Following on from their blog Why SEO, CRO and PPC are inseparable in 2024, James Gardner and Jamie Prictor offer advice and tips on how to harnessing the power of AI to benefit PPC and SEO, and run effective CRO experiments to fuel SEO success.
Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence for PPC and SEO
In 2024 search engines and Generative AI will merge. There are many voices, including from Google's own Google Ads team, advising marketers to let the AI work it all out. This is not our recommendation, from recent experience and many years' experience in digital marketing.
Human marketers have the imagination and empathy to understand our human audiences. Powerful and intelligent systems such as AI provide a fabulous tool for us to use to try to understand our audience better and provide them with personalised content. However, it is vital that we set the hypothesises for what they are looking for when they visit our website and we set the testing goals and objectives for the AI engines.
In 2023, we have many examples where pulling back a fully AI-automated Google Ads campaign and setting the strategy and tactics for it resulted in a more efficient campaign and higher conversions at lower cost per conversion. Whilst we are always testing, we do not expect that this approach will change in 2024.
Now more than ever, organisations have to be the source of truth for their own information and messaging. AI bots are brilliant at merging, distilling and summarising information (and indeed making it up; “hallucinating”). Organisations must continue to raise their game and focus on their human audience if they are to maintain control and relevance through always-on testing through CRO experiments.
Therefore, SEO and CRO are inseparable in 2024 and channels such as PPC have an invaluable role to play in fast-tracking optimisations.
CRO testing tools
Organizations of all sizes can and should use CRO testing. It does not need to be too complicated or expensive. There are two tools that we use to deliver CRO:
- Google Ads Experiment (part of every Google Ads account): this automatically splits traffic from Google Ads between two variants of a landing page and measures which converts best. Results can usually be obtained very quickly if a suitable Google Ads budget is set. Once we know what converts best for paid traffic, the higher converting improvements can be carried across to the Organic page and invariably results in high ranking (higher Organic traffic) and higher conversion rate. We used this tool and this approach in this case study.
- VWO: is a highly sophisticated tool that allows code to be added to a website page for testing purposes. Testing can be carried for a single page or across a whole website journey and it offers A/B and multi-variant testing. We used this multi-variant testing approach in this case study (although not the tool as Google Optimize was still available when we did this work.)
Whilst we have specialist teams and tools, it is important to remember that in order to drive successful SEO, PPC and business growth the focus for CRO should always be on:
- understanding what the target audience is trying to achieve and helping them to overcome barriers
- Ensuring that your SEO, PPC and CRO teams optimise together
- Start with a simple hypothesis and test it, then repeat.
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