5 steps to SEM success in the age of AI

Aug 2, 2019 by
5 steps to SEM success in the age of AI

Every day there are literally billions of searches conducted on Google and we’d be deluded to assume that Google wasn’t using these searches to build a clearer idea of who we are as consumers. That’s machine learning in practice for you.

There is simply no ignoring the impact that machine learning technology is having and will continue to have on the digital marketing industry. However, while some are doing their best to resist it, there is a great deal that machine learning can offer search engine marketing (SEM).

As it’s very much here to stay, it’s imperative that everyone even tangentially connected to the industry sits up, takes notice and takes steps to prepare themselves for the coming AI tide.

Step 1 – Holistic data measuring will allow marketers to evaluate each touchpoint as one part of something much bigger. Siloing data might have been the ‘done thing’ in years past, but machine learning allows for ROI data to be stacked against the ROI across Google, letting marketers see the integrated value of their digital marketing campaigns.

Step 2 – Goals should be optimised based on each businesses’ specific target audience and their market value. Machine learning is a powerful tool when it comes to helping companies find their ‘ideal customers’ and target them accordingly.

AnalyticsStep 3 Marketing metrics are incredibly important, as any marketer worth their salt will tell you. However, it’s even more important to know which metrics to optimise, otherwise, you might simply be wasting resources. A machine can ultimately only learn from the information you give it, so make sure you are giving it relevant metrics that allow it to create a more complete picture of the campaign.

Step 4 – The real area in which machine learning can have a truly valuable impact is in the long term opportunities. The problem with many current digital marketing campaigns is that they focus too heavily on short term outcomes – but this means having to persistently prioritise acquisition. Machine learning, meanwhile, is engineered more towards helping businesses to retain and build a loyal audience.

Step 5 – According to Google Chief Search Evangelist Nicolas Darveau-Garneau, machine learning will help us all find better customers. He explains that, whilst it might seem like Google is targeting your ideal customers, finding the real targeted consumers will mean abandoning the mindset of a sheet bidding strategy and looking towards an audience strategy.

Survival Strategies

Of course, this is just the beginning. Once you’ve taken these steps, there are a number of strategies that should be followed so that marketers and SEO professional can survive and thrive in the age of AI.

  • Gain data before conversions – Develop your SEM conversion funnel using as much accurate data as possible using click, impressions and more. Only when you have enough data can you really get to work.
  • Maintain control – There are numerous aspects of a search engine marketing strategy to consider that require constant balance and control.
  • Optimise keywords – SEO pros need to learn how to gather and group the keywords that will lead to the best results and generate examples that have the highest potential of representing the resultant phrases.
  • Cluster and predictive analysis – Techniques such as cluster analysis can be used to create topic clusters that will improve rankings and help search engines to identify pages based on topic. Also, using Google Trends to predict the demand for target keywords and trends will always generate better results.
  • Use your resources – Use everything from AI chatbots (to draw customers towards a conversion) to reviews and shopping data to your advantage. Everyone else will be using these tools and you don’t want to be left behind!