As the calendar page flips to a new year, now is the perfect time to re-evaluate and refine your search campaigns' lead gen capabilities. In a new MarketingProfs article, William Leake of Apogee Search offers the following tips for boosting your pay-per-click performance:

Add new compelling lead bait. Many viable prospects won't take that extra step of filling out a lead form without an extra incentive, Leake reminds us. Try adding expert whitepapers, webinars and case studies to entice action, he advises.

Trim the fat. Most PPC campaigns are wasting a portion of their spend on audiences that will never convert, Leake says. Continuously refine your campaigns so you're paying for relevant traffic.

Track past online conversions. Integrate your PPC (and SEO) data into your CRM system, so you can see solid ROI numbers on lead conversion; this can help optimize your campaign to generate real revenue, rather than leads that go nowhere.

Add negative keywords. "If you are using broad match at all, chances are there will be some irrelevant terms in [your Google search query report] that will surprise you," Leake notes. He suggests you "add these irrelevant terms as negative keywords in both Google and Yahoo." Doing so can remove 20% of your impressions on irrelevant keywords that weren't generating any clicks, he says.

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