June 24, 2024

AI could make your search engine marketing efforts quicker, higher, and extra enjoyable—if you understand how to make use of it.

Listed here are 14 sensible methods to get quicker, extra environment friendly search engine marketing outcomes with assist out of your robotic overlords associates.

To make use of AI in one of the best ways (and keep away from the errors many individuals make), it helps to grasp what we imply after we speak about “AI”. Right here’s every thing it is advisable learn about AI, in underneath 60 seconds:

With those ideas lodged in your brain, let’s look at how you can use AI tools for faster, better SEO.

AI is nice for brainstorming key phrase concepts and serving to you to grasp exactly what searchers want once they seek for a specific key phrase.

Counsel seed key phrases

“Seed” key phrases are phrases and phrases associated to your small business that you should use as the place to begin for keyword research.

Pick a starting topic and ask AI to suggest related keywords: sub-topics, questions, similar concepts, you name it.

Take your list of ideas, plug them into a keyword research tool like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer, and you can quickly see the estimated traffic potential and Keyword Difficulty for each of these terms:

Not all of these seed keywords will have meaningful volume, but that’s okay. Switch to the Matching terms or Related terms tabs, and you’ll see hundreds more related keywords that do:

You can even skip the ChatGPT part entirely and use the built-in AI suggestion feature in Keywords Explorer:

Here, our AI copilot has brainstormed “subtopics and niche areas” related to our core topic, content strategy:

Sidenote.

Don’t trust any volume or difficulty numbers AI gives you. Tools like ChatGPT don’t have access to actual keyword data—but they can hallucinate and make numbers up. If you want real data, you’ll need a keyword research tool like Ahrefs.

Analyze SERP intent

AI can help you understand the different types of search intent present in a particular SERP (search engine results page).

This can be useful for working out which type of content you need to create to match the dominant intent (do searchers want an informational guide, or a free tool?).

In the example below, I copy/pasted page titles from the SERP for the keyword “LLM” and asked ChatGPT to categorize them by the different intent types present:

After a little cajoling and refining, ChatGPT grouped the titles into a few different categories, like definitional (explaining what an LLM is) and comparative (comparing different types of AI models):

You can take this process to the next level with the Identify intents feature in Ahrefs. For your given keyword, scroll to the SERP overview report, and hit the “Identify intents” button:

This has the benefit of also showing you the percentage of total estimated traffic each intent receives.

In this example, with 82% of traffic, it makes sense to target the keyword “llm” with a definitional article about LLMs, and ignore the lower traffic intent associated with LLM degree programs.

AI can be utilized to pump out full articles, however you’ll get higher outcomes—and have less risk of a Google penalty—if you use it like a creative sparring partner for your content creation process.

Brainstorm titles and headers

Titles and headers have a crucial indirect role in SEO by encouraging readers to actually click and read through your content. AI can dramatically speed up the process of brainstorming titles and headers.

Here, I’ve pasted the content of my latest blog post into ChatGPT and asked it to suggest title ideas:

I generally don’t use these ideas verbatim, but ChatGPT regularly generates words or phrases that make their way into my finished titles.

You can also use our free blog post title generator in the same way. Just describe your topic, choose the writing tone, and hit “generate”:

You can modify and create new ideas at the click of a button:

Check grammar

AI is great for checking writing for grammar mistakes. Here, I’ve pasted an article paragraph into our free AI grammar checker…

…and a moment later, AI has flagged two possible issues for me to resolve:

Edit transcripts

Maybe you’ve interviewed an expert and want to add their quotes and experience into your search content. Or maybe your team has created a YouTube video that you’d like to repurpose into a keyword-targeted article.

In either case, you can use AI to tidy up and correctly format transcripts, making it much easier to pull out quotes and ideas.

In this example, I’ve asked ChatGPT to correct a free (and error-prone) transcript from a YouTube video:

And here’s the edited version, complete with correctly capitalized brand names, removed typos, and grammatically correct punctuation:

search engine marketing is a endless course of, and AI generally is a great tool for dashing up a few of the ongoing optimization tasks you’ll need to make to keep your pages ranking.

Add missing topics

One way to improve search content’s performance is to ensure that it includes important information that the searcher needs. Common sense can be a useful guide, asking yourself “which topics am I missing?”—but AI can help automate the process too.

Ahrefs’ new experimental Content Grader tool uses AI to automatically analyze the top-ranking articles for a particular keyword, identify the topics present, and score them according to how well they cover the topic.

Here’s an example for the keyword programmatic seo, comparing the content of my article to the content of other top-ranking pieces. We can immediately see a couple of missing topic areas:

Content Grader can even explain how you should address the topic gap, and share an example from another top-ranking article:

Write meta descriptions

Good meta descriptions encourage searchers to click on your pages, but Google has a tendency to change and rewrite even the most carefully-crafted meta descriptions.

If you want to generate lots of meta descriptions without sinking tons of time into the process, AI is pretty perfect. Here’s our free AI meta description generator: just describe the contents of your page, choose a writing tone and the number of variations you’d like, and hit generate.

And here are the outputs:

Make content more helpful

Aleyda Solis created a custom GPT (a specifically skilled AI mannequin) that critiques content material in keeping with Google’s helpful content guidelines.

Whereas I don’t suppose it’s a substitute for the expert judgment of knowledgeable search engine marketing, it will possibly provide a fast, automated strategy to pinpoint apparent issues with content material.

Right here I’ve requested it to check my article on programmatic search engine marketing to a competing article:

It’s simple to mess up sure components of technical search engine marketing, like schema or hreflang implementation. From my expertise, AI is best and extra dependable than I’m in these areas.

Create schema markup

Including schema markup to relevant content types (like recipes or reviews) can help your pages become eligible for Rich Results, special Google features that include a ton of extra data about your content.

Here, I’ve asked for recipe schema for a chicken soup recipe. With a couple of tweaks (like adding in the recipe author), I could add this to my page and become eligible for rich results (and most likely more clicks):

Generate hreflang

Hreflang is an HTML attribute that tells search engines about the multiple versions of a page for different languages or regions. Here, ChatGPT has written the hreflang tags for four different versions of my blog post:

AI is nice at serving to with these analytical and reporting tasks, from digging through performance data to see which tactics work, to sharing your findings in easy-to-communicate ways with your company or clients.

Of all the AI/SEO use cases I’ve covered, these are probably my favorite.

Constructing regex queries

Regular expressions (or regex) allow you to search within text and data for patterns that are otherwise difficult to spot. They can be pretty complicated, but AI is extremely good at writing and troubleshooting very complex queries for you.

Here’s ChatGPT helping me extract URLs from a list of email addresses, combining regex queries with a Google Sheets formula:

And here it’s helping me filter a spreadsheet of URLs by their crawl depth:

And here it’s written a query to use with Ahrefs Site Audit to help me filter out localized content (pages that have country codes, like /de/ for Germany, somewhere in their URL):

Making Google Sheets formula

SEOs spend a lot of time in spreadsheets, often wrangling lots of data with complicated formulas. ChatGPT can make this process much, much easier.

Here I’ve described the structure of an article reporting spreadsheet to ChatGPT, and asked for a very complicated formula to allow me to filter for certain types of published articles. It doesn’t even break a sweat:

It’s also great for troubleshooting when things go wrong:

Writing Python scripts

Python is a popular language for automating SEO processes. Generative AI is pretty darn handy at writing and troubleshooting Python code, and I’ve used it to help speed up some of my SEO processes.

Here, I asked AI to create a basic web scraper for storing data from a given webpage:

And here I asked for help writing a script to call the Ahrefs API and collect bulk traffic and backlink data for a list of websites:

And yes—both of these scripts worked!

Vizualize performance data

All of the visuals in this section were created with ChatGPT, Ahrefs data, and a little know-how.

For longer explanations (and the prompts used to make these visualizations), check out Patrick’s article:

Here’s a graph of organic traffic over time, with traffic anomalies (usually Google updates) highlighted:

Here’s a plot comparing desktop and mobile rankings for a selection of keywords:

And here’s a chart showing seasonal patterns in backlink acquisition:

AI might help you do search engine marketing, however it’s additionally altering the business as a complete. There are many myths circulating in regards to the affect of AI. Let’s handle the most important, head-on.

Does Google penalize AI content material?

No, not strictly talking. Google penalizes bad content, and AI makes it simple to make dangerous content material.

Some corporations use AI to dramatically scale and automate their content material creation. When this content material is skinny, there’s an opportunity that Google will situation a handbook spam penalty. On this instance, a web site used AI to publish 1,800 skinny articles and obtained a penalty, tanking their visitors to just about zero:

As I’ve written earlier than,

“I don’t suppose that publishing AI content material means an automated penalty. AI content material detectors don’t work, and even when they did, Google is seemingly agnostic to AI use—however it’s not agnostic to dangerous content material or dangerous actors. And AI makes it very simple to make dangerous content material.”

Ryan Law

It’s a good suggestion to make use of AI to enhance the effectivity or high quality of your content material, however to not pump out skinny spam content material.

Is Google dropping market share to AI?

It doesn’t appear to be it.

Google has at all times been the principle search engine SEOs care about, and within the age of AI… that hasn’t actually modified. Based on Statcounter, Google’s market share has held comparatively regular at a staggering 91%:

However though Google’s dominance over the search market is fairly unchallenged, there are extra alternate options than ever. These are helpful for seeing the place Google may take inspiration and enhance its personal search expertise sooner or later:

  • Competing engines like google are providing their very own AI options (like Bing or our Yep.com).
  • Corporations like Perplexity.ai provide another search expertise constructed solely on AI fashions
  • Some persons are even constructing their very own AI chatbots skilled on particular our bodies of labor—as an alternative of asking Google for well being and health recommendation, you would ask a chatbot skilled on the Huberman Labs podcast.

Will SGE cut back visitors from sure key phrases?

Perhaps.

Google has simply launched AI Overviews (previously often called Search Generative Experience, or SGE). AI Overviews appear to work lots like featured snippets: they attempt to reply the searcher’s question immediately, proper there within the SERP, with out the necessity to click on on one other web site.

There’s a priority that many web sites will see a decline in search visitors from AI Overviews, and a few SEOs even counsel attempting to optimize your content material for AI Overviews.

Whereas we wait to see what affect AI Overviews has on visitors from Google Search, the most effective response is to deal with matters that may’t be neatly summarized in a single paragraph.

We name these “deep matters”: areas the place AI can’t present every thing the reader wants, as a result of there are many potential solutions, or it requires firsthand expertise.

Does Google reward first-person expertise?

Theoretically, sure.

Google already has a plan for stopping SERPs from being swamped by copycat AI content material, and it entails prioritizing content that includes EEAT: experience, expertise, authority, and belief:

 

“There are some conditions the place actually what you worth most is content material produced by somebody who has first-hand, life expertise on the subject at hand.”

EEAT is utilized by Google’s Quality Raters, whose experiences could also be used to coach Google’s machine studying fashions to assist them establish “high quality” content material.

However Google apart, EEAT is nice for readers, so it’s price incorporating into your search engine marketing technique even should you gained’t see an instantaneous rating enhance. There are three easy methods we suggest standing out from AI content material:

  • Experimentation: create proprietary knowledge.
  • Expertise: share your actual, lived experiences.
  • Effort: go additional than competing content material.

Remaining ideas

search engine marketing isn’t one thing that may be automated to perfection on the click on of a button (and any device that guarantees in any other case is mendacity). However AI might help velocity up and enhance the extra tedious components of your job.

If you wish to take a look at out some AI instruments within the best potential approach, strive experimenting with our 40 free AI writing instruments. They might help with every thing from writing clickable titles to producing tons of meta descriptions, and assist you to separate AI truth from AI fiction.