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Artificial Intelligence 10 min read

AI for SEO: The Dos, The Don’ts, and the Maybes

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Written by Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

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Expert reviewed by Jigmit Gwari

SEO Product Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 14 Mar 2023

News of AI is certainly circulating through the internet. Since the release of ChatGPT in November, people have wondered how AI will impact the world of search and other activities, including marketing.

However, AI has had a presence in marketing for a while. In this article, we’ll discuss how AI and SEO strategies combine to produce an effective tool for companies seeking to maximize their rankings on search engines.

Artificial Intelligence: What It Is

Artificial intelligence combines several technologies to mimic how the human brain thinks and retrieves information. Those technologies include machine learning, natural language processing, and deep learning.

Most AI tools aim to expedite processes that humans need time to perform. For instance, an AI writing tool like ChatGPT will use your prompts to generate text according to set criteria. Similarly, companies like Netflix use your prior viewing and search history to create a list of recommended shows and movies you’ll likely enjoy. 

Most AI tools have blazing-fast processing speeds, allowing them to generate output much faster than humans. However, while they’re quick, they’re not always accurate. They lack the capacity for human judgment and critical thinking, so their output isn’t always correct or factual.

How to Use Artificial Intelligence for SEO

Image describing SEO processes cycle

SEO has long been the cornerstone strategy for organizations seeking to capture organic traffic for their website. With the right approach, it’s possible to appear at the top of search engine rankings, ensuring that your content continually brings in potential customers. 

Marketers and organizations rely on a myriad of SEO strategies to increase their search rankings, including keyword research, topic creation, competitor analysis, and technical SEO. While these tactics can positively impact your search rankings, they can be clunky and complicated, especially for those who attempt to handle them manually.  

Fortunately, there are many tools available for marketers interested in learning how to use artificial intelligence for SEO purposes. Here are a few areas where using AI for SEO is beneficial.

Uncover Hidden Opportunities

You might think the internet is awash with content on every conceivable topic, but that’s not actually the case. Those who take the time to look will discover where content is lacking, and they can use those areas to develop articles, videos, or other information that better serves their consumers.

Another area where AI is massively beneficial is link-building. It’s well known that search engines incorporate the number of backlinks a page has into their ranking criteria. A page with no backlinks is unlikely to rank on the first page of the SERPs — in fact, it will be lucky to appear at all.

Building backlinks is a notoriously slow process. To handle it manually, you’ll need to build links through online directories or ask website administrators to link to your page.

Using AI for SEO can help organizations uncover opportunities for content and backlinks. For example, tools like BrightEdge provide tailored insights into content topics your competitors might not be aware of.

Develop Your SEO Strategy

Another area where AI and SEO strategies intertwine is SEO planning.

Some tools can help you plan your content in greater detail. For instance, you can prompt an AI-powered tool to write about a certain topic and it will generate an in-depth content brief you can use to ensure that you cover all relevant points.

You can use the suggestions from your content planner to create other articles relevant to your topic, which is known as a “topic cluster.” Search engines are known to provide additional weight to articles and blogs that interlink around one specific topic since they comprehensively address inquiries the searcher may have.

MarketMuse is a well-known tool powered by AI that assists in topic creation and content briefs. You can leverage such tools to create a content strategy that addresses your customer’s most pressing questions over multiple articles.

Conduct Technical SEO Audits of Your Website

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Other factors besides keywords, topics, and content creation can impact your SEO strategy. One of those is technical SEO, which involves ensuring that your website is agreeable to search engines that will crawl your content and determine where to rank your pages. 

An AI-powered tool will analyze your website from end to end, looking for ways to improve your technical SEO. It can recommend changes to your robot’s files, find problems with broken links, and point out where you can improve your schema to allow search engines to understand your content better.

Improve the User Experience

It’s no secret that search engines consider a page’s user experience when determining where to rank your page. User experience looks past the content contained in a page to determine whether the reader found what they were looking for.

When determining whether a certain page offers a good user experience, search engines look for rapid load times, an easy-to-follow structure, and a mobile-friendly format. Typically, pages where visitors spend more than a few seconds will rank higher than those they leave immediately.

AI and machine learning in SEO can help you improve your page’s user experience. 

One tool, Market Brew, can analyze your content and page to determine where you’ll fall in the search engine rankings. It uses a unique model trained to act like a search engine and includes many of the same algorithms and ranking factors that Google, Bing, and Yahoo use.

When Market Brew’s AI and machine learning in SEO combine, you can avoid waiting months to find out where your page will rank. You’ll learn immediately and be able to make necessary adjustments to your content and other elements to optimize its chances of ranking highly.

Strengths and Weaknesses About AI in SEO

AI can offer many benefits to companies and marketers seeking organic traffic through SEO. Here are a few of its advantages, along with several disadvantages.

Save Time and Avoid Mistakes

Relying on manual processes for your SEO can result in lots of time spent creating content around keywords that don’t bring the organic traffic you’re seeking. You might think you’ve found keywords that will attract users, only to find out months later that no one is searching for your topics. 

With the help of AI tools, you can quickly identify topics likely to resonate with your audience. In turn, you can avoid wasting time, money, and effort on ineffective content.

Find Out Where You’ll Rank

One of the biggest drawbacks of an SEO strategy is the time it takes to produce results. 

Websites in their early stages must be highly diligent with SEO by regularly publishing content, finding opportunities for backlinks, and confirming that their technical SEO factors are fully aligned. Despite these efforts, they may still see their pages rank low in search results.

With AI tools, you can forecast where your page will rank before publishing your content. If the results don’t align with your expectations, you can make recommended adjustments to increase your rankings.

Possible Penalty for Content Generated by AI

While content generation tools like ChatGPT can undoubtedly be effective for a company seeking to mass-produce loads of content, it’s not yet clear how search engines will treat AI-generated content.

Google adjusted its ranking criteria to emphasize first-person experiences following the introduction of ChatGPT. But so far, tools claiming to be able to AI-generated content have offered lackluster results.

If you’re serious about using SEO as an organic traffic source, it’s best to avoid using AI to write your blogs and articles to avoid being penalized by Google. With handcrafted content, you know you’re not breaking any rules that could downgrade your site.

AI Is in Its Infancy

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While AI tools like ChatGPT and Market Muse have their benefits, they’re still in the early stages of development. As such, they can assist in your SEO efforts but can’t fully replace the most remarkable functions of the human brain — their output is only as good as the input they receive.

But that doesn’t mean AI can’t benefit your SEO efforts. AI tools that rely heavily on data for their output, such as technical SEO, keyword research, and competitor analysis, are highly beneficial.

Look Carefully for Opportunities to Incorporate AI into Your SEO Strategy

When you’re considering options to speed up your SEO processes and rank higher in the SERPs, look for cost-efficient tools that will benefit your existing strategy. Most AI tools for SEO offer a free trial period that you can take advantage of to determine whether they provide valuable results.

Remember that AI and SEO strategies work best when combined with data analysis. Consider your most data-intensive tasks, such as keyword and topic research, when determining where AI can best supplement your SEO efforts.

For now, companies that rely on various types of content as a primary source of organic traffic should avoid using AI for articles and blogs. That way, they don’t risk potential penalties in the search engine rankings.

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Sarah Edwards photo

Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed