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3 Connections Between Paid Search and CRO


While being with Hanapin (now Brainlabs!) for five and a half years, I can honestly say that I love my career. Recently, I began a transition between roles within the company going from a Paid Search Account Manager to a CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) Manager. This was brought on by really gaining an understanding of the connection between Paid Search and CRO and wanting to focus more on the CRO side of things after the paid click happens. With that being said, it’s been such a great experience being able to dive into my new role with the knowledge I have gained over the last 5 and a half years. 

In this post, I want to walk through three valuable connections between the two roles. They truly go hand-and-hand and when utilizing both, you can have a solid strategy and really make the most of the user experience from the initial search to the time a user completes a purchase or fills out a lead form on your site. 

Let’s jump right into it! 

Congruency is Key

This has been the most apparent during my transition and something that may be apparent to those who have no experience in CRO or in Paid Search. From the time a user first interacts with your brand (first impression, if you will) to the moment they make the decision to purchase or submit a form, you should be speaking the same language throughout the path. If not, it can quickly lead to confusion, hesitation, and ultimately, users bouncing. Take the following two examples; 

Example 1: 

ad congruency example 1ad congruency example 1

Example 2: 

ad congruency example 2ad congruency example 2

In both examples, I’m sure you can decide which user experience makes more sense. The second. 

The goal is to ensure that what the user searches for is mimicked in the ad copy and also the landing page. This ensures that the user is met with exactly what they need, eliminating any additional steps. 

Audiences Matter

There is also a valuable connection between paid search audiences and CRO. Understanding the audience that’s being sent to a website gives insight into how a site would be best structured and how it should function to meet that audience’s needs. If you have an apartment complex that rents to those who are 65 or older, your site needs to align with that. If a paid search landing page for that apartment complex focuses on workout facilities, party rooms, and transportation to the nearest college, it’s not speaking to the audience. However, if the landing page lists amenities like elevators, a lounge, handicap accessibility, and so forth, you have a better chance of connecting with the audience. 

Google Analytics is Everyone’s Friend

When it comes to Google Analytics (GA), there are many insights that can be gained and utilized for both paid search and CRO. Such as; 

  • Audiences: In GA, we can learn about our audiences. This will help us determine which audiences to optimize toward via paid search but also give us insights into how our landing pages should behave and look. Below you will see in-market segments that are sorted by users. Those who are in-market for “Hotel Accommodations” were the largest in-market audience visiting the site next to “Air Travel”. Therefore, it might make sense to target audiences who are in-market for hotels and air travel via paid search, as opposed to maybe those who are in-market for say, a cruise.
ga-in-market-segmentsga-in-market-segments
  • Technology: GA also has some Technology reports that are useful for both paid search and CRO. Knowing what devices users predominantly use is super helpful for an Account Manager because it can give insights on how to bid based on the device. This is also useful for a CRO Manager because CRO tests can be designed to test a browser in a specific device. For example, if 80% of a brand’s site users utilize iOS, it would not make sense to create a CRO test and focus on the results from Android users.
ga-technology-reportsga-technology-reports

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