Have you ever ordered an item from Amazon and then immediately started receiving suggestions for other similar products? Have you ever wanted to get to the bottom of how this happens?
Well, the answer is pretty simple—it’s artificial intelligence.
In this article, I’m going to be exploring the many ways that AI is changing the way consumers search for products across search engines and social media, how this trend will change SEO in 2019, and how you can use AI technologies to provide more value at your social media marketing agency!
How is AI affecting SEO?
Artificial Intelligence has already had a significant impact on how search engines are able to rank websites, mimic human behaviors, and guide website visitors through their purchases.
Because of the continued technological developments in AI, marketers have to change the way that they traditionally perform SEO in order to take full advantage of AI technology in 2019.
Using AI, marketers have been able to use machine learning and deep learning systems to uncover new insights and provide a whole new level of personalization in order to guide website visitors through a company’s purchase funnel.
AI is also delivering improvements in relevance and quality of content. For instance, Google AI tools for search can weed out content that is light on information or simply optimized to rank. It works to check on content relevancy by measuring time spent on each page.
As marketers, we can use AI in a number of ways to help improve SEO. There are three key areas in which AI can improve SEO performance:
Artificial intelligence can process and interpret patterns in data at a scale a person could simply never replicate. This makes it an essential complement to any search strategist, as AI can deliver the information we need to make informed decisions out of noisy, unstructured data.
It can also help us surface new insights about our audience, and as marketers we need to ensure we capture, process, and use this data to shape our search strategies.
Some common tasks where AI can aid search engine optimization (SEO) performance include:
- Market trends analysis
- Site performance analysis
- Competitor insights
- Customer intent reports
- SERP performance
- SEO and pay-per-click spend management
In each of these scenarios, AI can surface new insights that may otherwise have gone unnoticed. Using AI, Google is able to replicate engagement on various pages, obtain valuable data about how user-friendly each website is, and measure content relevancy by measuring time spent on each page.
AI can go one step further, sorting analytics and insight to check content that is producing the best on-page results and categorizing subjects that can keep your visitors returning to your page. By mapping content to different states of intent, us marketers can capitalize on opportunities to cross-sell additional products, similar to Amazon, or to attract more views to content.
As search moves beyond the traditional SERP and becomes a multidisciplinary channel, these AI-based insights will be increasingly important. New developments like visual search and voice search are bringing to light the central role of AI in processing new types of media.
How can you use AI for SEO insights?
- Understand underlying need in a customer journey
- Identify content opportunities
- Define opportunity space in the competitive context
- Map intent to content
- Use structured data and markup
- Invest in more long-tail content
- Ensure content can be crawled and surfaced easily by all user-agents
SEO is a labor-intensive industry that requires a huge amount of attention over the long term, so any opportunity where we can automate tasks to receive the same output as we could produce ourselves, we should make this a top priority.
The time you save through automation can be applied to other areas of your agency or business that require your specific skills, like strategy and creative content
Here are some of the tasks that are ripe for automation in SEO:
- Technical audits
- Keyword research
- Content optimization
- Content distribution
- Tag management
- Internal linking
In these instances, computers are already replacing people, but we are in control of what they do, and so it is a logical decision to hand over such tasks to artificial intelligence.
Some tips to get started with AI for SEO automation:
- Break down tasks into sub-tasks, and then score their potential for automation from 0-10.
- Use rule-based automation to handle simple but time-intensive jobs.
- Find the right balance between human labor and automation.
- Feed ML algorithms the right quality and quantity of data.
- Focus on user experience, and speed monitoring and alerts; engagement rates will only increase in importance.
Personalization allows marketers to create relevant, useful experiences for each individual customer. However, achieving such customization at scale requires technological assistance, and AI is an integral part of this process.
Amazon has long been regarded as the market leader in personalization, as it takes user data to suggest new products based on that user’s activity. This not only allows Amazon to surface products that do not typically receive much visibility, but it also increases the likelihood of purchase, as the less-visible product is shown based on its relevance to each individual consumer.
How can you use AI for SEO personalization?
- Create content by persona, customer journey stage, and delivery mechanism.
- Enhance user experience and conversion through personalization.
- Use semantically specific pages to associate query and intent.
- Use personalization and audience lists to nurture leads across search and social.
- Use AI to help publish content at the right times on the right networks.
Future of SEO
Marketers must adapt to the evolving nature of SEO in terms of real users and their intentions, expectations, and experience. Gone are the days when a keyword strategy was considered as the most significant element of SERP.
Marketers have no choice but to create quality-rich content based on searcher intent rather than simple keywords. For Google, the primary focus is always the ‘user.’ To help identify and interpret the searcher’s intent, show result pages that don’t necessarily include the keywords that the searcher used, Google created a machine-learning algorithm call Rankbrain.
To Rank High on RankBrain:
- Use sensible keyword phrases that echo the searchers’ questions
- Phrase your keywords with Google’s Planning Tools
- Write content that flows naturally with relevance
- Write to intrigue, inspire, incite and inform
Machine learning will continue to get better at matching queries to related concepts, and it will rank pages accordingly. This is due to both the introduction of RankBrain and the increased prevalence of voice search.
This also means there will be a reduced emphasis on off-page signals like backlinks, and keyword stuffing will become irrelevant. Title tags will have less impact, and marketers will have to optimize pages around content not keywords. Additionally, long tail keywords will slowly become extinct.
SEO is evolving each day, and AI and machine learning are adding new dimensions to what’s possible with search. Google has confirmed that RankBrain is continuously being applied to an increasing number of search queries, and its AI now processes all the questions that Google handles—which has humongous implications for your SEO strategy.
If you’re ready to get your SEO to the next level and start growing your own agency, enroll in our online Digital Marketing School today! You can also follow Cereal Entrepreneur on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, or visit our blog for more FREE training every week!