Technological advancement brings challenges and disruption to every industry, but it also brings opportunities that have the potential to deliver enormous benefits. The rise in artificial intelligence has done the same to content marketing.
In this article, you will see how artificial intelligence (AI) can affect your search engine optimisation, making your content marketing more effective, and you will understand why it is vital that you make AI an integral part of your SEO strategy.
The role of AI in search
Every day, billions of search queries are carried out on Google, and the people doing these searches are no longer content with vague results, they want definite answers. Even the way a search is carried out has changed. Now, more and more people prefer to speak whole sentences into their phones, making it more difficult for Google to understand user intent and return the right results.
Machine learning algorithms have changed the dynamics of SEO as we know it.
Take Google RankBrain for instance. This technology uses machine learning to understand and interpret web content, at the same time, the technology deduces intent from search queries and uses feedback data to improve the relevance of its results. In other words, search engines now have the ability to listen, understand and learn. With this development, content marketers now have their work cut out for them, as it has become harder to rank, attract the right audience, convert and sell.
Brendan Wilde of New Zealand’s Synapse Search sums it up perfectly “Artificial intelligence is focused on helping search users get the most relevant results relating to their search. It is now left for SEO professionals to adapt and survive this new environment.”
The role of AI in content
If artificial intelligence can make search engines more effective so that they can turn out the right set of results, it follows that AI should be able to optimise your content strategy.
Two of the most important questions facing content marketers are:
- What type of content do my customers want?
- How do I move my customers further down the conversion funnel?
The time-tested method for answering these questions will be to develop buyer personas, but AI provides the easy way to answer these questions.
Artificial intelligence can develop a comprehensive profile of your target audience by analysing data from your website traffic, social media engagements and email communications. This will provide the insight you need to create the type of content your customers want to see.
Once your content is ready, there are AI tools that can analyse your headlines and provide vital insight that will boost your click-through rate.
Another helpful AI tool for content marketers is Clearscope which can analyse Google’s top 30 results for a specific keyword and provide insight into how you can write effective content that can compete with these top websites.
Remember that the Google algorithm is now less concerned with exact keyword match and more focused on search intent. This is why a well written content is vital. Gone are the days when you could get by with keyword stuffing. In fact, it is possible to rank high on content that satisfies the intent of the search user even if the relevant keywords are missing. And it is the advances in machine learning and AI that has made all of this possible.
Now that you have all this information, here’s how you can improve your SEO using artificial intelligence.
Use AI to gather insights
As we have already determined, artificial intelligence can help gather valuable insights that you would otherwise have overlooked. AI can detect and interpret patterns at a much larger scale than any human, delivering information needed to make informed decisions, thus making it an essential part of any search strategy.
AI can be very helpful for SEO in a variety of ways including:
- Market analysis
- Website performance
- user intent
- Competitor insights
- SERP performance
- SEO and PPC budget management
Search algorithms are changing and SEO along with them, moving into a broader channel that can only be harnessed with the power of machine learning. New developments like voice and visual searches are already showing the important role AI will play in processing data. And as Google continues to focus on user intent and user experience, the insight gathered via AI can prove very useful. For instance, by providing helpful insights from the data acquired from your website and other sources, you can better understand your page analytics. This knowledge can help you design for better user experience.
Use AI for personalisation
Personalisation has always played an important role in online marketing.
Since the 1990s, when CRM was developed, content marketers have been able to use customer data to create engagements based on previous interactions and customer preferences. But, personalisation as it is known today, evolved with the emergence of social media. Social media platforms made it possible and easy to gather huge amount of data about users and use it for marketing purposes. But in these days of IoT and Big Data, the old system will no longer suffice. Artificial intelligence has changed the way personalisation is done, opening new opportunities for both marketers and their customers.
Today’s competitiveness has made personalisation more important for engaging customers and moving them further into the conversion funnel. By using AI in personalisation, content marketers can create useful content and personalised experiences for each user.
One company that has always been ahead in this regard is ecommerce giant Amazon. Amazon takes users data and suggests new relevant products based on the insight gathered from their activity history. This way, Amazon is able to showcase products that may not enjoy much visibility, based on how relevant these products are to their individual customers.
AI uses predictive analytics (this is the field of analytics that makes predictions based on historical data patterns) to help content marketers plan great content that would be exactly what their users want.
For example, a travel company can use customer data gathered from their historical activities such as booking flights, visiting destinations and favorite hotels, to predict travel locations and travel activities that would likely appeal to individual customers, and send out personalised messages based on the result of this data.
The power of AI in personalisation also means that it is now easier than ever to automatically personalise and customise user experience. Algorithm based design tools, working with human designers can optimise website design so that it is not only easier to use, but also more likely to convert.
Use AI powered chatbots to improve conversion and sales
One of the most widely used applications of artificial intelligence in websites is the chatbot, and every day, you see bigger brands implementing chatbots to enhance user experience, and move customers closer to a sale.
The beauty of chatbots is that they have the ability to engage in sensible conversation, much as a human would, building a solid relationship that most often leads to a fruitful conclusion. But unlike humans, a chatbot never sleeps, is online 24/7, and can automatically analyse data to understand user intent, and in the process, create a seamless and optimal user experience.
Remember that user experience is more like the foundation of search engine optimisation, so if a chatbot will optimise the experience for your users, it is good business to invest in one.
While most content marketers are still battling with RankBrain, it is safe to say that this new Google pet project is here to stay. Whether you like it or not, we have entered into an era of AI influence SEO, and if you are serious about your online business, you will make it an integral part of your SEO strategy.