search marketer today certainly isn’t easy. Not only is search itself evolving at lightspeed, so is the entire digital landscape.
The post-pandemic era of customer acquisition
At the beginning of the pandemic, McKinsey released a report stating that we’ve seen 10 years of e-commerce sales growth in 3 months. There have been few big winners, and a lot of losers.
Naturally, the competitive landscape has also drastically increased as “traditional” businesses have gone digital, signifying that we have finally crossed the chasm of digital sales becoming the new norm.
Data from Hubspot Research confirms the pressure we’re already feeling:
- Over 60% of marketers said their CAC has increased in the past three years
- 49% of companies report that increasing customer acquisition is their primary objective
Does anyone see this trend slowing down? I certainly don’t. The question is, what exactly can you do about it?
The current search landscape is… getting rough
For the past decade we’ve been able to rely on Google to drive affordable, high-converting traffic to our website. Not only is SEO a great source of revenue on its own, SEO has also been a great way to reduce your overall blended CAC. And while that’s still possible, competition for high-intent, ready to buy traffic has never been higher.
Take a look at a search engine results page (SERP) for a high-intent keyword that includes “software” or “best X”. It’s pretty clear that in order to acquire ready-to-buy traffic, you need to either pay for it or convince Google you are clearly the best answer for that search term.
Oh by the way, you also must nail user intent better than anyone else, and drop some serious up-front cash building links so that some day in the future, you might get lucky and get cashflow positive on your investment.
It’s not easy to have those conversations with your boss, your CEO, and your investors.. trust me, I’ve been in that room and had those conversations myself.
Even more alarming is the zero-click search era. It’s an incredible feeling getting to page 1 after putting in so much effort, but even the returns on that are dwindling too. SparkToro reported that in 2020, two thirds (over 67%) of Google searches ended without a click.
So let me get this straight: We’ve got rapid increases in competition, a dwindling pool of clicks to compete over, and even when you do get to position 1 you’re not guaranteed to generate any business?
Cool. Where do I sign up? 😅
If you get anything out of this post it should be this:
We all need to start thinking deeply about how to create a defensible moat for our brand(s). Use every opportunity you have to own distribution for your brand, create amazing on-site experiences when you do get rewarded with traffic, and start doubling down on differentiators so you don’t blend in with every site just like yours.
Keep in mind: We’re at war with these platforms (Google, Facebook, Amazon) because they control our future customer’s attention. Special shoutout to Kevin Indig, who’s been writing some phenomenal content about platform confluence on his blog.
Converting SEO traffic should be priority number one for search marketers in 2021
It feels like we’ve just gotten comfortable with the idea that “most SEO traffic doesn’t convert”.
As competition has heated up for high intent traffic, it has also opened up a huge opportunity for marketers and SEOs who make the best of what traffic they do get, especially at the top of the funnel.
If you look at most websites, there’s a seemingly endless list of tools and tech that are optimized to help the 1% of your website traffic buy. But what about the rest?
For years now we’ve been able to heavily rely on paid in conjunction with SEO to monetize more of our traffic. But an even more threatening premise looms – data privacy. There could be a day coming sooner than later that removes the ability to do highly segmented re-marketing campaigns as legislators put more pressure on social networks.
So what do you do then? Spend more on less effective ads, or just live with higher cost and lower ROI? So that got us thinking – can we help marketers deliver a similar experience on their site? If so, the solution would need to:
- Be privacy friendly – because that’s where the world is heading and most importantly, it’s the right thing to do
- Produce meaningful value for the visitor – not just designed to get your email
- Build a data moat for the brand – as you collect more data your user experience improves, and it becomes part of your product
How to convert more SEO traffic with Frase Answers
The only answer that makes sense to me is to try and match the experience that you get on Google. Seems simple in concept, but is (obviously) hard to do on your own.
So the team here at Frase have been scheming a bit on how to build something that’s effective, easy to use, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg like most AI solutions.
That solution has arrived, and we’re calling it Frase Answers. If you haven’t had a chance to check out Frase Answers yet, here’s a webinar we did where we go over the platform entirely. But for those of you who are short on time, here’s the basic synthesis of how it works:
- Frase Answers is an AI platform that collects data from site search and chat conversations
- Search and AI chat come with your Frase Answers subscription, so there’s no need to buy those from another vendor.
- We train the AI by analyzing your website content – we crawl and index your sites just like Google
- Your marketing site, help desk, FAQs, etc. It’s one centralized knowledge base for Frase Site Search and Frase Chatbots to answer visitor questions.
- Our integrated site seach and AI chatbots answer visitor questions automatically 24/7/365
- So when a visitor lands on your “what is X” blog, you can intelligently suggest content at the next step in the buying journey, and visitors can ask questions that help accelerate them into a customer – like Google.
- Every search and conversation your visitors have is collected and analyzed by Frase
- This shows you where your AI is strong/weak, you’ll know when someone asks a question and we can’t automatically answer it.
- We built an easy to use AI training studio so you can train your AI like you would a new employee
- As you train the AI, the knowledge gets stronger and stronger – eventually you can automate 95% of visitor questions and completely automate sales, customer service and support.
Here’s a visual of how the flywheel gets stronger over time (just like Google search has over the years):
The result: You now have an automated assistant running on your site(s) 24/7 to help you monetize more traffic. It’s simple, yet extremely effective.
Here’s a few plays you can run to drive more ROI from search traffic with Frase Answers
If you decide to try it out, here’s a few plays you can run within minutes of signing up.
Make product searches look so good they can’t help but buy from you
Frase site search adds a “wow” moment for site visitors looking for your products. Instead of making visitors pour through your navigation, give them an Amazon-like search experience and watch how fast they hit the check out page.
We’ll also let you know when a visitor asks a question related to your products that your AI can’t answer. You can train it to respond to that question next time, just like you would train a new employee to be an expert salesperson, or customer support rep.
Add engaging search capabilities anywhere in your body content to keep them on site
If you create content that is engaging, informational and thought provoking your visitors will have follow-up questions. Instead of them clicking the back-button to Google, give them a search option to further investigate topics that are further in the buying journey.
This also gives you incredible insights on a page-by-page basis, of what your visitors are actually looking for. Say goodbye to relying on third-party search query data.
Create conversation starter calls to action and generate leads
Instead of letting visitors find what they need and run off to another site, create engaging calls to action that start a conversation. Below we used a CTA to have our chatbot share content optimization tips with readers of this post.
Click the image below. 👇
Turn clicks into engaging conversations about a relevant on-page topic
Imagine if you could make any click action (button, anchor link, etc) and turn it into a topically relevant conversation? Well, now that’s possible. Our AI will automatically search for, and deliver answers to questions. It can also find related content for visitors with just one click.
Here’s an example of our dynamic calls to action, which can be completely customized to answer any question, or suggest relevant content or products for your visitors:
The best part about this? The experience is completely customized to your brand and audience, all with the goal of making website visitors more sticky and helping you create a better on-page experience.
Instead of working so hard to get someone to your site, only to see them “pogostick” back to Google for another search that only makes their own AI stronger, why not offer the same dynamic experience on your site?
And we’re all feeding this network with our questions and answers. We’re all collectively programming the AI. And Google, plus all the humans that connect to it, are one giant cybernetic collective. This is also true of Facebook, and Twitter, and Instagram, and all the social networks. They’re giant cybernetic collectives.“Elon Musk on JRE #1169
Makes sense, right? We hope you think so too. If you believe in our vision, click the below and give Frase Answers a try. No credit card or commitment required. 👇