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Generating SEM Leads: Tips to Optimize Your Strategy

generating SEM leadsEven for brands generating great traffic from organic channels, search engine marketing remains a high-value outlet for reeling in valuable prospects. SEM leads excel at generating sales leads and likely conversions. More so than even organic traffic, SEM has the power to find you quality leads at a high clip and cultivate a steady stream of high-interest consumers.

But when it comes to paid search, lead generation is only as good as the targeting methods used to identify and attract those consumers. As SEM Rush points out, the quality of a lead depends on the mechanics of your targeting strategy, which include the abilities to target through keywords, filter an audience through various criteria and deliver a relevant landing page. In a perfect world, the components of a paid search campaign work together to single out the highest-value traffic and lead it to your online assets.

Because of this, optimization is crucial. Here are some essential steps to optimize your SEM strategy for lead generation.

Do Your Research

Most marketers understand the importance of keyword research, and it's worth emphasizing the value of keeping up with it. Even when you think you have the right set of keywords in place, the industry, market and consumer behaviors can all shift over time — and that will affect how valuable and relevant those keywords are to your search marketing efforts.

It's wise to continue to revisit this strategy. Another tip: Focus on broad match keywords to get a better sense of which keywords are driving SEM leads and which ones are having their value inflated. You can isolate these costly keywords and keep them out of your SEM strategy.

Integrate Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords accomplish a lot, particularly when it comes to local search marketing. Traffic earned through long-tail keywords is usually better qualified since the keyword is more specific and likely more relevant to a consumer's interest.

Use these long-tail keywords to bring in consumer traffic that is more interested in making a conversion with your business, and continue testing new long-tail alternatives to make sure you're working with the best information possible.

Build Relevant Landing Pages

A generic landing page only serves to sabotage SEM performance by bringing users to a destination that doesn't seem relevant to the original ad. Bad landing page pairings can increase bounce rates and lower Ad Quality scores, which can increase a company's cost-per-click when investing in an SEM campaign.

In most cases, this can be solved by routing the ad to a relevant page on your site that speaks directly to the referring search ad. Altering your web pages to match our campaigns may seem like a waste of time, but since relevance and consistency is so critical to the campaign's success, it's usually a better move than trying to do without. When the original ad and landing page are synced with one another, each gets a better reception from users, and performance rates should improve.

Generating SEM leads doesn't have to be complicated. Once these components of your paid search strategy are in place, your SEM leads should see an uptick in relevance and value — and with that, conversions are sure to follow.

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