At a recent meeting about how we could help a prospective client drive more traffic to her web site, she made an interesting comment:
If we are seeing new leads generated with our Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns, let's just bump up the budget ... we can spend more money there instead of hiring on new sales people.
We generally agreed with her assessment but, to really see Google and other search engines as a sales force, there are a couple of important things to keep in mind: 1) Make sure you are keeping tabs on the traffic you receive from any PPC campaigns.
There's a possibility that all this "great traffic" is leaving your site within seconds. Just as in a standard sales process, you need to qualify your PPC leads. Lots of visits should not signify success. Define success by if you are seeing more business, more links, etc. 2) Make some sort of attempt to calculate ROI.
The easiest way to do that is to assign a value to achieving one of the goals you've set out to accomplish. For example, if a new lead generates $1,000 of business for you, how much would you be willing to spend on attaining another one? You may not have that sort of information available right now, but drive towards being able to justify what you spend on PPC campaigns.