Google Generative Still Needs Ad & Search Clicks

This is a good article from dear old Barry Schwartz. He’s right, but he’s also wrong (and that’s scary). The argument is that even with generative AI, Google still has to send clicks to ads and to search results in order to continue as a business. Errrrm, yeeeees, but no. For the last few years, since they became completely corporate, Google have been squeezing and squeezing the search results: filling them with more ads, in more prominent places and more prominent display attributes such as pics, phone numbers etc. Doing this has squeezed space for organic search into smaller and smaller confines.

And what’s this done to Google? In all honesty, not a lot, they’ve continued to make money hand over fist, and like Yahoo! of old, if they’ve stopped making money they’ve put another ad unit in. With generative AI, their issue is if they provide *all* the answer, there really is no point in clicking. So, the user is sated, doesn’t need more information, but is pleased enough with Google to return – in which case wait for the “AI results sponsored by…”. Generative AI is part of the future of SEO. Our SEO consultancy services keep up. 

Email CTAs? Read More…


I’m always surprised by the fact that we’re here in 2023, what we laughingly called “the future” just a few years ago and we’re still banging on about CTAs (calls-to-action) and making them useful and actionable by users. So, no click here, no read more and no dull CTAs. I agree with the article saying a subject line is kind of like a CTA – it is for marketing emails, not for regular newsletters. I also like their examples of good, actionable CTAs (Order Now etc…). But I don’t agree that Click Here is useless. On its own, yes, but “click here to XYZ…” is long, yet useful in text as it gives a very clear instruction to the user. And if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in 20-odd years of making money online for me and for clients is that you tell the user what to do. So, click here to see our Email & CRM consultancy services, and contact me to discuss them.

Content: How To More Readable Make it

Nope, nup, no way. There’s no possible method to make content more readable….

Actually there is, but it depends on your audience and topic.

As a general rule, make it shorter and simpler, people can cope with that. Also use shorter paragraphs, although I hated that fashion for one sentence paras.

But what most people forget is to write interestingly, start with your conclusion and use headings or bullets to structure and signpost things the reader should take note of and use to contextualise.

Yes, you can dumb down your writing, but it’s generally better to structure your oeuvre better: win-win. Find out more about our content strategy and creation services. 

Content Strategy & Creation

What Can The US Teach Us About Search?

Okay, I read the headline and said 50% of product searches start on Amazon??? Really??? Annnnnd then I realised this is a US sample presented as global significance *eyeroll*. Now, ignoring the Amazon distortion going on, still, 70%-80% of all product searches start with a search – not social, not anything else, but search. So, all of that budget on fancy social content? Yeah, nah, as we say down here. 

As ever, you need to understand the customer journey from being unaware of a problem, through to being aware, researching the issue or product, considering alternatives, forming the intention to buy and then acting on that(ARCIAR). Search is a massive part of the funnel, but you’ve got to be in the awareness phase and be able to convert that intention to really nail digital marketing. That’s where our end-to-end digital marketing consultancy comes in. 

2023 Google Ads Industry Benchmarks

I am always very wary of these kinds of reports, but this is very useful, eve if only to give you a general idea of what PPC performance looks like at a very high population level. It gives an idea of trends, very rough $ CPCs, CTRs and conversions.

Having said that, they do of course cover all sorts of campaigns, with very different objectives, very different business models and very different campaign strategies and bidding / optimisation strategies. One size does not fit all.

So, read the report, but only through very squinty eyes and with long, loud, hmmmmmmmmmms. Once you’ve read it, have a look at our PPC and Paid Social consultancy services, and give me a call. 

Google Ads - PPC & Paid Social