Before you spend your next dollar in SEM, read this!


Before you spend your next dollar in SEM, read this.

Online marketing takes on many forms. You may be thinking whether to invest a majority of your media budget on SEM, SEO, or to revamp your company’s website!

But before you do that, hold your horses, and let me bring you through a case study.

James (nickname) as a young entrepreneur, started an education center specialising in child enrichment programs!

As he was new at this, he has not built a well-known reputation in the industry, and hence has been engaging online marketing services for about a year. James has a website for his company. He wants to use the form on his webpage to attract enquiries for his child enrichment programs, and eventually leading to actual signing of contracts.

For the first 6 months, he spend about $1500 a month on SEO. Guess how many enquiries he’s gotten back? Only 6 leads over the course of 6 months.

In the next 3 months, James decided to go for SEM. He spent $10,000 on just driving clicks alone. This time, the results are better — he’s gotten 12 or 13 enquiries for their programs, out of 2000 visits to his websites.
After some filtration, James realise that only 10 are quality leads. Hence, the cost per lead is about $1000.

Further reducing this number to actual signed contracts, the amount earned is not sufficient to make up for the average SEM cost of $3000 a month.

Recently, he has just switched away from his SEM solution and engaged a different online marketing approach. James realise that they were able to more than double their leads, and the campaign became profitable! Want to know how he did it? Don’t worry, we will show you how, and we will share with you more on this case study at the end of the article.

If you are looking into SEM/Facebook advertising as an online marketing strategy… know that it does not solve root issues.

Here are some claims that we hear frequently:

Prospect: SEM really works! In fact, it drives traffic to my website! By advertising to people who are searching for my products or services, they are more likely to be interested audiences! With more traffic coming to my website, it will give me more leads.

No doubt, SEM can help to drive awareness to your brand or product. In fact, it can help to get loads of clicks and traffic to your website!

How do they do it? Professional SEM agencies can and will advise you on the keywords that is relevant to your brand, thereby leading the right group of target audience to view your websites. With these keywords, your audiences can easily find the links to your websites through big search engines, like Google and Facebook! This will thus, help you to generate traffic.

HOWEVER, think again… What is the ultimate goal of your marketing campaign? Is it to garner as much traffic as possible? Surely, it is to bring in leads and actual sales and revenue! It is not just about the number of clicks you get, nor awareness.

Many assume that clicks = leads = sales. This, sadly, is not true!

Things are not always that rosy. What’s the point of getting 1000 clicks, or even 1 million impressions, but not getting enough (or zero) leads? At the end of the day, clicks are just means to your end, and not an end in itself.

Hence, just because SEM can help you gain more traffic, does not mean that you will benefit from the leads and revenue at the end of the day.

Prospect: That is true… However, an SEM company has assured me before that by doubling my budget, it will also double my leads! When I tried that, the amount of leads that I got increases! Does that mean that I can always increase my leads as long as I increase my budget?

This is true to a certain extent. Let’s explain this using this scenario below:

Imagine that you are a tuition agency who wants people to inquire about your tuition services online on your website.

Out of a 1000 visitors that you get, only 8 are people who will fill up the enquiry sheet on your landing page! What about the other 992?

Maybe they were only there by chance, maybe your product is not what they are looking for, maybe they do not know how to ask the questions when they got to your website, and the list of reasons can go on… It is as though you are playing darts, and only 8 out of the 1000 managed to hit bull’s eyes!


By doubling your budget, it is like doubling the number of tries you have to throw that dart, to double the amount of bulls eye’s you manage to hit.

What does an increase in SEM budget do to your campaign:

1) True, it increases your traffic

Imagine yourself taking a cruise ride and having a game of darts at the entertainment centre. You’ve allocated $20 in spending to have 40 dart throws. You shoot your darts, and only 2 hit bull’s eyes. That is a 5% probability for hitting the bull’s eyes, for a person of your skill set.

Now, you want to increase your spending to $40. You will get twice the number of darts, hence you now have 80 tries! Will the number of bull’s eyes count increase with this increase in tries? Probably! With the same probability of 5%, you may possibly have 4 darts hitting right at the centre of the dartboard.

This is what increasing your SEM budget does to your traffic. With a greater budget, you will have more impressions and more clicks, with these impressions and clicks representing your darts, hoping that some of them turn into actual sales.

2) However, Increasing your SEM budget does not make your campaign more effective

Let’s continue with the scenario of throwing darts. Now, you have increased your budget by 2 times, with 80 attempts to hit the bull’s eyes. If you do not change the way you throw your dart, the way you position yourself, or if you still don’t have a strategy to throw your darts more accurately, will your probability of hitting the bull’s eyes change? No. It is still at 5%, it is still by random, and you are still very much leaving it to chance.

This is why doubling your budget for your marketing campaign does not increase your effectiveness. Yes, you may get more leads! However, the conversion rate is still the same. You do not optimise the way you garner your leads, nor will the quality of your leads improve.

This is because… There is more to online marketing than just investing heavily on SEM. There are strategies, revamps, analysis, methods, that can be explored to make your online marketing campaign a success!


That’s right, the way to hit the bull’s eyes, involves improving your techniques. Not merely just buying more dart throws.

Having more darts does not make you a better dart-thrower.
Relying on SEM does not make your marketing strategy better.

Prospect: Actually, I have been hopping from one SEM company to the next, trying to improve conversation rates. However, I have not been getting consistent results.

When you’re focusing on SEM, you are only looking at optimising the traffic to your website. There are 2 parts to consider when you want to improve your conversion rate.




Part 1: The pre-click process. This refers to how you want to drive traffic to your website.




Part 2: The post-click process. This will refer to how you can optimise your website, make it more suitable and attractive to generate leads.

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 10.10.30 am

To achieve part 1, you may opt to do more SEM.

For part 2, no matter how much you invest in SEM, it will not help you with the ‘post-click process’. Hence, if you have been hopping from one SEM company to next, and not getting any consistent improvement in your leads, maybe the next step for you is to try something different.
Focus on the post-click process. After getting the traffic, how do you sell your product or service such that your audience will take action in expressing interest for your product?

To do so, you will need industry experts to tell you some of these techniques to help you generate more leads and revenues for your company. Just like how a professional dart coach trains a dart-player on dart-throwing techniques — it could be better breathing techniques, practising the optimal amount of effort to throw your dart, etc — we as online marketers also need experienced online marketing expert to advise us on how we can improve our campaign.

Prospect: What should I do to improve my marketing campaign then, if SEM doesn’t solve the root issue?

Improving a marketing campaign is all about optimising the entire user experience as a whole — NOT just dealing with one part in isolation. SEM only tackles one area of online marketing, in improving traffic. There are actually many other root issues, apart from traffic flow and clicks, that is preventing a marketing campaign from performing at its fullest potential!

Just like the aforementioned in the previous paragraph, involve industry experts for your marketing campaign!

A principle to take note of: Zoom in and understand what the audience is looking for in your product

The sales pitch on your landing page need to coincide with the customers’ perspectives. It is not all about what you are trying to sell, but it is about how your user will benefit from your product or service.

Imagine putting in all your media budget on SEM, when you could be improving your landing page, your ads on YouTube, Google & Facebook, or even hiring a copywriter to improve the sales pitch on your landing page.



What if we say that we have a one-stop solution for you? Using the same amount of media budget, have a team of experts from the different fields coming together to strategize your marketing plans. To find out more, contact one of our consultants today!



Now, let’s come right back to our case study.

James sought out to search for a marketing campaign that will help to boost his leads and revenue. After a year trying the marketing methods which he thought will work, he was not impressed with the result. He turned to us at clickTRUE for help in online marketing.

“I’ve spent so much money on online marketing but can’t seem to get enough sales from it. I want to give it one last try with you before giving up”
We agreed to work with him.

What we have to offer, is whole package called Better leads Gen Platform (BLP). We revamped the his LANDING PAGE. Now, his landing page has a lot more clarity, with a specific Call To Action (CTA) for his prospects. His prospects know exactly how to submit their inquiries without having to go through chunks of information and figuring out how to enquire.

Also, we managed to pick up the Unique Selling Point (USP) of his Enrichment Programs — Using role play to teach creative writing, and in the process training kids to be vocal and bold. Hence, he has a clear competitive edge over his competitors.

With the revamp, he saw significant increases in the number of leads!

Method Average Cost Per Month Average quality leads per month Cost Per Lead
SEO $1500 1 $1500
SEM $3000 3 $1000
ClickTRUE BLP $3000 6 $500


If you are looking for an efficient solution that can give you outcomes and the awareness that you want to achieve for your brand while keeping your media budget in check, contact us for a consultation session today!

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