Article | 21 Mar 2024

The Biggest SEO Opportunities of 2024 - the Role of AI

Posted in Marketing, Digital, Industry news, Learning,

AI has had a seismic effect on almost every industry. Whether it’s streamlining processes, creating content, or helping with coming up with new strategies, AI has turned the world on its head. Will it have the same effect on SEO? Or has it already? 

Is SEO Dead and Did AI Kill it? 

Short answer: No. 

In the past year and a bit, AI content has been flooding the internet. It’s cheap, fast, and “good enough” that thousands of websites are churning it out without a second thought. They produce all this content, and yet none of it is really taking the search engine results page (SERP) by storm. A study found that human-written content ranks higher 94% of the time

This isn’t to say that AI content is particularly penalised by Google. Just that a purely AI-generated piece of content might not hit all of the EEAT (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) notes that a human-written piece would. 

How to Beat AI Content 

AI has humans beat when it comes to speed, so don’t try to beat it in that realm – you’ll lose every time. However, humans have some advantages over AI that are equally as important. 

Focus on your own EEAT 

No matter what people ask AI to do, it can never create – it can only regurgitate. If you create content under an author with credentials, and present unique in-depth analyses or opinions, you’ll trump 50 AI articles that are all saying the same thing in different ways. Generative Engine Optimization is a practice that proves that authoritative elements like stats, quotes, technical terminology, and overall confident authority can boost an article’s performance by up to 40%. 

Remember the things that make you human 

As obvious as this sounds, AI cannot infuse emotions or creativity into its content. Content that includes elements like videos and images, is always scored above pages that are purely text-based. AI can’t make jokes either, so while Google doesn’t have a humour detector, an appropriate joke can be a great trust signal to readers that they’re reading human-written content.  

Become such an authority that AI refers to you 

AI combs the internet to find sources and information, so use that in your favour and become the source that AI looks for. Adding your own sourced quotes and stats shows both Google and AI that you’re an authority in your field, and both will start treating you as such. Backlinks don’t matter as much as they used to, but you still want to present as an authority, both for SEO and for the user. 

Spend time perfecting your user experience 

People can use AI to create the perfect written content, but if it’s uploaded to a website that loads slowly and functions like a nightmare, it will never beat the average page. Page speed, responsiveness on both mobile and desktop, clear page navigation, a clean layout, and engaging visual elements are all key strategies you can implement to beat AI articles. Even if your content is worse, a better overall page may help you get to the top. 

If all else fails, focus on revenue, not traffic 

If the keyword you’re looking to rank for is “couches,” (a short-tail keyword) you’ll face endless competition on the SERP. If you focus your offering and try to rank for “affordable green l-shaped couch brooklyn new york,” (a long-tail keyword) there will be fewer sites competing for attention. Not to mention, someone looking for that specific of a search is likely looking to buy, while someone looking up “couches” could be looking for anything. 

Is AI Good for SEO? 

We’ve spent a bit of time poking holes in AI, but it has some undeniable benefits when it comes to SEO, especially when used alongside human influence. 

You don’t just have to use AI to create content. You can use it for ideation and research in the pursuit of making your own content. For example, tell an AI “I’m writing an article on the history of making clocks, what should I include?” and it will respond with an outline with headings like “Early Timekeeping Devices,” “Medieval Clocks,” “Industrial Revolution and Mass Production,” etc, allowing you to map out how the article should look. 

You still need to know what you’re doing when it comes to AI. Any AI is only as good as the prompts it receives, so blindly asking for vague content will only get you so far. But if you have a focused vision and ask AI to generate content to fit this, you’ll be given solid content that you can then tweak and infuse with humanity. 

If you’re unsure on how to use AI, The Work Crowd has a network of marketing professionals who are skilled in all things AI. Contact us to be put in touch with a professional who suits your organisation.