Google updated its search engine algorithm on 6th of June 2019. And, now there is a chatter about an unconfirmed update on July 11/12th 2019. Result – the whole SEO community is shaken and stirred. Some lost traffic, while some gained and as an SEO professional, you must be running pillar to post to find out more and rectify, especially if your or client’s traffic dived southwards. Is AI SEO, the answer to your woes?
Let’s look at it at a deeper level. With all due respect to every professional’s knowledge and skills, there is every reason bother about search engine updates. Taken that, you have been honest, built a technically fantastic website (as per technical SEO recommendations) and marketed it organically without using or focussing on bad links or using copyrighted content. Only the market or consumer trends will effect your traffic and nothing else.
I have been following the updates just for the sake of profession and never made unnecessary changes to any of mine or client’s websites, apart from making them customer centric and none of them have been hit, over the last 15 years. There is a secret to it, of course. September 2013, the Hummingbird update was what got me going.
You, me and SEO
Following AI SEO techniques to create an SEO strategy is a good idea, once and for all. I can understand that everyone is in a hurry to promote keywords and get to the top of Google’s organic results. What I do not understand is, if you you are not better than the one on the top, how do you expect to get there.
Following success and getting one-up is the game here, and not gaming the search engines. If you are trying to game them, surely, you need to think about damage control with every update. Search engine updates are here to create a level playing field and playing by the rules is the only way to get there.
AI or artificial intelligence “was” for the nerds. Today, it is effecting every facet of your digital life – Alexa, Siri, AdWords, FB ads, Amazon or Netflix recommendations, you name it and it’s there. So, it’s already made headways into digital marketing, so, what’s wrong with applying it to SEO.
AI SEO – The impact and the relationship
What do you think the search engine algorithms are? They understand more than we can perceive including irrelevant backlinks, keyword stuffing, bad content etc. They rank your webpages depending on these and many other factors and, are created to learn using machine learning which is an integral part of AI.
Understanding AI and playing by the rules is critical to success. This can help you create cohesive strategies and bring more bang for the buck. Let us see, in this post, how you can leverage AI SEO for better ROI.
Today, the impact of AI is very strong. For example, the search results on Google that you see, take into account a number of considerations like favorite websites, geographical location, search history and similar customers who searched the same query. This means that the impact of AI on page rankings will be strong and can vary very quickly due to customer behavior. Your SEO strategy has to consider this impact with a critical eye.
Role of Machine Learning in search engine rankings
SEO or search engine optimization is an organic marketing processes executed to tame search engines and get to the top of organic rankings. Of course, marketing is ever-evolving (which keeps me interested in the first place), and search engines also evolve at the same pace, especially in the area of SERP or page rankings where they exercise utmost influence.
As SEO professionals, we have been meeting the algorithm requirements through keyword optimization, metadata, acquiring inbound links and adding new website content frequently. Did we forget something? Will get to it in a minute.
The leader of search engines, Google continuously improves search results based on search trends and not by what you and me do. Google is consumer specific and analyzes search trends over time using machine learning and applies the same to its algorithms. How many of us SEO professionals have tuned the search to consumers? We have always ranted ranking and ranking and ranking.
So if traffic falls for some websites and rises for some after an algorithm update as a result of an organic fall, don’t fret, you just need to adjust your sails to the search engine winds. If you had the consumer in mind, the adjustment will be small, but if you had rankings in sight, it could still be your best fall ever.
Google estimates that 50% of search volumes will come through voice in an interactive language, by 2020. And, Google is ready with its voice assistant, image search and maps locations, bettering it by the day to interpret natural language and provide relevant results. Are you working towards it? Is your SEO working towards using natural language keywords?
Applying AI is the only way to understand and tame the search engines. There are many tools out there, like Moz, Yoast etc. that can help you with keyword usage, optimize content and page optimizations. However, tuning your website to rank for voice search is the the key to success.
Content and AI SEO
Content is critical to SEO and we are not talking content marketing here. We are talking about shape, size and tone of content that needs to change effectively. AI can help you create opportunities to reach wider audience. However, it is for you to intertwine these opportunities and create a proper and sustainable search engine optimization strategy.
You could, but how? Every secret lies in the data. Check your content, blog posts and other publications for traffic data and analyze why some did well and some did not. How many of them appeared in voice search and what did you get out of them? An AI empowered digital marketing agency could help you do well here.
AI helps you leverage consumer insights and create strategies around it. Kia Motors did this successfully by partnering with an influencer marketplace to find the right influencers. And, do you know how the marketplace found them? Using AI. Kia’s 2016 Super Bowl commercial is a perfect example of attracting relevant consumer groups for their Optima model, using branded content.
AI used in content can provide insights and ideas about:
- Landing pages – performance of old ones and suggest new ones.
- Personalized content – dynamic content depending on user preferences.
- Experiences – Unique to customers according to their preferences.
Additionally, tools like BuzzSumo or Hubspot are able to pin point customer preferences in real time enabling you to act in time to win business. There are many other AI tools out there that can help you leverage your content for best use. As an SEO professional, you can well understand the criticality of having those above in your arsenal.
Hyper personalization – AI to the rescue
The best way to attract or captivate a visitor to convert is through hyper personalization. IF the messaging is fine tuned to the language used by the visitor, messaging at times he/she prefers and using names is the best way to further your interests. I mean, wear the visitor’s shoes and you will understand what I am talking about.
Standing out amidst the impersonal content that rules the internet is the only way to get to to the visitor’s heart. In fact, data says that about 80% businesses achieved revenue targets and more using a proper personalization strategy. AI based personalization that is customer intent based can actually raise potential profits by about 15%. Personalization engines created using AI will see a rise and obviously adding personalization to your website, content and SEO will see hyper results.
Another great example of personalization success is Starbucks, which offers loyalty cards by leveraging mobile app data. This enables the business to provided menu recommendations on mobiles to customers approaching the store. Their secret to customer success, despite having 90+ million transactions a week along with a lot of data. That’s what leveraging data using AI for hyper personalization, can do for your business.
The future of AI in marketing
Search engines like Google evolve continuously and as SEO’s we cannot expect ourselves to know what’s on the inside of a search engine algorithm. It’s only when the updates are deployed, we measure the results, happily or unhappily. Sad, but true.
However, realising that all those changes are customer-centric and keeping the customer in mind is of utmost importance. If search engines are leveraging AI to meet consumer needs, why can’t you do the same to cater to search engine needs. AI based tools are adept at measuring how your blog post or content will perform in search. Isn’t it a great starting point to better your marketing, with AI SEO?
In short, AI has matured from a data collection and an analytics tool to become an integral part of digital marketing. The sooner your business realizes the impact of AI SEO to your marketing bottom-line, the better. The bottomline is that your SEO has to evolve alongwith AI and that you will nomt be able to do without the use of AI. Deploy and see results.
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I think this was needed article. Thank you for the information. It’s very helpful.
Thank you Kunal.
Please keep following the blog, there are a few more articles you may find useful.
It is @ https://efficaci.us/digital-marketing-blog/
The article is really appealing and I completely agree with the inference. NLP has come a long way and in coming days, and very soon it’s going to change the thought process behind any search. Thus the search algos be going to be more dynamic in coming days, then this is going to be a necessity.
Very well written and insightful.
Thank you Sayak.
I completely agree, search is going to be more and more focussed on natural language and we need to pull up socks and rethink our entire marketing strategies if we need to stand out.
Must say very detailed and effective way to shoot the new age strategy. It’s always required to upgrade our site to cater to the latest algo soup and if the soup has ai ingredient we should also add the same ingredient to match the consumer taste. A post with predictive analytics is sure to outperform a cabbage post with simple targeted keywords. Well done sir.
Thank you Abhijan.
Keep following the blog and make it interesting.