February 2

Lead Generation via Search: Comparing Quantity and Quality

Lead Generation


Have you wondered about where you should put your online lead generation budget into search engine optimization or paid search?  Check out this new chart by MarketingSherpa, “Comparing the Quantity and Quality of B2B Search-Generated Leads“:

Chartofweek-01-26-10-lp (click chart to expand) According to Sherpa, “While paid search gives marketers more control, natural search page rankings driven higher by search engine optimization tactics generate as many high-quality leads as all paid search sources combined.”

What do you think? Do these findings match up with your experience with using search for lead generation?

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Why Most B2B Sites Fail to Convert Sales Leads



About the author 

Brian Carroll

Brian Carroll is the CEO and founder of markempa, helping companies to convert more customers with empathy-based marketing.

He is the author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and founded B2B Lead Roundtable LinkedIn Group with 20,301+ members.

  1. I always balance the two. But natural organic long tail focused SEO work has proven in my business to have a much higher ROI over a 12 month period. Of course, if you’re good at PPC you’ll also make money.

  2. PPC is a great way to refine your keyword research, while giving you good initial traffic as you’re busy crafting your longer term SEO efforts. Link building takes time, and if you are trying to optimize for very popular keywords it may take a ton of links before you start ranking for your chosen keywords.

  3. I totally agree with that Jaren. I think a balance between the two is the best way to go. I have started with SEO because it was free and I think it’s a valuable skill to have, to be able to rank pages number one in Google.

    But, I also think PPC is important. I think if I can master running PPC campaigns, it will be very financially rewarding. I think you can get quicker results with PPC but it can also cost you dearly.

  4. Great article! I’ve done a lot of both and to me, PPC has always worked to generate traffic. The trick is to be profitable…that’s not so easy right from the start. A heck of a lot of split testing and metrics need to be implemented in order to make it happen.

  5. The ideas here mirror my experience. PPC is fast and helps to identify keywords. SEO is slow, but it brings in more qualified leads. One thing not mentioned here is ROI. When we measured PPC, we found it generated break-even results. SEO generated significant profits for the company. The difference is that PPC spending is instantly consumed and must be paid again. Money spent on SEO builds a lasting program. Final Note: Regardless of what Google says, there is a statistical connection between PPC and SEO. Together they create a synergistic effect that seems to make both better.

  6. PPC creates results much faster, and is a good way of testing the keyword performance for us. We haven’t started our effort in SEO yet but would love to hear about any tips other marketers who have successes in SEO.

  7. I agree. I’ve found that it’s true that organic search can generate more and better leads than paid search ads, but it is rarely an either/or proposition. There is usually room to do some of each to accelerate both.

    Voice as a Service

  8. From my experience I can tell that seo is not even close to generating as many visitors as PPC campaigns. I believe the best is if you use both worlds though. Those two things go hand in hand.

  9. Agree with John here. Finding the right blend for PPC and SEO is key. You can certainly waste a lot of money on PPC if you’re not paying attention. I usually create a big batch of terms and then dial it down till I get the phrases that convert well.
    Usually, that means I’ve got my finger on the pulse of my prospects’ pain.

  10. I tend to use Google PPC for research purposes – to identify the best performing keywords. Once that research has been used to implement an intelligent SEO strategy, I wind down the PPC.

  11. That makes a lot of sense. In a way your managing SEO and PPC like a financial portfolio so your initially buying the channel (via PPC) to reach audience then you’re building relevancy based on what your learning so you can redirect your buying (PPC) to build else where. I think the key phrase is “intelligent” SEO. Good point.

  12. Always nice to see a survey that confirms one’s own experiences. I’ve always used paid search for tactical purposes: driving event participation,etc. But if you want long term sustained results, a solid SEO strategy is critical. Simply put…paid is a sprint, SEO a marathon. Both have their uses, but they are not interchangable.

  13. I’ve been wondering how many marketers combine search engine optimization and paid search together to give them the best of both worlds.

    I’ve seen companies buy paid search for pages where they already rank well for organic search. I wonder how well that’s working? Is it redundant (potentially a waste of budget) or does it help increase their conversion?

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