The use of AI programs such as ChatGPT and Google’s Bard is a topic that has dominated the news recently, especially when it comes to possible workplace applications. The SEO and copywriting industries have been particularly embroiled in the discussion, with some embracing the software to improve both the quality and speed of their content, while others feel like their job security is being threatened, and worry for the future of the field.

Speeding up the process

One of the key arguments for is how quickly it can speed up various processes across the board. Let’s start at the beginning of any good campaign with keyword research, a task which can take up a lot of time if you’re doing a thorough job. We’re already seeing specialised AI tools to help with this task - as well as ChatGPT and Bard - able to generate keyword ideas for specific areas based on your inputs, though you will still need humans to really get into the details.

You can also input the keywords you’re already targeting and have it suggest alternative or similar keywords that could expand your coverage, as well as use it as an opportunity to upsell to your client for a larger base of keywords.

Keyword research is far from the only way AI can help accelerate your processes - copywriting and content for SEO from start to finish can potentially become much faster. From idea generation to expanding points, and even proofing and optimising, SEO automation is looming on the horizon. Human input will still be needed along the way to keep everything succinct, as well as doing final checks to make sure everything reads well, but it’s difficult to combat how streamlined the process can become using AI.

Prime optimisation

AI programs can also help optimise a wide variety of SEO-related tasks, such as providing you with an ideal meta description for your site’s pages, or even suggesting the ideal length for your content. Tools such as GrammarlyGo use AI to proof your content as well as suggest edits and rewrites all while adhering to your tone of voice, massively improving readability and conciseness to give your SEO an extra boost. 

Semrush is another immensely popular tool used by marketers the world over, able to analyse content for keyword ranking, run competitor analysis, and even help generate SEO-friendly content using AI. SaaS like these have been using AI for years to help optimise organic strategies, and the recent rapid advancements in the technology are sure to keep their use and capabilities growing for years to come.

Many see not using services such as these as detrimental, showing how ingrained AI already is within the world of SEO, with every page you visit likely optimised in some way by an AI tool. While it’s a hot topic right now, don’t forget how long it’s already been utilised for!

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The Uses and Implications of AI in SEO

Hypothetically speaking…

The question on everyone’s minds right now is just how will the normalisation and accessibility of AI tools affect the job market? Most of the talk is focused on the potential for job losses and redundancies for obvious reasons, but we had a few other ideas that we haven’t seen discussed when it comes to what might change.

The use of AI tools has the potential to lower the barrier for entry into the SEO space. This could translate into an influx of smaller players who use them to create reports and content for multiple clients in record time, capitalising on the trend to the detriment of small businesses who may not fully understand SEO and the work involved. Google’s guidelines on AI content don’t discriminate against its use - as long as the content still adheres to their E-E-A-T guidelines, something which content generated by AI rapidly and on a large scale is unlikely to do and causing these businesses to lose money on SEO that simply won’t work.

As more agencies begin to adopt the use of AI for content, we may also see an emergence of agencies who centre their USP around “AI-free” strategies, akin to brands that advertise themselves as selling handmade products to distinguish themselves in a market full of machines. There’s already a vast amount of agencies who exclusively work within certain “moral” sectors, such as only taking on clients with a focus on sustainability or charities. And when the morality of using AI is constantly being called into question it’s entirely possible that we’ll see similar occurrences here too.

Of course, these are all just possibilities. AI is advancing at such a rate that it’s extremely difficult to tell what the state of the industry will be within a few months, however it’s interesting to think about and prepare for all eventualities.