Many of our inbound marketing clients view pay-per-click (PPC) as the silver bullet they’ve been searching for (no pun intended) for years. Buy some Google ads and wait for the leads to come pouring in. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here’s what to expect from pay-per-click and organic search as well as how to optimize your lead generation.
What To Expect From Pay-Per-Click AdWords
Think again if you’re expecting to turn on your PPC AdWords campaign today and have leads start flowing in tomorrow. It takes time to create the right ads, select the right keywords, build the right landing page, optimize your budget based on results and remain competitive without overbidding.
To be blunt, you should plan on at least 30 days of PPC campaign management metrics before you even think about seeing any significant results. Remember, this is a moving target. Every keyword comes with built-in competition. Other businesses are bidding for the same keywords, optimizing the same types of ads, and driving up the cost of the ads. This in turn drives down the conversion rate as they get better at competing.
Pay-per-click needs constant management, optimization, testing and evaluation. It should always be planning and strategy first, followed by keyword selection and prioritization. Then offer and ad copy creation. And finally landing page and lead nurturing asset creation followed by launch. Many times, we’ll do a soft launch or a limited launch to test some of our assumptions pre-campaign. This helps us optimize the budget faster and provide some campaign messaging adjustments before we go live.
Over time, the campaign metrics improve as we constantly optimize performance and dial in the program to produce results. Patience and perseverance are key ingredients.
What To Expect From Organic Search
There are a lot of similarities between pay-per-click campaigns and the process to start helping clients get found on the organic side of a Google search page. You have to start with strategy. What keywords do we need to be found for? Which ones have low difficulty ratings and high search volumes? Which one are strategic and which ones will drive visitors? What are the long-tail keywords? What questions do we want to be found for? Once you get these locked down, you have a portfolio of keywords to work with.
Google doesn’t rank websites; it ranks website pages. You’ll need pages for each keyword, phrase or question. You’ll need blog articles to support the fresh content requirement from Google and you’ll need offers on each page to earn a high-quality score from Google. Yes, if this sounds complicated, it is, and again, it takes time.
You want to be less concerned with specific keywords and more concerned with driving up organic search-related visitors month over month. You do this by focusing on the portfolio of keywords, not obsessing over one or two pet keywords. What you need to be looking for is movement.
How To Optimize Both Types Of Search To Drive Lead Generation
Lead generation is the name of the game. Because of this, you need to consider both organic and paid search engine optimization. Budgetary limitations keep you out of the AdWords game; that’s not uncommon. If budget is an issue, then you need to double down on the assets that will get you found organically, focusing on website, content, social media and conversion optimization.
Content has to be a critical component of the site strategy. What pages are for people at the top of the funnel, middle of the funnel and bottom of the funnel? Are you providing offers that get them to convert? What pages are you linking to that get them to click? This thought process cannot be skipped and should be invested in during the website project to optimize your site’s ability to be found and found frequently.
If you do have the budget, then you need to add in AdWords with your organic search work. Pay-per-click can produce results in a shorter time frame and can be dialed back once organic starts carrying more of the effort. To truly optimize lead generation, both approaches produce results.
To extend the idea of leveraging all the get found tactics, plenty of other ways exist to drive visitors to your website, including referral sites, social media sites and email marketing. After running successful lead generation inbound marketing campaigns for hundreds of clients, we’ve learned the key is using all the tools in our toolkit. Start planning a proactive approach to search, pay-per-click and these other tactics as well, and that’s when you’ll start to see the results you’ve expected all along.