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Google Lead Form Ads: The Complete, Always-Updated Guide to Google Lead Generation

By Mark Cirillo | No Comments | 20th April 2020

Lead generation is one of the most important goals of business owners: a good lead generation strategy in place helps to target high-quality prospects that are more likely to convert into customers.

However, generating high-quality leads is not an easy task: 28.2% of marketers revealed in a survey carried out by GetApp that generating high-quality leads is one of their biggest lead generation challenges, while another 21.9% stated that they have a hard time in generating a high volume of leads. 

Google lead ads form

One of the main challenges to acquire leads is to meet consumers where they are at: for many years in a row mobile traffic has accounted for approximately 50% of web traffic worldwide. Moreover, fewer people browse the internet and use social media sites via laptops: it is predicted that 54.2% of US social network users will be mobile-only by 2021. 

The traditional process of generating leads by sending people to a landing page where they fill several form fields before submitting their contact information is becoming not only obsolete but also financially costly. Slow loading landing pages are a real curse for advertisers: they increase the bounce rate by 8.3%, decrease conversion rate of 3.5% and decrease a page view by 9.4%. This is why advertising publishers such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google have been rolling out new solutions for advertisers to generate leads, such as native lead generation ads. 

Google lead ads form

Native lead generation ads are types of ads specifically designed for mobile navigation, which enable users to become leads in a couple of clicks. The reason is that the form fields are usually pre-populated with the user’s personal information, and the users can submit a form directly on the platform where they are shown the ad. 

Like Facebook Lead Ads and LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms, Google has also developed its own native lead generation ads, namely Google lead form extensions and YouTube TrueView for Action Form Ads

It’s worth noting that the challenge in generating new leads for businesses is not just in terms of quantity, but also quality. Although lead generation ads drive more leads by reducing friction, they might trade off some quality as the lead does not provide some important information about their profile. This dilemma and compromise have burdened advertisers’ shoulders for a long time. 

However Google lead form extension and YouTube TrueView for Action Form Ads partially solve this pain point: since the users are actively searching for either your company or a product or service related to your offer, their explicit interest can be seen as a synonym of quality. 

This way companies can drive large amounts of leads without compromising on the quality. 

In this article, we examine how to use Google lead form extension and YouTube TrueView for action campaigns in Google Ads. In particular, we focus on the following: 

1.   Google lead form extension

2.   YouTube TrueView for Action Form Ads 

1. Google lead form extension 

Google lead form extensions are lead generation ads designed to help businesses drive leads directly from the mobile search results page, as they search for a product, a service or when they type specific keywords on Google. They can help a variety of businesses across several industries, such as real estate, B2B, automotive, travel, hospitality, education, finance and more.  

Some Google ads lead forms examples are companies offering newsletter signup, brochure download or coupon discounts. 

To give a few, a private school might use a lead form extension to attract new students by sending them a brochure of their study programs. Another Google ads lead forms example would be a car dealer giving the opportunity to get a quote about a car the user is considering buying, or a travel agency offering a discount to anyone booking a trip within 30 days.  

How does Google lead form extension work?

Google lead form extensions are designed to attract prospects with a simple call to action in a responsive form under the ad. When users click on the ad, they are shown a Google-hosted form automatically pre-populated with their Google account data and a call-to-action (i.e. “Apply now”) to submit the form with a single tap (as shown in the image below).

Google lead ads form

Source: Google.com

 

What are the benefits of Google lead form extension?

There are many benefits for companies using Google Lead Form Ads. Here are some of them: 

  • Google lead form extensions are pre-filled, making it easier and faster for users to submit their contact information.
  • Google lead form extensions are highly performing and optimized for mobile navigation, and do not require extra technical intervention on the company side.
  • Google lead form extensions are easy to customize to fit a business’ marketing goals.
  • Google lead form extensions can be integrated with a CRM or Email software to promptly contact new leads as they sign up.
  • Google lead form extensions are relevant to users since they are based on their search patterns on Google.

What are the privacy rules and limits to data collection?

Advertisers must be aware that Google lead forms ads extensions are subject to certain ad policies that aim to protect Google users’ personal information. Lead form extension should have an URL that links to a company’s privacy policy to explain how the company will use the information acquired.
Google leads ads form

Furthermore, to comply with Google Ads policies, advertisers cannot create a lead form extension that:  

  • use the personal information previously collected without the user’s consensus
  • misuse the user’s personal information to trigger an emotional reaction
  • collect credit card numbers, tax ID, health status, social security number, etc.

Besides that, Google lead form extensions have other limitations. For example, it’s not possible to: 

  • use promotional language in the business name field (i.e. “Buy now at Tony’s Car Dealer”)
  • advertisements for alcohol beverages, gambling services or adult-oriented products
  • advertisements for political content or healthcare and medicine services

In general, advertisers who violate the privacy policies risk having their extensions disapproved or the entire account suspended. Google lead form extensions are also subject to external privacy regulations such as the GDPR for European countries, so advertisers cannot run remarketing campaigns leveraging cookies from EU users who have not given consent to the company to use their information. 

To learn more about what companies can or cannot do to be compliant with the GDPR regulation read this extensive guide

How to track Google lead form extension conversions?

Advertisers should be mindful of how they track the results of their lead form extensions campaigns. Many focus on the fact that this technology helps them to drive hundreds of leads, others focus on the low lead acquisition cost. 

Although these results can still benefit the company, ultimately a company should always strive to drive leads that convert into sales. Tracking real conversions helps businesses understand better their return on investment (ROI) and better allocate their marketing budget through informed decisions. 

To track the quality of new leads collected advertisers must measure conversions in a full-funnel strategy. Google allows advertisers to master the sales funnel by using its Conversion tracking tool

Conversions are not necessarily purchases, but also newsletter signs up, calls with sales reps or app downloads. It’s up to each Marketing manager to define what action should be considered ‘conversions’ and create a conversion action on their Google Ads account. 

To make an example, a marketing agency might make a Google lead form extension campaign to drive leads who want to receive a free PDF template to improve their marketing strategy. Once the users submit their contact information and they receive the free template via email, they are invited to further get in touch with the agency by booking a call for a 30-minute introductory call to receive marketing consultancy.   

The marketing agency can track each booked call as a conversion, to better assess the efficacy of its lead form extension campaign. Companies generally run advertising cross-channel campaigns (i.e. on Facebook, YouTube, Google Search, LinkedIn) so it becomes critical to understand which channel is driving the most conversions. 

In the case of the marketing agency, the way to measure where the conversion came from is to ‘push’ first-party data from its CRM to Google. In other words, it can download from its CRM a segment of people who booked a 30-minute introductory call and import it on Google to match it with the leads coming from the lead form extension campaign. 

This process can be done manually, or automatically by integrating the CRM with Google’s conversion tracking tool. For a detailed step-by-step guide on how to set up your Google conversions tool click here

Once advertisers have set up conversion tracking, they can have a better picture of what advertising efforts are driving the best results. 

How to run remarketing ads with lead form extensions

Google lead form ads can spark new leads to enter a marketing funnel but might require further advertising efforts. Marketing managers can create remarketing campaigns with Google Customer Match to address their audience depending on their stage in the funnel. 

Remarketing enables companies to tap into their first-party data and leverage meaningful signals present in their CRMs at all times, such segments of people who placed a call with a sales reps, subscribed to a newsletter or signed up for an “open day”. 

For example, many people at first might connect with a business by submitting their contact information on a lead form extension, but will not engage further than that. In this case, the Marketing manager can decide to create a remarketing campaign to nudge the lead a step further down the funnel. Since the leads have already engaged once with a brand and are familiar with it, they are more likely to take action. 

Google leads ads form

To create a remarketing campaign with Google companies can leverage Google Customer Match, which allows them to create PPC ads to target prospects on Gmail, Search network, Display network, and YouTube starting from the user’s personal information.

Since Google Customer Match identifies people by hashing the data about first name, last name, country, and zip code, it can remarket people on all devices such as mobile, tablet or laptop computer, which is quite convenient considering that 90% of users use different devices to browse online. 

To remarket custom segments of existing contacts based on their stage in the funnel with a tailored message, companies must connect their CRM with Google Customer Match to optimize and automate the process. 

To learn how to build a Customer Match list and more importantly, how to connect your CRM with it, read this extensive guide.

How to integrate Google lead form extension with your CRM

Once companies drive new leads to their funnels, it triggers a series of marketing communications either via email, SMS or other channels. Two widely adopted ways of communication with new leads are via email marketing and SMS messages. 

After a lead submits a lead form extensions it’s necessary to immediately follow up with it by sending a confirmation email or a welcome SMS text to follow up on their intent. 76% of people expect to receive an email communication immediately after subscribing to a list, and companies that respond quickly to leads are 7 times more likely to convert those leads into sales.

To make the best of your advertising efforts, communication with new leads must be effective and immediate. Therefore, the leads collected via Google lead form extensions must be sync in real-time with a company CRM or Email software. 

Google lead ads form

There are two ways to retrieve your leads at the end of a campaign: manually or via a webhook integration, the latter being the recommended option by Google to secure the leads and immediately start your marketing funnels.

Companies can manually download and manage their collected leads in a CSV file, although the files are stored only for 30 days and the process to upload them to the desired marketing tool is slow and costly. 

Most companies automate the process by integrating Google lead from extensions with a webhook integration. This way businesses can sync new leads in real-time and efficiently deliver the promised offer and a welcome message. 

It’s important to notice that if a business decides to use a webhook to sync leads to its CRM, the CRM manager must ensure that it works properly and correctly, otherwise, the form extension will stop working as well. A dysfunctional webhook URL will trigger the misfunction and disapproval of the lead form. 

 

This is why it is advisable to use a trusted third-party software such as LeadsBridge to create the webhook link between the CRM and the Google lead form extension campaigns. LeadsBridge is a cloud-based integration platform with a strong focus on privacy-safe best practices and robust integration technology.

How to create a Google lead form extension

To create a Google lead form extension there are some steps to follow: 

1.  Open a new window and log into your Google Ads account

2.  Click on Campaigns on the left menu

3.   Then, click on the plus (+) icon and select:

      New campaign, if you’re creating a new campaign
      Load campaign settings, if you have already created your campaign, you should select the one you want to connect with your CRM and continue from step number 7.

Google lead ads form

4.  If you are creating a New campaign then you should select Leads as the Campaign Goal

Google lead ads form

5.  Select Search as the Campaign Type

Google lead ads form6.  Then, select the ways you’d like to reach your goal (notice that LeadsBridge will need a Lead form submissions to retrieve your leads) and click on Continue

Google lead ads form

7.  Scroll down to Lead form extensions, under Ad extensions, and click on Create Lead Form Extension

Google lead ads form

8.  Fill all the information requested to create the form under Create your extension, Create your lead form and Create form submission message (notice that LeadsBridge will be able to retrieve only the values that you select under What information do you want to ask for?)

Google lead ads form

At this point, if you wish to secure your leads automatically in your CRM, you will need to open the Lead delivery option and paste the Webhook URL and Google Key to your LeadsBridge account to create the integration and run a test to make sure everything is working. For a more detailed guide on how to connect Google Lead Form Ads with your CRM follow the dedicated step-by-step guide that we created. 

9.  Finish your Campaign setup and publish it to start acquiring leads and secure them in your CRM. 

Here advertisers can select their call to action and their extension text, besides choosing the headline, business name and description up to 200 characters. 

Advertisers can also decide which information they want to collect from their prospects (name, email address, phone number, and postcode). It is also possible to add an image in the background as shown in the example below. This is also where advertisers can link to the privacy policy and explain for what marketing purposes the information collected will be used.   

Google lead ads form

2.  YouTube TrueView for Action Forms Ads

YouTube is one of the largest video platforms online, with over 2 billion monthly users and over a billion hours of video watched every day, generating billions of views and a great opportunity for advertisers. 

The same trend for mobile navigation is reflected on YouTube, with more than 70% of watch time coming from smartphones. Moreover, 47% of U.S. adults aged 18 to 54 say YouTube helps them at least once a month when making a decision about what to buy, which means that at least 70 million Americans are going to YouTube monthly to get help with a purchase.

Advertising on YouTube is becoming increasingly lucrative for businesses, and one of the best tools provided by YouTube for advertisers is the TrueView Action Forms Ads. 

TrueView for Action Form Ads are native lead generation ads specifically designed for YouTube, with the goal to help advertisers across several industries (i.e. automotive, travel, eCommerce, etc. ) to drive leads directly on YouTube while they are watching the video ad. 

The format facilitates viewers to take action by displaying a YouTube-hosted form with a prominent call-to-action and headline overlaying the ad. It must be noted that this type of ad only runs on the skippable ad format.

By reducing the friction in the user experience, TrueView for Action Form Ads helps companies to drive more leads than traditional ads where viewers are redirected to a landing page.

Please note that TrueView for Action Form Ads are currently only available to advertisers who are ‘whitelisted’ by Google, and it’s not known yet when they will be available to all other advertisers. 

How does YouTube TrueView for Action Form Ads work?

The YouTube TrueView ads show up in-stream on the viewer’s YouTube video, where the viewer will see a call to action button underneath the TrueView in-stream ad. When the viewer clicks on the call to action button, the form comes up pre-filled with the viewer’s information such as the first and last name, email, phone number, and zip code. Once the user submits the form, a “thank you” page is displayed with a link to a website. Find an example of the YouTube action form ad below.

Google lead ads form

What are the benefits of YouTube TrueView for Action Form ads?

Some of the benefits of this ad format are that: 

  • It helps businesses drive higher volumes of leads by reducing UX friction
  • It helps businesses to acquire new leads based on high-intent  
  • It helps businesses reduce the cost per lead compared to landing pages
  • It enables businesses to secure leads to any CRM with a webhook integration

How to optimize your TrueView for action campaign for conversions

There are some tips and best practices that YouTube suggests to get the most out of your TrueView campaign. For example, to optimize your TrueView for action campaign for conversions you can: 

  • Leverage Google’s automated bidding solution in order to capture the most conversions within a set budget
  • Run a/b testing of different CTAs and ad copy (up to 4/5 different versions) 
  • Use assertive CTA such as “Buy now” or “Sign up” and combine it with a copy that stresses how you can solve the customer’s problem. 

YouTube also recommends setting an average daily budget which is 20 times your CPA for Display campaigns, or 30 times your CPA for Search campaigns. 

It goes without saying that, exactly like for Google lead form extensions, it’s key to monitor results every week and measure performance based on conversions, by setting up the conversion tracking tool on your Google Ads account. 

For a detailed step-by-step guide on how to set up your Google conversions tool click here

How to integrate YouTube TrueView for Action Form Ads with your CRM

As mentioned earlier while talking about the Search lead form extension, timing in communication with new leads is key to drive conversions. 

This means that also leads coming from YouTube TrueView ads must be sync and secured in real-time to the CRM or Email software. Again businesses can retrieve their leads manually or they can set up automation via a trusted third party such as LeadsBridge to sync leads automatically and immediately start marketing funnels. LeadsBridge offers a robust integration technology with over 370 marketing tools, such as Hubspot, ActiveCampaign, Bitrix24 and many more. 

Google lead ads form 

If businesses decide to do this process manually, it’s important to remember that the CSV file with the leads is only stored for 30 days.  

If you decide to do it automatically, remember that the webhook integration must work properly to correctly sync your leads, which is why it’s wise to rely on partners such as LeadsBridge to feel safe that everything is working well. 

How to create a YouTube TrueView for Action Form Ads

To create a YouTube TrueView Ad there are some steps to follow: 

1.  Log into your Google Ads account

2.  Click on Campaigns on the left menu

3.  Then, click on the plus (+) icon and select:
     New campaign, if you’re creating a new campaign
     Load campaign settings, if you have already created your campaign, you should select the one you want to connect  with your Bridge and continue from step number 6

Google lead ads form

4.  If you are creating a New campaign then you should select Leads as the Campaign Goal

5.  Then, select Video as the Campaign Type, and click on Continue

Google lead ads form

6.  Then, click on the Form button

Google lead ads form

7.  Type your Business name and Call-to-action. Then, click on Continue

Google lead ads form

8.  Type your form Headline, Description, select the Information that you want to receive from your leads (notice that LeadsBridge will be able to retrieve only the values that you select on this step) and type your Privacy policy URL. Then, click on Continue

Google lead ads form

9.  Type your Post-submit headline and description, then click on Continue

Google lead ads form

At this point, if you wish to send your new leads from YouTube TrueView ads to your CRM with LeadsBridge automatically, you can enable Lead delivery by webhook and copy-paste the Webhook URL and Google Key that you receive while creating your bridge on the LeadsBridge app

Google lead ads form

For more detailed guidance on how to integrate YouTube TrueView for Action Form Ads with your CRM follow the dedicated step-by-step guide that we created. 

Conclusion

Advertisers must constantly adapt to change in consumer behavior. In a world where half of the people browse the web from mobile, one of the best ways for a business to drive leads is with native lead generation ads, which are specifically designed for mobile navigation.   

This article introduced two native lead generation ads from Google, Google lead form extensions and YouTube TrueView for Action Form Ads. Both ad formats make it easy and practical for users to submit a form without interrupting their navigation experience like when they have to open another landing page. 

At the same time, businesses can drive many more leads and optimize their cost of acquisition, without compromising on the quality since the users are showing intent and interest in their search. 

However, businesses should also implement more in-depth analytics to track real conversions both from the lead form extensions and from TrueView Ads, in order to assess which efforts are generating the highest returns. 

In order to do so, it’s key to integrate their CRM system/Customer Data Platform with their Google Ads account through third-party software, in order to safely and reliably exchange information from one to the other.   

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Mark Cirillo

Eager digital marketer, nurtured by news and strategies of this world, helping people and businesses to build and reinvent their online presence.

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