Best Practices to Optimize Lead Generation Funnel



In order to drive growth in conversions and value through bidding, targeting, creatives, and attribution, Performance Max leverages Google AI. This powerful tool is designed to perform across various marketing objectives and media channels, making it an ideal choice for lead generation campaigns. To ensure optimal results and success, it is essential to follow best practices when setting up Performance Max campaigns for lead generation. This article will guide you through these best practices, providing valuable insights and recommendations.

Campaign Set-Up

Campaign Duration

To allow Google AI enough time to ramp up and gather sufficient data for performance comparison, it is recommended to run campaigns for at least 6 weeks. This duration ensures that the AI has ample time to curate data and optimize campaign performance effectively.

Conversion Goal Selection

Selecting the right conversion goals is crucial for enhancing protection against invalid activity and improving lead generation. Opt for lead generation conversion goals such as “Contacts,” “Submit lead forms,” “Book appointment,” “Sign-up,” “Request quote,” “Imported leads,” “Qualified leads,” or “Converted leads.” These conversion goals serve as signals for Google AI to strengthen prevention systems.

Bidding and Automation

Value-Based Bidding

If you have the ability to track lead values, employing value-based bidding strategies is crucial to accurately evaluate offline and online conversions and maximize lead value. Two recommended options are “Maximize conversion value” and “Maximize conversion value with target ROAS.” The former drives conversion value within your budget, while the latter ensures the highest conversion value while maintaining a target return on ad spend (tROAS). It is advisable to use the bid strategy “Maximize conversion value with target ROAS” when you have at least 15 conversions within the last 30 days.

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Conversion-Based Bidding

For lead generation campaigns where all leads hold equal value, conversion-based Smart Bidding is an effective strategy to maximize lead volume. Two recommended options for this approach are “Maximize conversions” and “Maximize conversions with target CPA.” The former aims to drive as many conversions as possible within your specified budget, while the latter strives to obtain as many conversions as possible while maintaining a target cost per acquisition (CPA).

Setting Targets

When utilizing the Maximize Conversions or Target CPA (tCPA) bidding strategies, it is essential to select the conversion action that represents the final stage of the lead generation funnel and has a sufficient frequency. For instance, qualified or converted leads are appropriate choices. Set the tCPA value close to or equal to the highest amount you are willing to pay for a lead of this type. Mark the conversion action created for the main goal as “Primary,” while labeling other lead conversions (goals) as “Observation only.”

Conversion Value Rules

Conversion value rules allow you to express the value of conversions based on various conditions such as geographic location, device, and audiences. These rules enable you to adjust conversion values in real-time bidding, providing better optimization for your lead generation campaigns.

Enhanced Conversions for Leads (ECL)

Enhanced conversions for leads (ECL) is a recommended feature to improve lead quality. By importing accurate conversion data from offline events, you can optimize your campaigns through automation. Implementing ECL allows you to enhance lead quality and subsequently enhance the success of your lead generation campaigns. It is advisable to explore the benefits of ECL and other offline conversion import solutions offered by Google.


Creative Refresh

Creative elements play a crucial role in driving performance and customization within your campaign. To achieve the best results, focus on providing unique and captivating content. Regularly refreshing your creatives is also essential to keep your campaign aligned with new products or offers.

Assets to Audience Signals

To tailor ads for different audiences, consider adding another asset group. Audience signals do not limit targeting, and the asset group serves beyond the audience. Ensure that you provide unique content that engages your audiences and tie assets to the appropriate audience signals to maximize the impact of your lead generation campaigns.

Add More Assets

To attract new users continuously, it is recommended to add new assets or update existing ones as your marketing message evolves. Having a variety of assets allows for the creation of different ad formats that can effectively target various channels and users.

Lead Form


When designing lead forms, it is crucial to only ask for strictly necessary information. Additional questions can decrease the completion rate, leading to increased cost per acquisition (CPA). Keep your lead forms concise and minimize any potential barriers to submission.

Call-to-Action (CTA)

The call-to-action (CTA) within your lead forms should guide users to either the website to fill out the form or enable them to fill out the form directly from the ad format (Discovery, YouTube, Search Extension). Ensure that the CTA is clear and compelling, encouraging users to take the desired action.


To further qualify leads before they submit the form, consider incorporating qualifying questions and friction elements such as reCAPTCHA within your lead forms. This can improve the downstream lead quality, but it may also increase the cost per lead (CPL) slightly.


Ad Strength

To determine if an asset group is set up for success, review the ad strength metric. This metric ranges from “Poor” to “Excellent” and provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of your creative elements. Use the ad strength indicator to optimize your asset groups and improve the performance of your lead generation campaigns.

Audience Signals

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These best practices serve as valuable guidelines to optimize your lead generation funnel using Performance Max campaigns. By implementing these strategies, you can enhance your campaign’s performance, drive conversions, and maximize lead value. With Google AI’s advanced capabilities and these best practices, you can achieve optimal results and drive growth in your lead generation efforts.

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