Google recently released its new AI system, Duplex. This technology has the ability to hold natural conversations with people in order to do things such as book restaurant tables and schedule appointments. Duplex has managed to pass the Turing Test in that it behaved in a manner that can be considered to be indistinguishable from humans. This is just the beginning. In fact, most people fear that this type of AI will soon replace people.
Can AI replace humans?
When it comes to AI, there are two schools of thought: either it will completely replace marketers altogether or it will complement the job of marketers and help them work more effectively. According to research, AI will do the ladder–bringing in as much as an annual $15.7 trillion to worldwide GDP by 2030.
Even with these future predictions, it’s hard to deny how much of an impact AI already has on our daily lives. This is especially the case when it comes to digital marketing. And there are a lot of new SEO opportunities to come.
The role of AI in search
Thanks to artificial intelligence search is becoming more and more human. Of course, it may not speak to use in the same manner as Google’s Suplex, but it’s pretty similar. In fact, Google’s RankBrain uses machine learning to better understand the meaning behind the content that it crawls. It’s able to infer intent from search queries that are considered to be ambiguous. And it also makes use of feedback data in order to improve the accuracy of results. Put simply, RankBrain listens and learns.
We may not know the entire process behind RankBrain, but we can clearly see the results. A recent study considered the dataset of more 50 million keywords. It was found that over 84 percent of queries return search results that are universal. This happens as Google uses artificial intelligence to match the layout of its search results pages to user intent.
There are currently 37 different SERP categories. And this number will increase over the next few months and years. Though the potential for personalisation has yet to be truly exploited, Google’s Sundar Pichai recently announced that it is interested in becoming an “AI-first” company. This means that the search landscape is set to change dramatically as AI takes over much like in the way of Google Lens and Google Photos. However, it’s important that search marketers pay close attention to these advancements if they want to get the most out of their SEO marketing.
Getting the Most Out of Your SEO with AI
There are three areas in which AI can help to improve SEO performance. It can make a difference in your insights, automation, and personalisation. Let’s discuss each of these elements a bit further.
Artificial intelligence has the capability to interpret and process patterns in data at a rate in which humans could never think to achieve. And this is exactly what makes it so valuable to a search strategist. It can ensure that they are able to make informed decisions out of data that is considered to be noisy and unstructured. AI can be useful when it comes to market trends analysis, site performance analysis, customer intent reports, competitor insights, SEO, SERP performance, and pay-per-click spend management. In every one of these particular scenarios, artificial intelligence can bring about new insights that could have otherwise have gone completely unnoticed.
As search becomes less focused on the SERP and evolves into a multidisciplinary channel, this will be extremely important. Developments such as visual search are bringing the role of AI into light when it comes processing new forms of media as well. Pinterest is a social media platform which uses deep learning in order to understand the content and the context of images. This opens up unique opportunities for retailers to capitalise on “discovery search.” Google Lens’ goal is to use augmented reality in order to blend the virtual and physical worlds, using certain objects as queries as opposed to typed keywords.
These developments result in invaluable data which can help to reveal new things about your audience. Marketers need to use AI in order to ensure that they capture, process and use all of this data correctly so that it helps to better shape their search strategies.
If you want to use AI for SEO insights then you need to first understand the underlying need in the customer journey. You need to be able to identify content opportunities. You should start defining opportunities in terms of competitive context. You need to map intent to your content. You should be prepared to use structured data and markup. You should invest in more content that is long-tail. You must also ensure that your content can be easily crawled and surfaced by all user-agents.
SEO requires a lot of work and over a considerable amount of time. That’s why it’s a good idea to automate tasks whenever possible. These tasks include things like technical audits, content optimisation, keyword research, tag management, content distribution, and internal linking. And the time that automation saves will give you the ability to put your attention towards things that require strategy and creativity.
The best way to start with AI for SEO automation is to break down all of your tasks into sub-tasks. Then create a scoring chart for their potential for automation, ranging from 0-10. You can use automation that is rule-based in order to handle the simple but time-intensive tasks. Just make sure that you find the proper balance between automation and human labour. Feed ML algorithms the right quantity and quality of data. Put an emphasis on user experience as well as alerts and speed monitoring.
One of the best ways to create an experience that is useful and relevant for each individual customer is to use personalisation. If you want to achieve this at scale, then you need to make AI apart of this process. For quite some time, Amazon has been considered to be the market leader in the area of personalisation, as it makes use of historical user data in order suggest new products. This gives Amazon the ability to surface products that wouldn’t normally be seen or considered, based on their relevance to each consumer.
Search marketers can learn a lot from Amazon’s approach. By mapping your content to different states of user intent, you’ll be able to capitalise on these opportunities and eventually cross-sell more products. This can be viewed as vertical search optimisation. Google used this approach in its most recent announcements, more specifically the integration of Assistant into Maps and the Google News app upgrade.
Now that content discovery is not limited to the search results page, you can begin to truly understand your consumers and engage with them at any time and anywhere. No matter what stage of their the customer is in, artificial intelligence is crucial. Predictive analytics, which is based on historical data, can help you plan your content so that it meets the demand of the consumer.
The best way to use SEO personalisation is to create your content by persona, the stage of the customer journey and delivery mechanism. You should search by using semantically specific pages. You need to nurture your leads across social and search by using personalisation and audience lists. You must also use publish content at the best times and on the best networks.
We are now in the era of artificial intelligence and it’s important that Singapore marketers take advantage of it. While most AI systems may not be visible, we can see the results of their inner workings. This is especially the case with SEO, where the search landscape yields tons of data and insights. By using artificial intelligence in your digital marketing strategy, you can get the most out of SEO in the form of insights, personalisation, and automation.