Website leads come in all shapes, sizes and positions in the sales funnel. Some are ready to buy now, while some take some coaxing. One thing is for sure, we all want more of them.

In the never-ending pursuit to obtain more leads, it may be a knee jerk reaction to launch a digital marketing campaign such as pay per click (PPC) or Facebook Ads. While both provide value and will drive more visitors to a website, you may first want to take a step back and look at the traffic currently coming to your site. After all, these visitors are finding you without the help of a paid campaign, so let’s get them to convert first.

The average lead conversion rate of a website is about 3%. This means a website that pulls 1,000 visitors can expect 30 leads based on that model. Not enough? Here are two scenarios for generating more leads:

Scenario 1: Paid Digital Advertising Campaigns

A $2,000 monthly bid investment in PPC with an average cost-per-click of $4.00 will yield 250 website visits each month when you factor in standard campaign management costs. At that same 3% website conversion, you could expect about 7 or 8 additional leads each month.

After one year and a $24,000 investment, you’d have about 90 leads to work with.

Scenario 2: Content Marketing + Conversion Point Optimization

For this scenario, strategy is focused on increasing website conversion rates through blog articles, offers for download, dynamic website content and additional access points. Researching how users are in-taking your website and optimizing ways to entice them to take the lead generation action you want are other strategic components that will yield new invitations for users to connect. When done well, the conversion rate jumps to upwards of 7% and the cost drops to about a third of a PPC campaign. The results can be staggering.

Conclusion: It pays to not pay (at first)

When it comes to your digital marketing dollars, a wise early investment is to focus on evergreen content initiatives that turn your website into a lead gen machine and help build organic momentum over time. Once that is established, a robust online presence management strategy (OPM) will leverage tools from many sources, both paid and organic, and yield a tangible ROI to satisfy both immediate and long-term goals.