An early 2023 survey found that more than half of the organizations contacted planned to use AI for both search engine optimization (SEO) and content purposes by the end of the year — even if they weren’t sure quite how to do it.
Artificial intelligence isn’t a new concept, but AI’s introduction into the content marketing and SEO spaces is still relatively fresh. From generating optimized outlines quickly to building actual content, AI is the SEO assistant marketers have been waiting for.
Here’s a look at some things AI is already mastering at a pro level, plus a few ideas on how machine learning and AI could help you boost your business and your search ranking in the years to come.
AI is a nuts-to-bolts content creation powerhouse. You can use AI for ideation, generating ideas from scratch for a single blog or coming up with pillar posts and topic clusters to build an entire site from the ground up. Ask AI to generate an outline and it will. Ask it for keywords and it’ll provide them. You can even get AI to write the blog itself, although many experts argue that stellar content still benefits from the human touch.
You can rely on AI to take care of the technical side of SEO, too. Meta tags, meta descriptions, alt text, headings — AI will generate all of it, using its understanding of the best-performing content already out there plus user behavior to come up with content that makes sense and commands attention.
The order in which sites appear on search engine results pages (SERPs) is anything but random. Algorithms are constantly scanning sites and evaluating them based on factors such as social signals, on-page optimization and backlinks. It’s a ton of variables to consider, and as a human, it often feels like you’re playing a guessing game trying to figure out which factor to spend your time and money on.
AI stacks the deck by figuring out just how much each factor could potentially impact your site’s ranking. Using that data, AI can then develop an SEO strategy designed to be as effective as possible, saving you time and energy and producing the results you need.
One of the biggest assets AI brings to the table is the ability to keep up with ever-changing SEO algorithms and then act on those updates. SEO is a full-time job. Anyone trying to handle his or her own SEO “on the side” is bound to come up short, simply because it isn’t possible to keep up with daily changes that affect optimization and ranking.
Using AI to audit your site and identify potential pitfalls prevents you from falling in the SERPs or even being blacklisted for errors that sound the Google alarm.
What to Expect From the AI-SEO Relationship in the Future
In the same way human-led SEO has evolved from keyword stuffing to audience-first content brimming with nuance, expect AI to continue driving progress and increasing its own skill set.
Right now, much of the AI-SEO connection focuses on using artificial intelligence to shape the content we’re sharing online. The next step is to see the continued integration of AI into the search engines themselves, with machine learning getting better at understanding user intent and using that knowledge to shape how the engines evaluate and rank websites.
We should see an increasing emphasis on voice search optimization, too. Consumers continue to latch onto tech assistants like Siri and Alexa, but early-generation versions of these helpers often struggle to understand non-traditional phrasing, which can skew results and frustrate users. Future AI iterations will come with improved voice recognition technology primed to grasp content optimized through natural language processing and long-tail keywords.
AI is no longer an optional tool, but a technological requirement that every business needs to help streamline operations and stay competitive. Learning how to harness the power of AI today is the best way to reign over the SERPs and prep for the exciting future of SEO.
Author bio: Aaron Wittersheim is Chief Operating Officer at Straight North, a digital marketing company. He helped startups, middle-market, and Fortune 500 companies improve organizational structure and grow through his expertise in process conception, task automation, technology, and internal project management.