When AI is making incredible strides in digital marketing, businesses are going to use it to get better results. So, staying ahead of the curve in the SEO game requires some strategic planning. The digital landscape has seen a drastic transformation in just over six months. OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE), and high-end AI-enabled tools have opened up new avenues.
The hype that AI created when it was first introduced has subsided, but its potential remains unequivocal. Let’s explore how businesses can adapt and future-proof their SEO strategies in this AI-driven era. According to an article in Search Engine Journal, here are some ways to create a future-proof SEO strategy in a world dominated by AI.
Understanding the AI Buzz
With experts fast getting the hang of AI capabilities, the buzz that it created around itself has cooled off, if not frozen completely. AI is still helpful and widely used, but we’re no longer in the throes of an AI hype frenzy.
On the flip side, AI, while promising, is not yet infallible. Recent content mishaps in well-known sites such as Bankrate and CNET have revealed that AI-generated copy still needs human supervision. It may be great at producing drafts, suggesting topics, and alleviating writer’s block. However, publishing AI-generated content without manually checking can wreak havoc on your website.
The AI Road Ahead
Despite all these challenges, the AI wave is plodding along at a steady pace. The development of high-end AI models with a lot more training parameters now allows AI to edit, summarise, and create content in various formats. This trajectory is set to revolutionise the software sector and bring changes to marketing efforts.
AI’s Impact on SEO
As SEO professionals, we must consider three critical questions in the AI era:
1. What will the AI future look like?
In the future, more high-end AI-enabled tools are expected to be developed to reshape SEO and marketing tactics.
2. How will AI affect SEO?
The influence of AI on SEO will be even more encompassing. With AI becoming more sophisticated, traditional SEO metrics will lose relevance.
3. What can we do about it?
To prepare for the AI-driven future of SEO, we need to take proactive steps now.
However, the successful navigation of the AI-powered SEO landscape requires understanding the implications of SGE.
The Implications of SGE
So, let’s talk about this Search Generative Experience (SGE) first. It’s still in beta, and we’re skeptical about its impact on website traffic volume when it goes public in December. But, judging by what we’ve observed, it may not be good news for websites. When SGE is fully launched, websites that rank for a certain keyword are anticipated to get fewer visitors compared to the current search setup. SGE is capable of providing the answer to a query right away. That could potentially lead users to engage with Bard rather than click through to websites. The technology is like an advanced version of Featured Snippets, leaving limited room for organic search results. However, sites in the carousel might still attract clicks.
Now, the million-dollar question is: Will visitors be pleased with AI-generated responses, or will they dig deeper into websites for more in-depth information? The effect of SGE is expected to differ across industries. For example, companies, like affiliates or publishers, that make money by capitalising on traffic at every step of a user’s online journey will be hit hardest. Vendors, local businesses, and DTC (direct-to-customer) brands may also find it challenging to drive organic traffic, particularly if their keywords fail to trigger questions.
Surprisingly, the “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) sector might find it easier to drive organic traffic due to strict regulations surrounding AI-generated responses.
Because SGE works quite differently from the existing search system, the data we count on for SEO won’t be as beneficial anymore. There’s a chance that Google might update Google Search Console (GSC) with information related to SGE or even devise a completely new tool. But if that doesn’t happen, we’ll lose a significant amount of ranking data that currently helps us understand how search results are generated.
Building a Future-Proof SEO Strategy
Given the apprehensions around SGE and AI’s increasing impact on SEO, how can companies curate a future-proofed SEO strategy?
Build Direct Traffic
Of all the types of traffic, direct traffic sends the strongest signal to search engines that your website has authority and popularity among people. And, needless to say, it converts well. When visitors directly land on a website through bookmarks or typing the URL into their browser, the search engine recognises it and treats that website as a renowned brand identity.
So, how can you drive direct traffic to your website? By creating and promoting high-value content, investing in social media content strategy, opting for SEO and paid ads, and rolling out email marketing campaigns.
Understand Your Customer Needs
Given the uncertainty around conventional SEO metrics, relying solely on traditional metrics like keyword ranks and search volume may not suffice. Using paid search to learn keyword conversion potential is key to understanding your customer’s needs. Engage with customers directly to dig deeper into their search journeys or analyse sales and support call transcripts with AI tools to uncover valuable insights.
Create Meticulous Content that Machines Cannot Replicate
Imagine your website is a cozy café. High-quality, well-crafted content is like the inviting aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting down the street. It tempts folks passing by, making them want to step inside. Great content works the same way—it lures visitors to your website.
Even though AI can help create a content draft or idea generation, it cannot replicate human knowledge and expertise. Partnering with high-end content marketing services such as Geeky Tech can help generate high-quality content that can drive hot leads to your website. The tried and tested content development strategy by experts is the grease that can keep your SEO machine running smoothly in the AI-driven digital landscape.
Master Multiple Angles
Keep in mind that SGE may only highlight specific angles on topics. Ensure your content covers diverse angles to acclimate to the continually evolving AI logic and customer preferences.
Leverage AI to Enhance Workflow
Now that AI is here to stay, SEO experts should simplify work and supercharge their SEO game with the available AI-enabled solutions. For example, AI tools can sift through massive troves of data in a flash. Instead of endlessly drilling down and manually researching keywords, you should leverage AI to choose the best keywords for your content.
On top of that, you can use it to generate topic ideas and drafts or get suggestions for headlines. In addition, it can help optimise your content, meta titles and descriptions, and even the structure of your web pages. You can think of it as having an SEO expert at your beck and call!
Embracing AI for a Future-Proof Strategy
In short, AI is not something on the horizon anymore; it’s already here and causing a significant transformation in the realm of SEO. AI’s impact on SEO is undeniable and ever-evolving. While there are challenges, the best strategy is to leverage AI, experiment, and stay engaged with it. To create a future-proof SEO strategy, we need to adapt to changes and use AI and human expertise together. As we navigate this AI-driven landscape, innovation, and adaptability will be your greatest allies in SEO success.
Sohela is an electrical engineer and a self-professed writer with a keen interest in all things tech. When she’s not writing killer content pieces, you’ll find her enjoying tempting foods in her favourite restaurants.