Movies like The Matrix, The Terminator, and I, Robot have long warned us about the pitfalls of artificial intelligence. With AI’s recent popularity, we also suggest proceeding with caution, especially when it comes to SEO.
While tools like ChatGPT can offer streamlined assistance within the digital marketing space, it’s not an acceptable replacement for the human-first experience and unique storytelling found in the most successful and engaging content.
Google guidelines — now more than ever — require original content and expertise while penalizing bias and auto-generated narratives.
That said, AI tools like ChatGPT still have a place in the SEO world if you know how to leverage it correctly. Below, we’ll break down some ways we've used the tool, along with the do’s and don'ts for using ChatGPT in SEO.
How SEO Pros Are Using ChatGPT
ChatGPT can help marketers streamline tasks and get the creative juices flowing. If you’re looking to incorporate AI into your day-to-day life, here’s how you can benefit.
To Brainstorm Content Ideas
Having a hard time finding new keywords or ideating topics that are highly relevant to your industry? You can provide ChatGPT with prompts or questions to help you brainstorm new keywords or topics that are relevant to your industry.
This is a great starting point for building a keyword list; however, it’s important to manually vet these to ensure that each is relevant and beneficial to your brand and customers.
To Create Preliminary Outlines or Briefs
ChatGPT can be a great way to get ideas flowing and some initial direction for SEO content. By providing the tool with your prompt for your next piece of content, it can quickly generate an outline to help you get started.
From personal experience, we can say that it helps get you started, but not only will it be pretty generic and lackluster, but it will also have nothing original to your brand or appeal to your specific customers. When outlining content, it’s best to do audience research to see how your brand can benefit users and to also look to the SERP to see what’s being rewarded for your target keyword.
To Gain Insight on an Industry
Creating content around a new industry or topic you’re unfamiliar with? Leveraging AI tools for market or industry research can significantly speed up your content creation process. Instead of combing through the internet to find a quick answer to a research question, marketers can ask ChatGPT.
For example, if you’re looking for the best content marketing platforms, ChatGPT can scan the internet for results and deliver you its list of recommendations in almost no time at all. That said, there have been flaws in the accuracy of AI tools. Here’s your friendly reminder to always fact-check the information that you take from these tools.
To Review or Refine Content
Once you have your content created, you can use AI to review and refine it. Using ChatGPT to provide suggestions for improving the readability, structure, and relevance of your content can streamline your workflow by cutting down editing time. We've used ChatGPT to create title and header suggestions and to reword a paragraph or two when needed.
Using AI tools to enhance the quality of your content can make it more appealing to both users and search engines.
To Analyze Metrics and Generate Reports
When it comes to SEO, there are tons of metrics that marketers need to analyze to inform the best strategy for your brand. Another way to use ChatGPT is to quickly analyze your marketing and sales data.
Through interactive conversations with ChatGPT, marketers can ask specific questions, generate reports, and receive detailed analyses in real time, allowing them to make data-backed decisions with ease. Use cases could include uncovering patterns in customer behavior, spotting emerging trends, or identifying successful areas of a strategy or campaign.
Ways AI Could Hurt Your SEO Strategy
If you’re wondering if robo-writing tools can help you write SEO content that ranks and performs well, the answer is generally, no. Users and Google alike still value elements of content that AI tools can’t autogenerate.
Voice and Tone
We have to keep in mind that if everyone can use ChatGPT, then everyone's content is going to look similar. If you use it to auto-generate content from start to finish, your brand will lose its unique identity and your content will not stand out among others.
Brand voice, personality, and human experience are what will make your content valuable to your readers and help educate them on your services or product.
Design and branding are important elements of content creation. Design can aid in making content scannable, allow the reader to visualize what they’re reading, break up heavy text, and add interest to your brand. Design is important in SEO, and AI design just won’t cut it in competitive industries.
E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) has long been an important ranking factor for search-driven content — so much so that Google added another “E” to the equation. The formula, which is now E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness), highlights the need for content to have writers with human experience and credibility on any topic be the ones creating the content.
While it takes little effort or brain power to have a robot create content around a topic, AI doesn’t have experience using a product, personal examples, thought leadership, or quotes that would elevate content and be truly helpful for a reader. Robo-writing is not going to have the same effect on users or Google when it comes to E-E-A-T.
Creating Original Content
Google is well-informed about the AI craze and has explicitly stated that auto-generated content is against their guidelines:
“Spammy automatically generated (or “auto-generated”) content is content that’s been generated programmatically without producing anything original or adding sufficient value.”
This means creating original and quality content is key if you want it to be valuable and perform.
Trust Signals and Accuracy
Another flaw of ChatGPT and other AI tools is that it doesn't produce sources for the information it’s giving you. With this in mind, it can be difficult to tell if you're receiving unbiased and factually accurate information.
There have been instances of AI tools generating inaccurate information, dismissing the credibility of brands who use it. Trust signals and accuracy are important ranking factors and elements of quality content. After all, users want to be able to see you as a thought leader in your space and come to your site for content that’s going to be useful for their everyday life or to help them make a purchasing decision. We cannot stress this enough. If you’re using AI tools, make sure to check the facts.
What’s the saying? Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.
While ChatGPT and other AI tools can be useful resources, they cannot replace the need for humans and personal experience from thought leaders or experts in a field. If you do, this is going to come through with the lack of originality or expertise in your content and, in turn, impact content rankings and your site’s quality score.
Following SEO best practices and having expert-level knowledge in content marketing will ensure your content and SEO strategy is robo-proof.