If you’ve given artificial intelligence (AI) tools a test run, you’ve probably quickly figured out that while this technology is incredible, it’s not quite ready to take over the world. Yet.
But the truth is, like all sectors of the industry, AI in digital marketing will continue to evolve and become more sophisticated. As AI technology continues to advance, the way search engines operate and how businesses optimize their online presence is changing. Search engine optimization (SEO) professionals will have to adapt, and luckily for them, there are already many ways to integrate AI tools into their digital marketing strategies.
Poised to revolutionize the future of SEO, AI is already making an impact. Businesses will benefit from having a more accurate, personalized, and efficient SEO strategy for their digital marketing campaigns. AI-powered tools, such as enhanced user experience and predictive SEO, offer various ways to process search results at a rate beyond human capability, thereby transforming the search landscape.
At IDS, we know our clients have a unique set of digital marketing needs, and we have years of experience helping our clients target their audiences through SEO.
Our team of SEO experts utilizes a variety of tools to implement robust franchise search engine optimization and create long-lasting, healthy rankings. We’re staying ahead of this ever-changing market to bring our clients the best strategies for their specific requirements.
In an ever-changing digital landscape, the integration of AI in SEO is becoming increasingly important in digital marketing for franchises while shaping the future of search and online visibility. With the release of more AI tools, there are many new ways for SEO professionals to integrate AI technology into their campaigns.
Harnessing the benefits that come with using AI can help businesses stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive. As part of a franchise digital marketing campaign, SEO professionals can assist businesses in attracting more prospective candidates by delivering an engaging user experience and adapting their strategies with the power of AI.
Some of the ways AI is being used to enhance SEO strategies include:
Search engines rely on algorithms to crawl, index, and rank web pages for relevance and authority. By using AI-powered algorithms, users have the potential to improve processes and make search results more accurate, personalized, and efficient.
Google’s RankBrain uses AI integration in search algorithms to better understand user behaviors and provide more relevant search results. It’s expected that more search engines will adopt similar technologies as AI becomes more advanced.
Two crucial components of SEO are keyword research and content optimization, which help connect users to the information they’re searching for. SEO professionals can utilize AI to automate and improve tasks with keyword research to understand relationships between keywords, identify search trends, and predict user behavior.
In terms of optimization, AI-powered tools can assist with ensuring content is relevant and engaging by analyzing user behavior to determine the best-performing content and offer recommendations to improve it. AI is also capable of generating meta tags, headings, and other on-page elements for SEO success.
Search engines prioritize websites that provide a seamless experience for their users, making user experience a critical component of SEO strategy. Through the use of AI, SEO professionals can analyze user behavior data, identify areas of improvement, and suggest personalized content to improve user experience.
Predictive SEO can help businesses anticipate changes and adapt their SEO strategies accordingly by forecasting future trends, user behavior, and search engine algorithm updates. Using predictive SEO can help businesses identify trending topics, create content that speaks to the target audience, detect potential algorithm updates, and adjust strategies.
As more users utilize virtual assistants to conduct searches, voice search queries are becoming an essential aspect of SEO strategy. By focusing on natural language processing and long-tail keywords, AI can help professionals analyze voice search queries, understand user intent, and provide insights to optimize voice search strategies.
Like voice search queries, visual search queries are increasing as they enable users to search for products and information by using images instead of text. In addition to optimizing images with relevant metadata, AI-powered image recognition technology can make it easier for search engines to analyze, understand, and index visual content to improve the chances of ranking in visual search results by identifying objects within images.
With more businesses adopting AI technology into their marketing campaigns, there’s been debate as to the level of impact these tools have on SEO strategies. As SEO professionals look to increase the use of AI tools in their on-site content campaigns, they need to research and test if this technology will help or hurt their marketing efforts.
In an interesting experiment, Reboot sought to answer the question: Will Google rank AI-generated content better or worse than content produced by human writers?
Over a three-month controlled SEO experiment, the company tested whether there were any differences in rankings between AI- and human-generated content. The team hypothesized that with a controlled environment, these two types of content would perform equally, as it’s unclear if AI-generated content would impact rankings.
The uncertainty element of this hypothesis comes from ambiguity within Google’s guidelines. While using AI tools to generate content isn’t against the guidelines, it’s unclear if Google can determine whether the content is written by a machine or a human.
With their hypothesis ready, the Reboot team planned their methodology to isolate other ranking factors as they tested their independent variable (in this case, isolating the use of AI-generated content). They began by selecting a test artificial keyword to remove the risk of introducing outside ranking factors, settling on “flemparooni.” Since the keyword was unknown to search engines before the experiment, it returned no content in Google’s index.
Then, the team drafted domain names that consisted of made-up words to remove domain-level ranking factors from impacting the experiment’s results. They researched each domain name to confirm there were no historic ranking signals, no previously published websites on any of the domains, and none with external backlinks. Once it was confirmed that none of the domains were known to search engines, the experiment was ready to begin.
Reboot then created content with set guidelines, ran the content through multiple online AI content detection tools, published the test websites, and tracked the rankings. The experiment was run with a total of 10 test domains: five that contained AI-generated content and five that contained human-produced content.
With no outside factors influencing the perceived quality of a given website, the team analyzed the rank-tracking data and found that the human-produced content ranked better than the AI-generated content.
While it’s unclear how Google was able to identify the AI-generated content and factor that into their rankings, new technology is bringing more considerations to search results and processes for SEO professionals.
As we consider the SEO implications of using human- versus AI-generated content, it’s also important to discuss that experiments like Reboot’s illustrate the efficacy of Google’s helpful content update. The update aims to reward more original, helpful, human-produced content in search results and ensure users see less content created primarily for search engine traffic.
In Google’s September 14, 2023, helpful content system update, several changes were made to Google’s site evaluations. These changes included factoring in subdomain content when evaluating the overall site helpfulness, a clearer focus on author expertise, and more possible designation for AI-generated content, dates, and whether content has been added or removed.
The goal of these updates is to make the user aware of all facets of the search results they’re being provided to get the most accurate information to answer their query. This all ties into Google’s larger updates in general, as the goal is to reward human-generated, truly helpful content.
To meet the new guidelines for helpful content update, to ensure your content reaches your target audience, and to rank higher in Google search results, businesses should consider improving their site’s E-E-A-T.
E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Since 2013, the acronym has served as a part of Google’s guidelines for search quality content, and until December 2022, the acronym, previously E-A-T, was missing the “Experience” element.
Here’s how Google Quality Raters evaluate your site for each of the components:
While it’s not a direct ranking factor, E-E-A-T is an important concept in SEO as Google aims to better serve results with these characteristics. Additionally, high E-E-A-T can improve user trust and lead to more conversions on your site.
If you’re looking to improve your site’s E-E-A-T, you won’t need to overhaul your entire SEO strategy; rather, here are some ideas you’ll want to consider:
Having high-quality content that is original, helpful to users, and written by people, for people is the best place to start. Your site’s content should answer questions, provide advice, and leave the reader feeling they are equipped with the information they need. You can do this by auditing your content for relevancy and adding new content.
To establish credibility across the E-E-A-T principle, you’ll want to provide transparency for your site. Since Quality Raters look to see if the writer is a legitimate source of information, you’ll want to have an About Us page as well as individual author pages for each specific writer.
As a general rule, writers should always cite their sources, and linking to trusted sources can establish credibility. This can include official sources like studies, research papers, academic databases, news publications, and more.
Online reputation can impact your brand’s trustworthiness when it comes to content and your overall site. Reputation management is crucial for E-E-A-T, so be sure to respond promptly and professionally to negative reviews or press.
User-generated content (UGC) is content that’s created by consumers or users instead of the company. UGC can signal trustworthiness and establish brand loyalty through images, video testimonials, product reviews, blog posts, and more.
The experts at IDS can help you reach your digital marketing goals with specialized SEO strategies for franchise brands. Our variety of franchise search engine optimization services and other franchise marketing services can help you reap the benefits of AI in digital marketing and find the qualified leads you’ve been looking for.
To learn more about how IDS can help your business with a specialized digital marketing campaign, get in touch with a member of our team today!