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When to Optimize and When to Pay for Traffic

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When to Optimize and When to Pay for Traffic

If you’re struggling to get the word out about your brand new business venture, you’re not alone. Like you, many business owners struggle to acquire customers in the beginning.Balancing the cost, maintenance, and results of a marketing campaign isn’t easy. Most of the time, the solution to this problem is one of two marketing strategies: search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. But which method is suitable for you?

In this article, we’ve explored what you can expect to achieve from each of these acquisition strategies. We’ve also provided some pros and cons of SEO and PPC strategies along with descriptive statistics and real-life examples to help you decide whether your business is best suited for SEO or PPC — or both.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization is the process of enhancing your website’s visibility to make it rank and gain organic traffic from search engines.

Just as you turn to your favorite search engines, such as Google or Bing, to look up a new marketing acronym or where to get good pizza, so do your consumers. When you invest in SEO, you’re increasing the likelihood of your target audience finding you when they make a Google search for keywords related to your product or service. In fact, 61% of marketers say that SEO is a top inbound marketing factor for their business. But it’s easier said than done.

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Here’s an example of SEO in action.

In the image below, Hubspot appears at the top of Google’s organic search engine results page (SERP) for the term “inbound marketing,” thanks to the SEO strategy we have in place.

SEO example of HubSpot ranking for "inbound" marketing"

The order of the results that appear on the search engine results page isn’t arbitrary. Each search engine takes into account several ranking factors that influence where a webpage gets placed. The goal of an SEO strategy is to create web pages and content that work with the ranking factors of the search engine in order to rise within the SERP rankings.

Are there other search engines besides Google?

Most SEO strategies center around Google instead of others like Bing and Yahoo! because it holds 92.47% of the search engine market share. Because of this, you’ll need to learn about Google’s 200 ranking factors, technical SEO, link building, content creation, and so much more if you want to appear higher up on the search engine results page.

Pros of SEO

Here are some advantages of SEO:

1. SEO is cheaper in the long run.

Although SEO might cost time and money —to pay freelancers or agencies, and for SEO tools — it’s still cheaper than PPC in the long run.

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When you create content that ranks and drives traffic to your website, you no longer have to keep spending money to make your target customers see it. And when these customers decide to click on your link, it comes at zero cost, unlike a PPC campaign where you pay per click.

Organic traffic is also very scalable and cost-effective.

2. You can target different funnel stages with SEO.

Not all of your audience is at the same stage of the sales funnel.

Some are just getting to know your brand at the top of the funnel. And others are already at the bottom of the funnel, ready to pull out their wallets.

With SEO, you can create different content types (blog posts, guides, case studies) that meet each segment of your audience exactly where they are in the sales funnel. This gives your site a better shot at getting visitors to the next step in the funnel each time they browse your content.

3. Search traffic is more stable.

Once you rank on Google, you can begin to plan for and predict free traffic to your website as long as you keep optimizing it.

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Another advantage to keep in mind is that there is no off-and-on switch with SEO. With PPC marketing, your website stops appearing on search results once your marketing budget dries up. A great way to remember this difference is by thinking in terms of real estate: SEO is like owning your traffic whereas PPC is like renting it.

4. Organic listings build brand authority.

Appearing consistently on search results for keywords related to your products and services helps build trust and brand authority with your target audience.

It also signifies to Google that you’re an expert on that topic or subject. This can lead to more backlinks from other trusted sites which is a ranking factor that search engines favor strongly.

Cons of SEO

Here are some reasons why you might not love SEO:

1. Search engine algorithms change.

Search engines, especially Google, have changed their algorithms many times over the years. These changes mean that you’ll have to keep a close eye on your marketing strategy and organic results.

2. You’ll need to optimize your website regularly.

Your job doesn’t end when you get your website to rank for target keywords for one month. Over time, you’ll have to regularly optimize your content and web pages so that your site continues to rank.

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Optimization might include refreshing old articles and removing old/expired links.

3. SEO takes time to show results.

If your website or domain is new, it’s unlikely that you’ll enjoy immediate results from SEO. The reason is that several factors affect how Google ranks websites — many of which won’t be established within the first few weeks or months of launching your site.

2. It requires high-level skills and expertise.

If you’re not hiring a professional, make sure you understand your audience’s goals and meet them with quality content in order to optimize your site properly for the search engines.

It’s undoubtedly time-consuming and overwhelming to run a business while taking technical SEO, writing, and link-building classes, but it can be done if you commit to using an SEO strategy to generate revenue.

What is PPC?

PPC, or pay-per-click, is a form of search engine marketing (SEM) where an advertiser pays a publisher (such as Google or Facebook) for each click someone makes on an ad. This model allows businesses to pay only when consumers interact with their ads. If you use PPC ads, you’ll attract people who are interested in your offer and ready to convert.

You may have noticed that some of the top search results are tagged with an “Ad” marker, like the HelloFresh search results here. Example of PPC search result for "hellofresh"

PPC ads always appear alongside organic search results. Some businesses run these search ads for specific marketing campaigns that have a definite start and end date. Others bid on their own brand name as part of their overall marketing strategy — like HelloFresh. Either way, this method is mainly associated with search engines as advertisers bid on keywords that are relevant to their target markets.

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The cost of PPC ads usually depends on your industry and the search volume of the keyword you’re targeting.

PPC advertising can help your business stay competitive in a crowded market and quickly get in front of their target consumers if you don’t have the domain authority to get your site ranking organically on search engines.

Pros of PPC

1. PPC offers quick results.

While it can take months to see results from your SEO strategy, it can take just a few hours to see results from your PPC campaign.

2. PPC ads appear above organic rankings.

When you run a PPC campaign for your target keyword, your website would appear first on the search engine result page. This ranking makes your audience notice you first before scrolling to see other results.

3. PPC allows you to pinpoint your target audience.

While setting up a PPC campaign, you get to choose who you want to target with your ads.

Do you want people from a specific geographic area? Or people of a particular age? Marital status? Or interest? If so, then you should use PPC.

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3. You can quickly run A/B tests on a PPC ad.

With a PPC campaign, you can run two different ads simultaneously to measure the one that converts better.

All you’ll have to do is change some ad elements like the ad copy and allow them to run for a period. Depending on the performance, you can decide to either “kill” the Google ads or continue optimization to improve your results.

Cons of PPC

1. PPC ads are expensive.

Without money, you cannot run a PPC campaign.

You have to pay for every link that your audience clicks, meaning once your budget dries up, so does your traffic.

Also, a PPC ad can get even more expensive (as high as $40) when you’re in a competitive industry like legal or insurance.

2. Lower profit margins.

While a PPC campaign might bring short-term wins, it’ll usually result in lower profit margins. Because PPC is a “pay to play” system, your customer acquisition costs (CAC) would continue to get higher without a significant increase in the prices of your products and services.

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3. PPC ads become stale after a while.

You have limited control over your paid ad because of the rule set by ad platforms like Google. As such, your copy might have similar wording to your competitors, which makes it easy for your audience to pass over quickly.

SEO is also more effective for local searches and can grow your online presence for longer. Pay-per-click (PPC), on the other hand, is an acquisition strategy that requires you to spend ad money to get your content in front of an audience when they search for specific keywords online.

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SEO vs. PPC: Which is better?

Asking which is better between SEO and PPC is like asking whether it’s better to eat with a fork or spoon — it depends.

Serving pasta? Sure, I’d love a fork. Soup? I’d rather have a spoon.

In the same way, different situations exist where SEO is better than PPC and vice versa.

Let’s now look at some of these situations.

Use SEO if…

  • Your marketing budget is low.
  • You want to build your brand authority.
  • You’re looking to maximize your long-term return-on-investment (ROI).
  • You want to create content that reaches your audience at different stages of the sales funnel.

Use PPC if…

You’d get better results with PPC in situations where:

  • You want quick results.
  • Your product is novel or first-of-its-kind.
  • You’re promoting a time-sensitive offer, like a holiday sale.
  • You want to direct your audience to a sales or landing page.

How to Make SEO and PPC Work For You

Instead of choosing between SEO or PPC, why not combine the two strategies and make them work for you?

Here’s how you can get the best of both worlds.

1. Create retargeting ads.

Retargeting ads example featuring Birchbox

Image Source

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Did someone visit your site, probably the pricing or check-out page, without buying?

You can easily use a retargeting ad to prompt these visitors, even after they’ve left your site, to come back and make a purchase.

2. Promote website content with social media ads.

social media ads example featuring dollar shave club

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While you want your content to rank organically, you can give it a quick boost by promoting it on social media.

Not only do these kinds of ads help with content distribution, but they could potentially help you acquire essential backlinks that’d boost your rankings.

Also, it’s going to be a shame not to promote your latest blog post, guide, report, or case study after spending hours creating it.

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3. Collect data From ads to improve your SEO strategy.

PPC campaigns grant you access to a lot of data — keyword search volumes, keywords your competitors are bidding for, highest converting calls-to-action, and so on.

Aimed with all of this data, you’d be able to create better SEO strategies with less effort.

SEO vs. PPC Statistics

SEO

  • Google is responsible for over 92.47% of global web traffic.
  • 90.63% of online content gets zero traffic from Google, with only 0.21% getting over 1000 visits per month.
  • 35.18% of browser-based Google searches resulted in an organic link click in 2020.
  • 99.2% of website pages have less than 100 backlinks.
  • Google processes over 5.6 billion searches per day (or 2 trillion searches per year.)
  • 64% of marketers actively invest in SEO.

PPC

Final Thoughts

Whether you choose to go with SEO or PPC ultimately depends on your business situation. So take your time to evaluate the pros and cons of both SEO and PPC to see which is the right fit for you. And if possible, integrate the two strategies to see even more outstanding results for your business.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Roundel Media Studio: What to Expect From Target’s New Self-Service Platform

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By Tinuiti Team

Roundel™ Media Studio (RMS) has arrived, revolutionizing Target’s advertising game. This self-service platform offers seamless activation, management, and analysis of Target Product Ads, with more solutions on the horizon.

Powered by first-party data from both in-store and online shoppers, RMS provides new audience insights. Coupled with Target’s new loyalty program, Circle 360, advertisers gain precision targeting like never before.

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But Target isn’t stopping there. With the rollout of a paid membership program on April 7th, bundling Target Circle, the Circle Card, and Shipt delivery, Target is elevating its media and membership offerings to rival the likes of Walmart and Amazon.

Curious to learn more? We sat down with our experts at Tinuiti to dive deeper into the potential implications of this platform for brands and advertisers alike.

What is Roundel Media Studio?

Roundel™ Media Studio is an integrated platform that consolidates various solutions and tools offered by Roundel™. At its core, it kicks off with our sponsored product ads, known as Target Product Ads by Roundel™.

example of target roundel ad
Example of Target Product Ads by Roundel™
Image Source: Target.com

This comprehensive platform grants access to the complete range of Target Product Ad placements, featuring tailored slots like “More to Consider” and “Frequently Bought Together” to enhance relevance and personalization.

Moreover, Roundel™ Media Studio operates without any DSP or access fees for Target Product Ads, ensuring that your media budget is optimized to deliver greater efficiency, more clicks, and ultimately, increased sales.

“One of the larger benefits of the transition is that advertisers have an opportunity to capitalize on the additional dollars saved by switching to RMS. Without the 20% fee, brands can re-invest those funds to scale campaigns or optimize budgets, all without having to allocate more funds which drives better results. Roundel™ is putting more control in the hands of advertisers by introducing this new self-service platform.”

– Averie Lynch, Specialist, Strategic Services at Tinuiti

To summarize, key benefits of using RMS include:

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  • No Access or DSP Fees
  • All Target Product Ads Inventory
  • 1st Price Auction with Existing Floor Prices
  • Closed Loop Sales & Attribution
  • Billing via Criteo Insertion Order
  • Access Using Partners Online

How to access Roundel Media Studio 

According to Target, there’s 3 steps to access Roundel™ Media Studio:

Step 1. Check that you have a Partners Online (POL) account for access. Don’t have one? Reach out to your POL admin to get set up with an account (reach out if you need help locating your organization’s admin). 

Step 2. Once you have gotten access to POL, reach out to your Roundel representative who will grant you access to the platform. 

Step 3. Users can access Roundel™ Media Studio in 2 ways:

Roundel Media Studio Best Practices

Target offers a variety of tips on how to best leverage their latest offering to drive performance. 

Let’s take a look at the latest best practices for strategies such as maximizing efficiency or driving sales revenue. 

Recommended bidding tactics for maximizing efficiency:

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  • Set your line-item optimizer to Revenue for the highest return on ad spend (ROAS) or to Conversions for the lowest Cost per Order (CPO).
  • Since the Revenue and Conversions optimizers modulate the CPC you enter to maximize performance, it is useful to set a CPC cap to make sure that your bid will not exceed the maximum amount you wish to pay. The CPC cap should always remain at least 30% above the bid you enter to allow the engine to optimize effectively.
  • Set your bids competitively to balance scale and performance (ROAS or CPO) targets.
  • Optimize bids with respect to your CPO targets: lower CPCs slightly to increase efficiency, or raise them to increase scale

Recommended bidding tactics for maximizing sales revenue:

  • Set the line-item optimizer to Revenue.
  • Set bids to maximize scale and competitiveness while staying above KPI thresholds. Since the Revenue optimizer modulates the CPC you enter to maximize performance, it is useful to set a CPC cap to make sure that your bid will not exceed the maximum amount you wish to pay.
  • Adjust your bids progressively and preferably at the product level: filter the top products by Spend and then slightly reduce any bids that have a ROAS below your threshold.
  • In general, slightly lower CPC to increase efficiency or raise CPC to increase win rates and therefore increase sell-through.

Takeaways & Next Steps

This is just the start for RMS. In the future, Tinuiti will continue its partnership with Roundel to refine features and introduce additional ad types and functionalities.

When exploring any new advertising opportunity, the best results are typically realized when partnering with a performance marketing agency that understands the unique landscape. Our team boasts years of hands-on experience advertising in new and established marketplaces, including Amazon, Walmart, and Target. Working directly with Roundel, we ensure our clients’ ads harness the full functionality and features Target has to offer, with results-oriented scalability baked in.

Ready to learn more about how we can help your brand? Reach out to us today!

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Unlocking the Power of AI Transcription for Enhanced Content Marketing Strategies

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Unlocking the Power of AI Transcription for Enhanced Content Marketing Strategies

Have you noticed how artificial intelligence (AI) is slowly integrating into, well, everything? Then it won’t surprise you to hear that it’s also infiltrated content marketing.

How can AI enhance your content marketing? Through AI transcription.

Want to learn how?

Why AI Transcription is Revolutionary

AI transcription is transforming the way we access and interact with information. Here’s how it’s changing the game:

Rapid Content Transformation

Imagine turning a one-hour podcast or webinar into a comprehensive text document in minutes.

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AI transcription allows for quick conversion of long-form audio and video content, making it a breeze to repurpose these materials into articles, blogs, or reports.

This means you’re spending a lot less time working on making your content as accessible as possible—the AI is doing it for you—and more time on simply creating new content.

Inclusivity and Accessibility

By providing a text version of audio and video content, AI transcription breaks down barriers for people with hearing impairments. This widens your audience.

It also aids non-native speakers in understanding the content better by allowing them to read along, improving comprehension and engagement.

Content Amplification

With AI transcription, a single piece of content can be repurposed into a multitude of formats.

For example, a transcribed interview can be used to create an in-depth blog post, several engaging social media posts, and even quotes for infographics. This not only amplifies your content’s reach but also maximizes the return on investment for every piece of content created.

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SEO Benefits

Transcripts can be a goldmine for SEO. They are rich in keywords spoken naturally during conversations. Including these transcripts on your website or blog can significantly improve your search engine ranking by providing more content for search engines to index.

Real-Time Engagement

With real-time transcription services, audiences can follow along with live events, like conferences or webinars, through captions. This enhances the interactive experience and viewers don’t miss out on important information.

AI transcription is revolutionary because it democratizes content, making it accessible and usable in a variety of formats. It caters to a global audience, and multiplies the impact of the original content, all while improving SEO and user engagement.

Integrating AI Successfully

To truly tap into the power of AI transcription, you need a game plan. It starts with picking the right AI transcription service—one that’s not only accurate but also savvy with the lingo of your field.

Here’s how you can integrate AI transcription into your workflow like a pro:

Record Quality Content

The clearer your audio or video recording, the better your transcription will be. Invest in good recording equipment, minimize background noise, and ensure speakers articulate clearly. Think of it as laying the groundwork for flawless transcription.

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Transcribe with AI

Once you have your high-quality recording, it’s time to let the AI work its magic. Upload your file to AI technology like Clipto and let it transform your spoken words into written text. This step is where the tech shines, turning hours of audio into text in minutes.

Edit and Polish

AI is smart, but it’s not perfect. Review the transcript for any errors or awkward phrasings. Adjust any text you need to. This editing process ensures the final product is not only accurate but also engaging and readable.

Incorporate into Your Strategy

Now that you have your polished transcript, use it to upgrade your marketing materials. Transcripts can be repurposed into blog posts, social media content, eBooks, or even used to enhance video and podcast SEO by providing searchable text.

AI transcription is  a dynamic tool that can extend your capabilities. By treating AI as a collaborative partner, you can enhance your content marketing efforts, making your message clearer, more accessible, and far-reaching. Integrating AI transcription allows you to engage with your audience on multiple levels.

Spicing Up Your Content with AI Transcription

Let’s get real—AI transcription is more than just a fancy way of turning chatter into text. It’s a secret weapon in your content marketing arsenal.

Boosting Quality and Nailing Relevance

Think about it: when you transcribe your audio and video goodies, you’re capturing every little detail and nuance that might have slipped by unnoticed. Here’s the scoop:

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  • Accuracy is Key: With AI, you can nail the exactness of your content, catching the subtle hints and expressions that give it flavor.
  • SEO Magic: Those transcripts are like SEO gold, stuffed with keywords that naturally pop up in conversation, giving your site’s visibility a hearty push.

And the cherry on top? AI transcription can sort out the big themes in your content, keeping your marketing vibe consistent and spot-on across all platforms.

Digging into Data

Now, here comes the detective work. AI transcription lays out all the juicy data about what your audience loves (and doesn’t). With this goldmine of info, you can:

  • Analyze Engagement: Spot the hotspots in your videos or podcasts where people hang on every word—and where they hit the fast-forward button. This insight is like a roadmap to your audience’s heart.
  • Strategize with Confidence: Armed with data, you can tweak your topics, amp up engagement, and keep your audience coming back for more.

So, by turning your spoken content into text, you’re not just filling up space. You’re diving deep into the analytics pool for a smarter, more data-driven approach to content marketing. It’s about getting down to the nitty-gritty of what your audience really likes, making every word you publish count.

Bottom Line

It’s clear that AI transcription is not just a fleeting trend but a robust ally in the realm of content marketing. Equipped with tools to make your message not only heard but felt across the globe.

From crafting precision-packed text that search engines adore to unveiling layers of audience insights waiting to be explored, AI transcription is your go-to for making every piece of content count.

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How To Adapt Your SEO and Content Strategies for SGE and AI Experiences

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How to Adapt Your SEO and Content Strategies for SGE and AI Experiences

A massive change is coming to search.

As Google experiments with AI in its standard search results and its Search Generative Experience (SGE), marketers must understand how to adapt their content strategies for new AI-impacted search experiences.

Since 2023, Google has been prolific in its AI experimentation, changing the way content is represented in search results. Its content-led SGE recently moved out of its testing lab to show up in a small percentage of results in Google’s main search interface.

Brands that produce content experiences that align with new search behaviors and focus on conversion stand a better chance to survive the search change.

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Google adds generative AI, first-person reviews, and anti-spam actions

Your news feed says all. Search and generative AI investments are everywhere. And it’s not just Google — new entrants, such as Perplexity AI and You.com, are on the search scene. Meanwhile, OpenAI is working on a search engine powered by Microsoft’s Bing.

Still, Google owns the biggest market share in search, so let’s focus on the ways AI is affecting Google SEO.

Reddit and new content sources

Google added new content sources to its traditional results and Search Generative Experience.

In traditional search results, adding more content sources helps fine-tune its AI technologies. The recent content licensing deal with Reddit is a prime example. You can already see its content appearing more often in traditional search results.

This screenshot shows the search engine results for “Is Volvo a good car?” A discussion from the Volvo subreddit appears as the third result on the page (or fourth if you count the people-also-ask module.)

Click to enlarge

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SGE appearance

The image below shows the SGE for the Volvo query. The first paragraphs are an AI-generated summary drawing on ratings from RepairPal (after an alert explaining the experimental nature of the generative AI content.)

Below the SGE summary, a search box prompts the visitor to ask a follow-up question. After that element, the Reddit discussion on Volvo reliability appears.

The image shows the SGE for the Volvo query.

Click to enlarge

Showing Reddit content in SERPs lets Google show more first-person reviews and opinions (the experience element of Google’s EEAT (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) for search ratings.

But how will Google distinguish between subjective, objective, and informative opinions? With Reddit content, which can include positive and negative opinions readily on display, brands will need to follow relevant discussions on Reddit.

Google goes after spam sites

You may have read about Google’s latest update, which aims to avoid sites with low-quality (often AI-generated) content and give helpful content more prominence in SERPs.

This hammers home the message to avoid relying on generative AI alone for content creation. Content needs a human touch to earn the experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness that Google and, more importantly, searchers want to see.

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Expect more penalties from Google for content that’s just churned out from AI prompts.

SGE’s impact on brands

SGE is the rollout that will impact every industry and content marketer.

My company, BrightEdge, built a tool to detect how and where search engines experiment with AI and new content formats. The chart below shows an estimate of the percentage of queries by industry affected by SGE results once it’s fully rolled out.

Health care will see the biggest impact, with 76% of its searches affected by SGE. Finance will be the least affected, with only 17% of queries impacted by SGE. Here’s how SGE will affect other industries:

  • E-commerce (49%)
  • B2B technology (48%)
  • Insurance (45%)
  • Education (44%)
  • Restaurants (36%)
  • Entertainment (36%)
  • Travel (30%)
The chart shows an estimate of the percentage of queries by industry affected by SGE results once it’s fully rolled out.

Click to enlarge

Once SGE rolls out completely, it will likely impact over $40 billion per year in ad revenue on Google for marketers per BrightEdge estimates.

How to prepare for SGE and changing search behavior

Google has always shown relevant sources and articles so searchers can make informed decisions. With the generative AI changes, Google’s engine now asserts an opinion. This represents a fundamental shift in how a search engine responds to queries.

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Imagine you search the web to learn more about a BMW model you’re interested in. Previously, a Google search would display results with links such as BMW’s official site, Top Gear, Consumer Reports, and Carfax. The searcher then could choose the resources to explore and form an opinion about the vehicle.

In the generative AI world, Google’s primary result might not be a direct link to BMW’s website. Instead, it could be AI-generated content that provides an evaluative perspective. The AI content might include important factors to consider when looking at a BMW, such as the potential for high maintenance expenses or issues with parts availability due to supply chain challenges. This AI-curated summary will be presented before the searcher can see the resources with links for further exploration.

This shift may lead to reduced but higher-quality traffic. Brands are likely to experience better conversion rates. The reason? Consumers are more likely to act because they’ve been influenced by prior engagements and information provided by Google.

Still, you’ll need to adapt to the new search environment. Here are some tips on how to prepare.

Focus on the search basics

Solidify your foundation of SEO and website fundamentals. The essential elements will gain more significance as time progresses.

Make sure your website is optimized for user-friendliness and complies with Google’s guidelines regarding Core Web Vitals, Helpful Content, and EEAT (experience, expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness).

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You may also want to review these tips for optimizing content for SGE.

Deepen your understanding of new search behaviors

Use data to grasp user and conversational intent, especially since these factors influence the AI-generated search results. Identifying high-value searches is essential.

Make sure that your content responds to the specific query and addresses its broader context to attract results for long-tail keyword searches.

Content generated by AI draws from reliable and credible sources. Ensure your brand’s content is considered an authoritative source.

The growing prominence of trusted sources and an increase in consumer reviews signal a pivotal change: Brands are likely to have less control over the customer journey.

Align content with other marketing disciplines

Search engine results now encompass an array of media types and formats, including social media, reviews, and news sources. So, teams in marketing, content creation, digital strategies, brand management, design, social media, and public relations must align closely.

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Strategies for an AI-first future

According to BrightEdge research, 98% of enterprise organizations say they’ll prioritize SEO in 2024. And 94% of organizations are looking to integrate SEO into all marketing (omnichannel) strategies.

Strategies for adapting your content approach to new search experiences will vary by industry.  Here are a few examples.

E-commerce: Google commonly presents content for e-commerce queries via product viewers. SGE replaces these with better, more visual, and informational (combined) content.

Google has experimented with several formats, including a general shopping result that details what a searcher would expect to see in a universal listing. However, as SGE results have evolved, so have the ways a user can view products.

This image shows an example of SGE’s integrated product viewer carousel with grouping for apparel, which displays multiple apparel options in a single display.

This image shows an example of SGE’s integrated product viewer carousel with grouping for apparel, which displays multiple apparel options in a single display.

These tips will help you prepare for the various viewer modules (see viewer examples).

  • Optimize for trend relevance: Aligning category pages with current trends can increase your chance of being included in SGE dynamic displays.
  • Incorporate product reviews: Showing product reviews on your site boosts credibility.
  • Present clear pricing Information: Use schema markup to highlight pricing details.

Travel, restaurants, and local: Places have long been a key module for Google. Now, we’re seeing the places module showing up in about 45% of SGE queries. So, make sure to include location-based keywords.

You might also try these optimization suggestions:  

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  • Monitor and respond to reviews.
  • Tailor your local listings for location-specific queries.
  • Keep an eye on how and where SGE displays local modules. SGE displays local results even in queries without location-specific terms.

Entertainment: SGE entertainment results are primarily informational. But more reviews (and warnings for age-appropriate content) are appearing in both traditional search and SGE.

Get ready to shift your SEO thinking

Whoever provides the best experience for their target consumers will win in the new AI search experiences. Focus on third-party content reviews, social, PR, and brand authority. Expect your competitive landscape to change with new entrants that might eat into your market share.

Be aware, ready, and prepared to optimize for multiple AI search experiences.

All tools mentioned in this article were suggested by the author. If you’d like to suggest a tool, share the article on social media with a comment.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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