In the early days of SEO, engines like Google functioned much simpler, as they mostly indexed sites based on quantitative metrics such as keywords. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence has been transforming the WWW (both the World Wide Web and the whole wide world). Today, Google uses AI and machine learning to offer much more refined searching capabilities.
In the current climate, many SEO employees have feared losing their jobs due to the rise of sophisticated AI tech such as ChatGPT. However, that’s not the case; in fact, developments in AI bring many benefits to the professionals working in SEO, complementing their skills, as well as the overall field.
Therefore, in this article, let’s take a look at the beautiful intersection of SEO and AI. We discuss all the best and most modern ways to implement artificial intelligence in search engine optimization. Furthermore, we simultaneously track the evolution of SEO and search engines themselves over the years.
Without further ado, here we go.
Despite immense changes in SEO’s arsenal of tools, its very foundations have remained the same. Simultaneously they are adapting to the transformed AI-led landscape. SEO is still here primarily to:
Now, let’s see what SEO specialists are doing in 2023 to achieve these aims:
Needless to say, in our increasingly data-driven world, data analysis is highly relevant, and the same goes for the field of SEO. Instead of guesswork, businesses can make informed decisions, and with the help of AI, the process of data analysis is quite significantly less time-consuming.
Instead of using much simpler analytics tools that were available before, SEO specialists now rely on AI to analyze massive datasets and uncover more accurate patterns and trends relevant to their companies. Bounce rates, session duration, and conversion rates are just some of the SEO metrics that tools like Google Analytics can track.
What’s more, this capability extends to predictive analytics, allowing the AI to forecast future market trends and user behavior. In the old days, you often had to base your predictions on historical trends rather than on real-time data processing, and the results were generally less accurate.
Nowadays, you can safely rely on AI to help you plan your content strategy by identifying topics likely to become popular or knowing when to post content for maximum impact.
Excellent content is still essential, in SEO and otherwise. It should not only be found by the target audience, but also resonate with it.
Rather than relying solely on demographic info, with the assistance of tools like MarketMuse or Clearscope, websites can now display personalized content recommendations. These make each user’s experience unique, increasing engagement and conversion rates. They do this by identifying individual preferences, search history, and the general behavior of each user.
These tools also compare your content with top-performing competitors in order to recommend improvements. This may include keyword usage, topic coverage, and content structure. Furthermore, they give advice on content readability and overall quality.
Tools like ChatGPT or Bard can also generate SEO-optimized content quickly, which can be useful for businesses with an insufficient budget to hire human writers. They’re even capable of going as far as, for instance, creating content for a course on practically any topic, that you can sell by using a platform such as Thinkific - after you’ve edited it, of course. On the other hand, keep in mind that human writers generally provide a better understanding of nuance and context, greater factual accuracy, and that human touch that AI can’t replicate.
User intent and context are now key in SEO. Google’s 2019 BERT update was paramount for the shift from basic keyword usage to more conversational language in search queries. Thanks to the rise of AI’s natural language processing and voice assistants such as Siri and Alexa, this shift has brought about the focus on long-tail keywords, questions, and phrases that align with how humans talk in everyday conversations.
Search engines use AI to understand the nuances of user queries. They’ve moved beyond mere keyword density and other basic metrics for ranking. Thus, delivering much more relevant search results.
For folks in charge of businesses’ SEO, this means a greater focus on content that truly answers users’ questions and provides real value, rather than simply targeting keywords.
Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs have become invaluable in SEO. These pieces of software conduct website audits, report found SEO issues, and provide you with suggestions on how to solve them.
Moreover, they conduct keyword research, giving you data on search volume, competition, and keyword relevance. You can also use these tools to automate tracking your competitor’s SEO strategy.
Understanding what keywords your competitors are ranking for is a crucial input to your own strategy. For example, an AI-driven sales battlecard template can help you understand your strengths and weaknesses. Thus, strategize your next sales move.
This automation, naturally, saves plenty of time. Thereby, allowing SEO professionals to focus on developing the right strategies rather than conducting manual site audits, keyword research, and backlink analysis. But that’s not the only benefit, as AI increases the accuracy of these processes, too, eliminating the room for human error.
As we’ve mentioned, user experience has always been a vital aspect of SEO. However, it used to be based on common, general practices wisdom. Not anymore, as AI has brought the means to optimize user experience based on data-driven insights.
For instance, companies optimize their website’s layout and content types thanks to real-time insights on user interaction data provided by AI. Pertaining to this, it also helps with A/B testing.
Then, there are AI-powered chatbots for instant customer service also contributing to a better user experience. They provide immediate responses to queries and guide visitors through the site.
Finally, AI is also used to enhance website speed. It’s all these advantages it provides that lead to higher engagement rates and longer site visits. Ultimately, improving EO performance due to positive user signals.
Apart from the five ways to effectively integrate AI in today’s SEO landscape, here are some general tips to be aware of:
There’s been much talk, even panic lately, caused by worries that AI might eliminate the need for human insights and involvement. Fear not, though, as that’s not the case, in SEO and generally speaking.
AI can optimize processes, offer worthy analysis, and generate most kinds of content you can think of. For example, you’ve thought of an email subject line generator - voilà. However, it is an SEO specialist who decides what to do with these analyses. Thus, knowing how to craft and edit those subject lines, and how to chart a strategic course.
As said, SEO practices are becoming increasingly personalized and human-centric. Therefore, it requires a human to interpret the data and accordingly shape the brand’s SEO strategy.
AI has been instrumental in taking search engines and SEO to the next level of user understanding. However, it still cannot replace a human’s nuanced understanding of cultural contexts or make those key decisions that define a brand's online presence.
Nowadays, embracing AI as part of your strategy for data analysis, automation, and optimizing content and user experience is practically unavoidable. Still, from its more primitive beginnings to using sophisticated tech driven by AI, the face of SEO has changed greatly over the years. However, it remains the same at its core. We’ll see what the future brings, but there’s no doubt that SEO will keep the same significance as AI further evolves.
Nina Petrov is a content marketing specialist, passionate about graphic design, content marketing, and the new generation of green and social businesses. She starts the day scrolling her digest on new digital trends while sipping a cup of coffee with milk and sugar. Her white little bunny tends to reply to your emails when she is on vacation.