Indebted consumers searching Google for "financial freedom" and a chance to reduce their bills were 101 percent more likely to convert to 800-number callers of San Diego-based debt settlement firm Fidelity Debt Solutions after the company optimized its paid search landing page.
The triple-digit conversion lift came about because various elements of the fidelitydebt.net landing page could be tested and changed in the search engine marketing space much faster than it could in the organic arena. Then those SEM findings could be added to search engine optimization tactics, says Brian Lewis, vice president of San Diego-based search marketing firm Engine Ready, which designed the FDS paid search landing page.
Below, five instances where SEM results lord over SEO abilities are enumerated by Lewis; Rich Kahn, chief executive officer of Middletown, Del.-based search marketing firm eZanga; and Matt Kain, chief revenue officer of Santa Monica, Calif.-based search marketing firm The Search Agency.
1. SEM is faster than SEO. Testing and ranking can happen in real time. Lewis says his firm optimized the FDS landing page items such as the call to action, 800-number location and legibility, contact form, and a 32-second, explanatory video.
"If you put up a campaign with search engine marketing, you can put up a bunch of tests, a bunch of different campaigns, test them all—and you can do that all in the first day," Kahn says. As for the most obvious ranking aspects, he adds, SEM always ends up with the top rankings, no matter how high the SEO results are. And beyond that, paid search has access to more than Google.com. Google teams with other sites, so paid search customers also have access to those sites, Kahn says.
In addition, Kahn relates an example where a client ranked for keywords simply by pursuing an SEM strategy before redesigning its company Web site. The client provided eZanga with 35 terms "that they should've ranked pretty well for," Kahn points out, but only one of them provided a 400-level ranking. None were on the first page of organic results, he says. Six months into the SEM contract with eZanga, without the company having changed a single word on its site, about 26 of those terms were on the first page of organic results. "It just makes sense," Kahn says. "I mean, if you're a paid customer of Google, Google wants to take care of its customers. So whether it's one of their algorithms that they use or it's some other issue that's happening, every time I see a company just add in search engine marketing, their SEO ranks, over time, increase."