The unintelligent growth strategy works as follows: On the surface, unintelligent growth makes a lot of sense: you bid high prices for high ad positions, and get very high traffic volumes in return. High traffic volumes, in turn, translate to high conversion volumes. In other words, you put a lot of money into the system, and get a lot out of it. On the surface, that makes a lot of sense.

But when you scratch the surface, there's a lot of trouble with the approach. Because SEM isn't about driving traffic, and hoping good conversions will follow. It's about driving conversions, and designing your outreach and conversion architecture to achieve that goal. That means attracting the people most likely to convert, and creating the conversion architecture that leads those people to your desired conversions. If you don't get both of those points down, you could bring in loads of searchers who aren't actually interested in what you sell. Or, you could bring in highly relevant traffic, but your conversion architecture could be poor -- meaning your highly relevant traffic drops off before they've made a conversion. Either way, you're paying top dollar for a high traffic volume, but achieving such a poor conversion rate that you're also wasting money.

Meanwhile, ROI numbers alone won't tell you if your campaign is unintelligent. You could be getting great ROI, but still running a campaign that's plagued with waste. And you might not find out that you're facing so much waste until you're faced with a competitor who spends more efficiently than you do, or who has deeper pockets than you do -- and you're forced to strain your own inefficient campaign to the limit, just to keep up. Or, you might never realize how much money you're losing in SEM waste, every day.

Intelligent Growth. An intelligent growth strategy is, of course, the opposite of an unintelligent one. It focuses on optimizing every part of your campaign, at every level -- creating the most powerful ad messaging, the best landing pages, and the most effective conversion architecture possible, from search engine through conversion point. It also chooses the keywords and ad positions that make the most sense, given the level of funds you're dealing with right now.

In other words, an intelligent growth strategy maximizes your conversion volume (not just your traffic volume) in the most efficient way.

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