Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC): ‘Like a whale taking a mouthful of seawater’

This week we’re continuing our rundown of the top 6 (and 2 worst) B2B marketing strategies for generating sales leads. When we’ve covered all eight strategies we’ll reveal which have proven to be the best in order of effectiveness and which ones, well, haven’t. 

We’ve helped our clients including Nasdaq, IBM, Hyatt Hotels, Intrado engage with small, mid and large enterprise organisations.

They’ve gotten into Apple, Disney, Gap, Amex, eBay, Deloitte, Ford, Google, Nike, Loreal, Fedex and countless other big names. That’s at the executive level, so CEO and COOs, whose calendars are booked months in advance. We know how to engage them so they’ll want to talk to you in the next few days. 

Today, we’re going to be looking at the pros and cons of SEO and PPC, but over the course of the next couple of weeks, we’re also going to be looking at:

  • Events and conferences
  • Webinars
  • Referrals
  • Talking on stage
  • Telemarketing
  • Email
  • General content marketing


Whether you pay for PPC or invest the time and money in SEO to build up organic Google rankings, they’re both a really effective inbound method of lead generation. *** How do you get c-suite – that’s where you’ll run into problems. 

One way or another, if a prospect’s finding you near the top of Google’s search results, it’s great for brand awareness; it’s easy to measure and very scalable. Best of all, if someone has googled a term relevant to your business, it means they’re already looking for what it is you do. 

That’s a nice warm lead. The prospect’s in a buying mentality and the timing’s right for a sale. 

The problem is, that’s also limiting. It may be that a prospect has no idea what it is you or any of your competitors do and no idea how it could be of value to them. 

You could be an organisation that’s come up with a completely new way to take online payments, for example. Your offering blows credit cards, Paypal and every other method out of the water on speed and cost to online retailers. The fact is you’ll have a nightmare trying to get leads from SEO or PPC for that kind of business, because no one’s going to be looking for it.

If that’s not an issue, you might be paying for clicks that are not the sort you want. It’s like a whale taking a mouthful of sea. There’s a lot of water involved before you get to that juicy plankton, so if you don’t pay for a lot of clicks, your results are going to be limited. 

Then, you’re reliant on your website to do a lot of the sales work for you, so you’d better make sure it looks great and there’s engaging copy. Getting people to visit your website isn’t necessarily a way of attracting buyers, because, if they’re looking for you they’re also researching your competitors. 

For those reasons, cold emailing can often be a much better investment than PPC and SEO. Because it’s outbound, it’s directed precisely to who you want to reach. It’s also more personal – where websites are much less engaging. You can share a concise message, control the ‘ask’ and the next steps in the marketing funnel. 

Check out our blog on cold email marketing here.