The human mind is hardwired to worry. It imagines all manner of situations to help you prepare for the worst-case scenario. Historically, anxiety prevented us from being eaten by saber-toothed tigers. Today, we are more likely to be worried about our comfortable, office-based jobs being replaced by AI-enabled tools. Somewhat ironically, it’s the people in high-tech jobs that imagine they have the most to lose, with the SEO industry literally shaking in their shoes.
Yes, AI will impact the SEO industry. And, as with any disruptive technology, there will be some movement in the industry as people react to the new normal. However, rather than replacing human expertise, AI will enhance the value of human knowledge.
SEO is a Moving Goalpost
SEO has never been an industry to stand still. On the contrary, it’s in the interest of everyone employed in the sector to ensure that search engines keep everyone on their toes. The moment SEO becomes stagnant is the moment that irrelevant content starts finding its way to the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), taking us all back to the days when spam-filled web directories pre-dated legitimate search engines.
While AI tools are being deployed on both sides of the SEO landscape, it’s important to remember that SEO is a very human business. A search engine bot will never buy a product or a service, regardless of its ranking. Therefore, the human experience should always be at the forefront of any SEO strategy.
How AI Will Make Us More Efficient and Effective SEOs
Search engines have long deployed AI technology (like Google’s RankBrain) to ensure search results are as relevant to their human users as possible. While the SEO industry plays catch-up and develops its own AI tools, the search engines will deploy more AI technology to prevent unscrupulous SEOs from gaming the system. While there has always been an element of black and gray hat SEO practices, it would be fair to say that the guys in the white hats always win in the end.
In the age of AI, white hat SEO uses technology to drive efficiencies and not quick wins. Remember, in SEO, the benefits of any quick wins can quickly become a burden when its results are flagged as shady.
In many areas, SEO teams can utilize AI technology to make themselves more efficient and effective without being shady. We’ve compiled five AI SEO strategies to keep you on the right side of the search engine’s algorithms.
5 AI-Optimized SEO Strategies
- Keyword Research: Before you start producing any content, it’s always a good idea to start with your keywords. AI tools can help you identify the best primary, secondary, and longtail keywords you should include in your content based on seed keywords or particular product/service pages. Remember, it’s essential to use these keywords as naturally as possible. Therefore you should refrain from over-stuffing your content with every keyword that AI suggests.
- Content Inspiration: Sometimes, the most challenging part of SEO content creation is finding the inspiration to get started. This is particularly true when the content creator isn’t a 100% expert in the field they are writing about. AI tools can provide a great starting point. AI tools are particularly good at producing “listicles.” A listicle is an article that is structured as a list and fleshed out with additional text relating to each list item. A listicle can be used as a standalone piece of content or help break up longer, more detailed content (just like this post). Refrain from using any AI-generated content verbatim, as this may be flagged as spam by the major search engines — so be prepared to edit and re-write the AI-generated content in your own voice. It’s also worth remembering AI isn’t perfect, and you’ll need to check your “facts” before you publish them.
- SEO Optimized Headlines, Titles, and Meta-Titles: Writing headlines, titles, and meta-titles that are as equally engaging to search engine crawlers and human readers is difficult. Even the best journalists don’t write their own headlines, so why should content marketers be any different? How about seeking a little inspiration from AI? Tip: Write the article before you write the headline. With the right content and the right keywords in place, the headline will virtually write itself.
- Proof Reading/Editing: It should go without saying you should only publish content after first running it past a second pair of eyes (preferably human). However, this isn’t always possible when deadlines are tight, and resources are limited. AI tools like Grammarly won’t replace a good human editor, but they will prevent foolish grammatical mistakes and spelling errors from ruining your content and potential impact on your SEO.
- Quality Control: This is particularly important if you hire freelance support for your SEO efforts. We’ve already discussed how it may be damaging to use verbatim AI-generated content in your SEO efforts (especially when paying for good quality content). Note: If you are using cheap “content mills” to produce your content, there’s a good chance that this content will be created using AI-enabled tools. It’s also vital to ensure your content doesn’t contain any duplicate or plagiarized content, which can have a devastating impact on your SEO and reputation. Thankfully AI tools like the aforementioned Grammarly and the new AI Classifier Tool, ironically from the same people who brought you ChatGPT, can help ensure your SEO content is original and of the highest quality.
To learn more about how the experts at emfluence enhance their very human SEO skills, creating an enhanced search experience for our clients with a little help from artificial intelligence, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.