city of Tijuana, Mexico. This business generates a portion of their patient leads by running Google Ad Search campaigns that target the United States along with some sections of Canada. Their main value proposition is that they offer equally high-quality procedures as those of the US but at a lower price due to the lower operating costs in Mexico.

When onboarding this client, our goal was to generate more leads, but in order to do this, we would have to lower the overall cost-per-lead. By doing this, we would be able to generate more leads using the same budget, but we would also be able to scale the campaign at a more efficient rate.

See below for how we optimized from $82 per lead to $48 per lead:

Understanding The Customer Journey of a Google Ads Search Campaign

The standard journey of a potential customer can be broken down below:

The Search

When a user makes a search for a particular service in Google, this indicates that they have the intent of either learning more about the service, or they are looking for a provider to buy this service from.

The Click

Once the user conducts the search, the search results page, also known as the SERP, will show them a number of options to choose from, with search ads showing up at the very top.

These ads are placed by advertisers like us in hopes of generating more visitors to our website in exchange for a small fee for each person that clicks on our ad. If a user sees an ad but doesn’t click it, the advertiser is not charged.

The Landing Page

Once the user clicks on the ad, they are sent to a landing page chosen by the advertiser. This is where the user makes the decision on whether or not they want to pay for the product/make an appointment for the service.

This is known as a conversion or a lead. Because this is the last touchpoint of the user before they decide to purchase or not, it is extremely important that the landing page that the advertiser chooses be of high-quality content and is relevant to what the user is searching for.

This is an example of a Google Search ad including headlines, descriptions, sitelinks, and other info.

By rewriting the ad copy to be more eye-catching, relevant to the user, and informative about our business, we were able to increase the clickthrough rate by 30.66%.

How We Stretched Our Ad Dollars

For any campaign, it is important to make the most out of the budget that you have. In Google Ads, because the user pays based on users who click on their ad, we want to focus on how much it cost for a click, aka, the cost per click(CPC).

By lowering our CPC, we will be able to generate more clicks, and we will have more users visiting our website to potentially convert. The algorithm that Google uses to determine the CPC involves multiple factors, but one that we can directly control is the expected clickthrough rate (clicks per impressions).

The higher your expected clickthrough rate is, the lower your CPC, because it indicates to Google that your ad is highly relevant to the user’s search.

Optimizing Our Clickthrough Rate

In order to optimize the first step of the customer journey, the click, we need to create an eye-catching ad that is relevant to what the user is searching for.

This involves writing a strong ad copy for our expanded text ads, consisting of three headers and two descriptions that are shown to the user in the ad portion of the SERP. By rewriting the ad copy to be more eye-catching, relevant to the user, and informative about our business, we were able to increase the clickthrough rate by 30.66% (shown below).

When we onboarded the campaign in December of 2019, we rewrote the ads to not only be more relevant to the keywords we are targeting but by enticing more clicks and increasing our CTR (by 30.66%).

The Effect on CPC

By increasing the CTR, Google took note that our ads were gaining more traction and were successful in generating traffic. Additionally, as we convert more users, Google notices that we are a relevant ad that should be shown to more users with a similar intent. Therefore, they lowered the overall CPC so that our ad can show up for more users and provide a better user experience for more people searching for our target keywords.

As a result, our campaign’s CPC is on average lower than that of the previous year.

Increasing the Landing Page Conversion Rate

Once users click on our ad, the next step is optimizing the landing page. Originally, the client simply directed all users to the home page of their website, but we created custom landing pages that would reduce the amount of effort needed for the user to learn more about the procedure and our business.

Because we separated our ad groups based on procedure keywords, we know exactly what users are searching for. Therefore, we created multiple pages with content and media specific to the procedure they searched for.

These multiple pages are highly tailored to each ad group and service that we are targeting, so they contain small differences in wording depending on what ad group they are in. As a result of our landing page optimizations, we saw a 45% increase in conversion rate (weighted).

We build this custom landing page for the client, resulting in a substantial (+45%) increase in the conversion rate.

Utilizing Data to Optimize Our Budget

Initially, the client had not been utilizing the location or ad scheduling features of Google Ads, so we turned on those features in order to collect data as detailed as possible.

As we collected more data through our campaign, we began to see trends in how we generated leads along with the overall conversion rate.

Certain parts of the country were more likely to click on our ad and convert into a lead, and as a result, we would increase our ad spend in those respective areas.

In addition to reallocating our budget in various parts of the country, we identified various times of the day along with days of the week when conversions generated at a higher rate. Therefore, we would reduce spending during time frames where we wouldn’t see high conversion rates and increase spending during time frames that showed to be more fruitful (see chart).

Our revised landing page and the adjustment to bidding based on schedule resulted in a sharp increase in conversion rates whiles simultaneously reducing spending.

…we identified various times of the day along with days of the week when conversions generated at a higher rate

Lowered CPC + Increased Conversion Rates = Lowered CPL

By analyzing the different factors of the campaign that affect the cost per lead, we were able to successfully lower the average cost per lead by about 40% compared to the previous year’s average.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down multiple businesses in March 2020, we managed to keep the average cost per lead fairly low in the future months.

Want to know how we can leverage PPC for your business? Contact us to schedule a strategy session.


When trying to make the most out of your budget in a paid search campaign, it is important to look at all aspects of the campaign. By identifying what affects the KPI that we are trying to optimize, the cost per lead, and optimizing these parts of the campaign individually, we were able to successfully generate more leads within the same budget.

We are able to narrow down exactly what was within our control, and by making edits to these parts of the campaign, the other metrics and KPI’s followed suit, generating more leads for our client.