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July 18, 2011

Use SEM to Generate Organic Leads – A SPN Exclusive Article

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably executed Search Engine Optimization campaigns and are interested in finding new ways to boost your website’s visibility and lead generation capabilities. True, SEO is a continuous process, and results might not come right away, but if you set your sights too far into the future, you may miss out on some immediate benefits. By implementing a pay-per-click lead generation campaign (PPC), you can quickly improve your SEO efforts both now and in the long run.

Both marketing channels are essentially trying to achieve the same goal – generate leads and increase sales revenue. When properly implemented, just about everything you do for SEO can be coordinated with your pay per click campaigns, and you can drive targeted traffic to your best and most profitable content using PPC. Combining PPC and SEO enables companies to maximize return on investment, provide consistent messaging, and jump start efforts that may have been slow to take off.

For newly developed brands or companies, marketers can use PPC to buy targeted traffic while the site gains search engine authority through SEO. At the point in time when your site has established its online reputation and built links and traffic flows, you can shift your strategy so that PPC becomes more of a complementary tactic.

Design Your Pages for People – Not Search Engines

This refrain is the go-to line of advice from Google’s Matt Cutts. Certainly, it is a safe phrase designed to summarize what your should do to boost your site’s SERPs, without disclosing Google’s secrets. If you have recently adopted ppc advertising after exhausting your seo ideas, buying traffic can be cathartic. PPC advertising is expensive. When you are charged for every click, you must rack your brain to maximize
the impact of each visitor. In doing so, you will notice that you begin to focus more on the behavior of visitors, and less on how you believe search engines will treat your content. You might be surprised to find out that by designing your content for users, you are actually designing it for search engines.

You can learn a lot about SEO by understanding PPC, and vice-versa. For instance, someone who has extensive experience with PPC can learn a lot regarding improving their quality scores by learning basic SEO basic best practices.

Unified Messaging

Many companies delegate the tasks of SEO and PPC to separate individuals. If this is the case in your organization, you should understand that both marketers are not competing with each other, are on the same team, and that their message needs to be unified. Both share the responsibility of driving traffic and generating leads. Communication is essential to ensuring that both marketers are utilizing similar phrasing and language. Again, the goal is the same, only the routes used to get there are different.

Social Media & Direct Links

It’s no secret that social graph metrics now play a key role in SERPs. By purchasing traffic, you increase the exposure of your website, and increase the opportunities for users to “like” your page, tweet your content, or directly link to it.

While social media recommendations, tweets, etc., are all the rage of late, direct links are still the most powerful avenue to boost your site’s rankings. Search engines treat backlinks from other sites as a recommendation of your site’s quality.

The same is true from social media, only with an added twist. Google now includes pages recommended through social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google’s very own +1, in search results for users. While this is still in its infancy, it stands to reason that recommended links experience a higher CTR than regular results, and thus, generate more leads.

CTR and Direct Search

Google’s algorithm has hundreds of components. Most SEOs believe that a site’s organic click through rate and volume of branded searches for your site are among factors Google looks at when ranking your site. By increasing the overall volume of traffic to your site, you are bound to see an increase in users searching directly for you.

Double Rainbow!

…or close enough, and it does mean something. Once your site has been indexed and ranks for your coveted keywords, you will begin to reap the benefits of valuable double links. A double link occurs when your organic listing appears on the same page as your ppc advertisement. Users will often see both listings and perceive your content to be relevant. Obviously, you would prefer if the user clicks on the free link, but even a click on your paid listing will improve your ad’s quality score, and reduce costs in the long run. Still, if possible, try to
creatively incentivize the user to click on the organic search result.

Conversion Data

Increasing the total volume of traffic to your site can give you a better idea of which keywords actually convert into leads and sales. By using SEO alone, you are limited to data surrounding the keywords for which you have a high rank.

You naturally have pre-conceived and biased notions of what the best keywords for your business may be. Often webmasters and marketing coordinators are surprised when they discover leads generated by keywords they once deemed irrelevant.

Adam Shore coordinates marketing for an offshore call center in the Philippines, while living in Massachusetts, USA. His expertise includes lead generation, data entry outsourcing, virtual assistant services, customer support, and appointment setting.