How AI is changing the way Search Engine Optimisation works
SEO is a pretty big deal these days. If you want people to be able to find your business when they’re searching online, SEO is the tool you need. But SEO has always been a bit of a challenge. It’s a time-consuming, long-term strategy, and it requires lots of work before you start seeing results.
So, is AI-powered SEO here to change all that?
We’re going to dive into the topic of AI and SEO and find out how it’s affecting the industry, how you can use AI tools and whether AI has a future in the marketing world!
What is AI?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a technological field that uses computers to simulate the way human brains process information.
The main goal of AI is to develop tools that can handle mundane processing tasks faster (and better!) than humans can. For example, a useful AI tool might collect and analyse a huge amount of data in much less time than a human could.
AI tools have been on the rise for years. They’re now in widespread use across the world, including in the digital marketing industry. AI comes in all different shapes and sizes. As a digital marketing agency, the AI tools we’re interested in are the ones that are having an impact on the way we work.
How is AI affecting SEO?
AI has been a hot topic in the last few months, mostly thanks to the release of ChatGPT. ChatGPT is a tool that writes content and does an incredibly good job of it. In fact, ChatGPT is so advanced that it has brought up questions about how AI can be used in all sorts of industries.
In the digital marketing world one of the biggest uses of AI is in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO is all about improving the way search engines see your website so that you show up higher when customers are searching. It’s a labour-intensive process, and AI tools have the potential to simplify every part of the journey!
AI made the headlines a lot recently, but it has actually been in use for the better part of a decade, and the results are already in. Marketers that use AI tools are seeing the benefits. Last year 80% of marketing companies that use AI reported revenue increases of up to 10%, or even more:
Revenue increases are good for business. But that also has a knock-on effect for clients. Marketing agencies that use AI tools work smarter. That means we can find more opportunities for clients and focus our efforts in the areas that will have the biggest impact on your business!
Using AI to boost your SEO strategy
AI plays a big role in how search engines like Google operate. Search engines use AI to ensure they’re serving up the best search results possible.
But AI is also popular on the other side of the fence. It’s an important part of digital marketing, and it can be extremely beneficial to your SEO strategy. For marketers, AI is an amazing tool for rapidly analysing data, spotting trends and designing better SEO strategies, and it’s already built-in to some of the industry’s favourite apps.
Some of the most popular SEO tools use AI to help with:
- Keyword planning. Keyword research is a huge part of every SEO strategy. It’s also time-consuming, requires creativity and an in-depth understanding of a client’s industry. AI tools like SEO.ai can take care of the hard work by researching and generating keyword lists all on their own. These keywords are a great jumping off point for creating a tailored SEO strategy, and you don’t even have to be an industry expert to see the results.
- Onsite optimisation. SEO is all about optimising the way your website appears to users and search engines. One of the best ways to do that is with AI tools like WordLift. WordLift can automate the process of structuring data, using schema, internal linking and optimising on-page ranking factors.
- Data analysis. AI is a huge part of the data analysis tools included with site plugins like Semrush. Semrush offers a host of features that help with content writing, market research, competitor research and more. All of these features are powered by AI that automates the process of collecting, analysing and presenting information that can then be integrated into your SEO strategy.
- Content writing. High quality content writing tools like Frase or ChatGPT are perfectly okay to use as part of your content writing process. We strongly recommend you don’t rely on these systems to write all your content, but they’re useful for generating ideas, providing prompts and helping you structure your content for a better reading experience.
- Content optimisation. Once you’ve written your content it still needs to be optimised to meet Google’s guidelines. Tools like Clearscope (or even Grammarly) make it simple to spot issues with your writing and improve how it reads. If you’re going to use Grammarly then aware that it’s designed for writing, not SEO content. It can’t provide insights into the things Google considers when it’s figuring out where to rank your website.
Let’s hear what Google says about using AI to write content
All of the most popular SEO apps have been using AI-powered features for years. AI is the perfect tool for automating some of the most time-consuming parts of SEO. But one area that AI has always struggled with is writing content.
That’s changing quickly though! Tools like ChatGPT are smarter than ever, and they’re now capable of producing content that’s actually helpful for readers. But Google has previously been a little evasive about whether AI content is acceptable. Well, we got our answer recently from Danny Sullivan, Google’s Public Search Liaison:
This makes it pretty clear that Google isn’t against using AI to write content. It’s only against using AI to write low-quality content that doesn’t help people find the answers they’re searching for.
Does that mean you’re free to fire up ChatGPT and generate hundreds of pages of content? Well, no, not exactly.
Google’s increasing focus on E-E-A-T
Experience, Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness. E-E-A-T.
That’s a pretty popular acronym in the SEO world, and it comes directly from Google. Google’s main mission is to provide their customers with the search results they’re looking for. Whether they’re searching for products, businesses, information or the answers to specific questions, Google wants to help.
But Google doesn’t just want to show any old content that vaguely matches the searcher’s keywords. No, Google’s aim is to show the highest quality results possible. In the past few years that has been translated into E-E-A-T. If you want your website to show up high in Google’s search results, you need to make sure your content demonstrates E-E-A-T.
The good news is that you’re an expert at what you do! That gives you unique insight into your industry, and it allows you to write content that shows off your experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
On the other hand, AI-powered content writers like ChatGPT can only regurgitate ideas they get from somewhere else. This severely limits the ability of AI-generated content to meet Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines. While AI content can be helpful and high quality, it can’t provide new ideas or unique insights, and that’s a bit of an issue.
We aren’t saying you have to toss the AI out with the bath water though. Content writing isn’t for everybody. Tools like ChatGPT can be incredibly useful for helping to fill out your website. Just be careful about relying on AI to write content that’s original, expert, authoritative and trustworthy. And you should always avoid using AI to write spammy content that’s designed to boost SEO without considering your users!
Is AI going to make SEO redundant?
The answer is a resounding no!
There’s no question that AI can be beneficial to your SEO. It’s also going to change the way digital marketing works. But the same could be said for just about every other industry.
As helpful as it is, AI is still a long way away from taking over. It’s a great way to enhance the tools we already use when creating effective SEO strategies. But, for the foreseeable future, AI won’t be able to compete with the insight that real humans can offer up.
As far as we’re concerned, the future of SEO isn’t about using AI to automate the work. It’s more about using AI to take care of the repetitive and time-consuming parts of the job. That frees up our experts to focus on more complex stuff, and it means we’ll be able to provide better results for clients.
Get in touch with Gordon Digital to make the most of your SEO strategy!
AI and SEO are both huge topics on their own, and it only gets more complicated when you combine the two! We have plenty to say about the future of AI and SEO. For now we’re happy to borrow some processing power from tools like Semrush. They make our lives a lot easier, and that means we can deliver better results for our clients!
If you’re interested in finding out how we’re using AI to improve our SEO campaigns then get in touch with Gordon Digital. We’re a digital marketing agency that’s full of SEO nerds who are dying to tell you how our strategies can help you kick your business goals!