Artificial Intelligence, when it first burst into the scene, brought with its images of robots, machines that perform complex tasks, and omniscient computers. It’s now the 21st century, and although robots and computers have greatly advanced, the world still hasn’t seen human-like cyborgs or a computer with almost god-like ability—except in works of fiction.
What Artificial Intelligence does today is, among other things, recommend what show to watch, or what advertisements you should see. Artificial Intelligence’s progress may not be as romantic and dramatic as people had envisioned, but its force for change is undeniable.
AI has many uses, and the world will someday witness its promise, but in the meantime, businesses are having their day in the sun with AI. The future is geared towards the consumer and how to attract their patronage. Nothing wrong with that; people will always need and want things. Knowing what people will want and need make technologies advance. Welcome to the 21st century.
So, what is AI doing in search engine optimization (SEO)? What does AI do for your SEO strategy?
Artificial Intelligence Overview
Artificial Intelligence is a broad term that can refer to a lot of things. It can include technologies like machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing (NLP), and other developing technologies. It’s supposed to make machines think and make decisions like a human.
It’s probably why you have a different expectation whenever you hear that term. Speaking of that term, ‘Artificial Intelligence’ was first coined in the 1956 Summer Conference held at Dartmouth College, sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA).
As a modern concept, however, it started in 1950 when British mathematician and cryptographer Alan Turing published a paper that basically proposes that machines would someday learn how to think. Out of this paper came the Turing Test, a set of questions designed to find out if a machine has intelligence or not. Alan Turing, in his paper, ‘Computing Machine and Intelligence,’ merged philosophy with engineering in his quest for Artificial Intelligence.
Today’s version of Artificial Intelligence, to distinguish it from the version fed to us by works of fiction, is known as narrow AI (or weak AI). It refers to AI designed to do specific tasks—or narrow tasks—through an algorithm, like internet searches, driving a car, facial recognition, or asking Siri for the nearest curry place. Eventually, scientists are confident that this could lead to the creation of general AI (strong AI or AGI)—the sci-fi kind.
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AI with SEO
Search Engine Optimization, on the other hand, is a system of improving the quality and quantity of your website traffic via organic search engine results. AI combined with SEO is a new and improved way of influencing marketers’ efforts to keep their ranks on search engine results pages, or SERPs. It used to be that basic SEO strategies are enough to get by.
With AI here, you might as well use it, because if you won’t, your competitors will. There’s no doubt that AI could help increase a business’ revenue. According to Statista, 30% of the companies that have adopted AI in 2019 reported a 6% to 10% revenue increase after using it. With figures like that, AI is difficult to ignore.
“Search engine algorithms, which include Google’s own algorithms, BERT and RankBrain, have Artificial Intelligence at its nucleus. If you know how AI affects search engines, you, too, can use it to improve your SEO rankings.” – in one of his recent articles as nicely elaborated by Grant Garab, the founder of bludigitalsolutions.com.
With an AI, SEO can identify keyword stuffing in content, spammy activities, duplicate content, irrelevant backlinks, and others. Search engines with AI can understand queries from users to give relevant results. With AI and its subset, machine learning, using search engines is a much more rewarding experience.
Implementing AI in your SEO Strategy
Alan Turing and the team at the Dartmouth conference probably didn’t have something like SEO in mind to partner with Artificial Intelligence. But right now, the AI and SEO partnership would seem like the Batman and Robin of digital marketing strategy.
These new technologies caused a sea change in terms of digital marketing. Business and technology are forever changed by AI and SEO strategy. Through AI, digital marketing gets to decide which is relevant content, how to streamline marketing strategies, collect data, and other functions. As AI continues to evolve, it learns to classify and show data that are most likely to satisfy clients’ requirements. SEO is no longer just simple keyword phrases.
Every time you type something on Google, it will take into consideration your search history, your favorite sites, what other customers clicked, and your geographical location. And since AI is used by search engines, rankings can change from query to query; this is due to the algorithm’s machine learning and how it ‘learns’ from other users’ choices. It then decides which factors are significant before showing results.
Below are several ways how you can implement AI in your SEO strategy:
1. Enhanced Personalization
Dwell time and time-on-page are factors that influence page rank. To help improve these factors, you can use personalized content generators powered by your friendly AI to increase your website traffic. There are AI programs that employ machine learning and NLP that mine users’ web history data in delivering relevant content to visitors, resulting in an enhanced personalization experience.
By using AI programs that do this, businesses can develop a more involved relationship with users, increase their website traffic, and the time spent on the site. Programs like these emphasize e-commerce applications because customizing long-form context is more complicated.
2. Smart Keyword Searches
The amount of data out there are countless. And because delving into them manually isn’t possible, you have to use automated tools. With the right tools, it won’t be a problem. Keyword research using AI tools is an SEO standard. Its goal is to find out terms and phrases that have the most potential. The AI finds out the most relevant topics and keywords.
Similarly, you can also deploy AI solutions to predict movements of keyword demand. This way, you no longer have to review past data. You only have to look forward—and that shows the usefulness of predictive analytics.
This method has many benefits. For instance, insights on research would let you create pages with consistent keywords designed to have a high SERP ranking. With this method, you can easily navigate the market’s ebbs and flows, which would result in increased traffic and sales.
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3. Content Topics
Content is still king, after all. If you can’t engage an online reader’s attention, they’ll just click off and look for other sites that are worth their time. Your content should have EAT—expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Otherwise, they won’t rank on Google’s Search Evaluator Guidelines. Google’s algorithm for ranking looks for these:
- Accurate, well-cited, in-depth news content; should satisfy journalistic standards.
- For artistic content, it should be unique and original, made by original content creators and/or talented artists.
- For content that seeks to inform, it should be comprehensible, original, accurate, professionally written, and has expert consensus.
4. Tests and Results
Page snippets are written for desktops by a complex AI program referred to as Sentence Compression. Since these snippets are usually a potential visitor’s first glimpse of your site, you should optimize these snippets to improve your site’s organic growth. You can discover the best performing snippets by running tests and metric-measuring using available tools.
These tools can help you find out how your competitors’ snippets perform compared to yours through NLP. You can select snippets that attract more clicks by testing and analyzing various titles and meta descriptions.
Another tactic is to test meta description combinations and various titles over time. While it’s true that this tactic is more time-consuming, the results would show how the changes affected your site’s traffic so you can do a more accurate fine-tuning.
5. Prioritization Using Analytics
Analytics companies, using AI, assist organizations to create automated insights on anomalies and opportunities. These businesses would then decide which actions to prioritize. Any tool can put forward hundreds of SEO actions whose values may not be as effective. But with AI in your SEO strategy, it can sift through all these suggestions and whittle them down to a more manageable number that is sure to increase your site’s statistics considerably.
6. Optimizing Voice Search
Although voice search is more popular among the younger generation, stats indicate that it’s also becoming more popular in all age categories. For example, according to a prediction from Statista, digital voice assistants’ numbers will balloon to 8.4 billion worldwide in the next few years. That number is considerably more than the world’s total population.
With such increased volume, tools with AI can provide significant assistance. Since voice searches are usually in question form, one of the key methods for voice search engine optimization is by providing answers to questions people often ask. These tools use machine learning to analyze and understand customers’ spoken questions or statements to help provide accurate and useful answers.
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Modern businesses are increasingly becoming more focused on providing what customers want. Today’s version of Artificial Intelligence is eminently suited to analyze and predict customers’ behavior. Combined with Search Engine Optimization, this ‘dynamic duo’ is making a massive impact on how businesses can reach their customers. Digital marketing is greatly improved by the addition of Artificial Intelligence. This, in turn, translates to a healthy revenue stream.