Artificial intelligence, or AI, is synonymous with digital marketing today. Introduced to the masses through various sci-fi movies, within a decade, AI emerged as a revolutionary technology impacting almost every industry on the planet.
Whether in production, operations or retail, AI has found use in each of these functions across various verticals, introducing a higher degree of automation and subsequent cost savings. On the retail side, AI not only helps in streamlining the supply chain through predictive analysis but also improves customer experience through enhanced site performance and personalization. This also impacts your site and SEO searchability, making AI an integral part of every modern digital marketing strategy.
How AI Impacts Your SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a key marketing trend that aims to increase your website traffic from the organic search results on search engines by optimizing the page in terms of content and delivery. This takes into account factors like backlinks, the attractiveness of the content on the page, crawlability of the page, page load speed, user experience (UX) and more.
Considering that a growing customer base is the lifeblood of any business, you certainly need a reliable SEO strategy to make sure the right people find your business. Besides sending traffic to your site, proper on-page optimization also keeps visitors engaged and improves the chances of conversion.
Despite all these benefits, SEO is a lot of work, and it is always evolving. That’s why you need to be on your toes at all times, making sure your site stays current with SEO trends. One way to simplify SEO for your site and augment your efforts is by using AI and SEO together. In this post, we will explore how AI can be integrated with your SEO strategy.
1. Chatbots for SEO
Almost all of us have interacted with chatbots online. Today, many businesses have integrated chatbots at the frontline of their customer service to handle up to 80 percent of straightforward queries independently. This simple upgrade improves customer experience considerably by offering 24/7 customer service with instant query resolution. But did you know that chatbots also impact your website SEO?
Whether it be an instant messaging chatbot that welcomes your site users and offers quick assistance or pop-up chatbots for product onboarding, these AI-based assistants directly or indirectly impact your website’s performance and, consequently, your site’s position on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
For example, website speed is an important factor when it comes to your site’s Google ranking. Studies have shown that users don’t like to wait for a site to load, and a second’s delay can increase your bounce rate by 32 percent. While chatbots do improve customer experience, they can sometimes make your page slower to load. That’s why it is important to ensure that your chatbot is seamlessly implemented and not affecting your website’s speed. Once you have taken care of this aspect, a chatbot can work wonders for your SEO by improving your site’s usability.
Think about it – you visit a site and can’t find what you are looking for. Instantly, a chat window pops up to check whether you need any help. Curious, you type in your query immediately, and are bowled over by the instant results and options thrown in front of you. Some chatbots go even further, making product suggestions based on your browsing history. All these aspects help in delivering the right information to site visitors promptly, making them stay on your site longer, which in turn improves dwell time and might also reduce bounce rate.
Providing a pleasant experience to users with a chatbot will also improve your site’s reputation through user-generated content. Especially in the present times when most support teams are overburdened, an AI-based chatbot can continue helping users without getting tired or irritated.
Another popular area where chatbots can help your site is voice search optimization. As voice searches become popular among all age categories, having a voice-based assistant on your site could be the gamechanger that sets you apart from competitors by delivering an exceptional user experience.
2. AI and Smart Content
Content is king, but only when it is neat, clean, well-researched and SEO optimized. Digital marketers have long relied on keyword-rich content to improve a website’s ranking on SERPs, but AI makes this process much simpler through automation.
Whether collecting data or creating content, artificial intelligence can significantly impact your overall content marketing strategy. Take the example of your company blog. We all know that it is important to publish content regularly, but this content must also be useful to the readers. Realistically, for how long can you possibly come up with new content ideas every day? Artificial intelligence comes to your rescue by collecting and crunching valuable data and customer insights to give you an idea of what your audience is thinking. You can also use AI-based tools for competitor analysis to keep a tab on what the competition is doing to engage its audience.
Social media is one place that is abuzz with content ideas. Your customers love spending time on social media and are often quite vocal about their thoughts and ideas. It isn’t, of course, possible to take note of the times a user mentions your company or product. But an AI-based tool like BuzzSumo can help by scanning multiple social media feeds to bring you the most popular content ideas that resonate with your viewers. The tool also does the heavy lifting of comparing trends and content formats to help you map content marketing strategies that are most likely to work.
Additionally, AI-based tools can employ predictive analytics to predict customer reactions and sentiments towards specific topics. For example, HubSpot offers a content strategy tool that uses machine learning to identify broad interest areas and topic suggestions.
Another area where AI is handy in generating positive results is email marketing. As a marketer, you’d already be aware that personalized subject lines can considerably increase your emails’ opening rate. Mailchimp, a popular email marketing platform, uses predictive analytics to optimize subject lines and even determine the optimal timing and frequency for your email marketing campaigns.
3. Driving Personalization With AI
“As digital marketing becomes more competitive, hyper-personalized marketing provides the opportunity for organizations to meaningfully engage customers, deepen existing relationships and build new ones, and improve the customer experience.” (Deloitte)
Hyper-personalization refers to the concept of gathering real-time behavioral data of customers to offer them customized products, services and experiences according to their needs and wants. Personalized marketed efforts certainly lead to more engagement. On the other hand, a study by Gartner says that “brands risk losing 38 percent of their existing customer base due to poor personalization efforts.” This isn’t surprising because customers want to feel cared for and not be treated like numbers by the brands they do business with. Thus, personalization is crucial not only for SEO but also for improved customer engagement and loyalty.
Knowing the needs and wants of each and every customer isn’t easy. But AI-based automation can help you in personalizing your brand messages to a great extent. One example of a company that has leveraged this trend successfully is Alibaba, the online eCommerce giant that uses customer data to make tailored product recommendations. The company’s digital storefronts are also designed according to user feedback and preferences.
If you are wondering where you can start, try using AI to create dynamic content for your user base. The same advertisement will show a wool scarf to a user in the Alps and a breezy cotton dress to users in hot, tropical areas. AI can also help you create specific landing pages for different customer groups.
SEO is an evolving field that develops in tandem with the changes introduced by the various search engines. Google, the king of search engines, has a tendency to regularly update the conditions for a site to rank high, and marketers often find themselves hard-pressed to keep up with these changes. In fact, search engines like Google rely on machine learning and AI to rank websites and give users the best experience – and it only makes sense to use the same technology as marketers to streamline your SEO strategy for continued success.
From researching topics to finding and using the right keywords to triggering emails, AI can automate SEO’s crucial aspects for better results and improved return on investment (ROI). As a marketing leader, it is, therefore, imperative that you build a comprehensive SEO strategy involving machine learning, AI and automation to improve your page rankings.