Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential part of digital marketing that aims to optimize the website content to achieve higher visibility on search engine results pages. Of course, it doesn’t stand still.
Over the past few years, the strategies used in SEO have evolved drastically, in particular, due to the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), both of which have changed the way search engines rank websites now.
So, in a changing world like this, the only way to succeed and stay competitive in the SEO landscape is to harness AI and ML algorithms. In this article, I’ll explore the role of AI in SEO, how it’s being used today, and its potential in the future.
I will also look at how businesses can leverage this technology to improve their search engine rankings and drive more website traffic. Let’s dive right into it!
What Is Artificial Intelligence?
Before we move on any further, let’s first figure out what artificial intelligence is. You’ve probably heard about tools like ChatGPT, ZebraCat, PercyLab, and many others. All of these tools are driven by AI, giving them the ability to understand queries sent by humans with exemplary precision.
Now to the question of artificial intelligence. Essentially, it is the ability of machines to complete tasks that would otherwise require the involvement of a human being, including their ability to:
- See things;
- Recognize voice commands;
- Make decisions;
- Translate languages, and much more.
This technology isn’t new, but it has become a big thing in recent years. What’s more, these days, artificial intelligence is constantly being trained due to the emergence of machine learning, enabling it to easily analyze big volumes of data, recognize behavioral patterns, and make predictions based on the data retrieved.
AI, ML, and SEO
However, with the rise of big data, businesses began to realize the potential of ML for solving complex problems and gaining insights from large datasets. This led to the development of new ML techniques and the creation of specialized tools and frameworks that aid in building and deploying machine learning models.
So now, machine learning in finance has the ability to handle complex financial data analysis, making it a valuable tool for risk assessment and fraud detection. Moreover, in the field of education, AI provides opportunities for personalized learning experiences, while in healthcare, these technologies assist with diagnostics and treatment advancements.
But what about SEO?
AI and ML are now transforming SEO by enabling more advanced and effective strategies to help improve search engine rankings, increase your website traffic, and enhance user experience. Here are some of the ways in which AI and ML are doing this:
- Better search relevancy.
- Personalized search results.
- Voice search.
- Natural language processing.
- Content optimization.
- Image and video search.
Let’s look at each of them more closely.
AI and ML are also being widely used to analyze the content, including its structure, the use of specific words, information accuracy, as well as its punctuation and spelling. This factor should be considered when optimizing the content for search engines.
For example, when your content revolves around IoT healthcare solutions, it is crucial to ensure that it is highly informative and targeted toward the advanced audience who seeks comprehensive information about the product and related topics.
Copywriters and experts face challenges in creating content on such topics, given that it has to appeal to both the target audience and the search engine. Various AI SEO tools and AI SEO writers simplify this task many times over.
Additionally, some services leverage AI and ML technologies to enhance the quality and credibility of academic content. These services employ advanced algorithms to conduct comprehensive literature reviews, analyze data, and generate accurate citations.
By utilizing research paper writing services, students and researchers can save time, ensure the accuracy of their work, and receive valuable insights from experienced professionals in their respective fields.
Better Search Relevancy
Search engines use algorithms to analyze millions of web pages and deliver the most relevant results to users. However, while in the past, they only relied on factors such as keyword density, meta tags, and backlinks, today, they use advanced ML algorithms that allow them to understand the intent behind each query.
In practice, this means that it’s not enough just to stuff the content with keywords to rank higher in search results, as spammers used to do a decade ago. For the Google RankBrain algorithm to define a source as useful and relevant, it must contain meaningful content that matches a user’s search query, even if no exact keywords have been used.
Personalized Search Results
With the help of AI and ML, search engines are now able to deliver personalized search results based on a user’s search history, location, and preferences. For example, if several people use the same keyword when searching for something on the Internet, the search results will never be the same.
For SEO professionals, this means two things:
- There’s no longer one “top” result;
- Strategies should be built around audience segments and their interests and not based solely on the use of keywords.
The rise of sophisticated voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant has changed the way people search for information now. According to an Adobe study, 48% of adults surveyed in the US admitted to using voice for general web searches.
AI and ML algorithms are being used to improve voice recognition and natural language processing, which means that SEO strategies need to be optimized for voice search queries.
The challenge? Since people often use conversational queries when using voice search, optimizing content with short-tail keywords alone is no longer enough. To increase a site’s ranking, it became necessary to include long-tail keywords.
Many think that long-tail keywords, e.g., “how to buy Ripple in India,” are defined by the number of words in them. Wrong. It’s all about their search volume. That said, some short keywords get fewer monthly searches (<100), unlike those which are five (or more) words long. Such keywords can get thousands of searches every month.
Aside from that, voice search is often used to pinpoint nearby services and businesses, making it important to factor in the local search results when outlining an SEO strategy.
Natural Language Processing
Natural language processing (NLP) is a subfield of AI focusing on the interaction between computers and human language. With the help of NLP, search engines are now able to understand the context and intent of a query which means that SEO professionals should create their strategies with semantic search in mind.
To give you the gist, in the early days, Google algorithms used only keywords to decide if the content was relevant or not. Now, thanks to AI and ML, they can understand the context of a written piece based on the words and phrases before and after the keywords, as well as the undertone of a query, allowing them to rank more concise and relevant websites higher.
If you want to optimize chatbot integration and achieve the best outcomes, hire Node.js developers. This will enable you to harness the power of Node.js to deliver exceptional user experiences and enhance the functionality of your chatbot system.
Image and Video Search
Another area that is undergoing transformation due to the integration of AI and ML is image and video search. It has not been long since tools such as Pinterest Lens and Google Lens came along, but it’s already pretty clear that the trend towards using image and video searches to look up information online is very strong.
With this in mind, SEO professionals should optimize their visual content, including the use of alt tags, metadata, descriptive file names, and so on, to help search engines understand their context and match them to the relevant search requests.
Opportunities for Businesses to Leverage AI and ML for SEO
Now that we have covered the areas in SEO that have been affected the most by the rise of AI and ML, let’s take a look at how businesses can leverage these technologies to improve their SEO strategies and gain a competitive edge.
Overall, SEO strategies should be created with a focus on:
- User intent;
- The use of long-tail keywords;
- Local SEO;
- Visual search;
- Performance analysis.
More on each below.
By integrating artificial intelligence and machine learning, search engines can now understand the intent of a user query, which makes it necessary to create an SEO strategy around user needs.
To put it in practice, first things first, conduct in-depth keyword research to make sure that you understand the intent of a user behind a search query. Based on this information, create a piece of content that responds to that intent while also providing information that is valuable to them.
Use Long-Tail Keywords
With the popularity of voice searches, it’s become necessary to optimize the content with long-tail keywords that sound as natural to the language people use when searching online as possible.
When chosen correctly, long-tail keywords help drive more traffic by targeting the right audience, making their use a must in an SEO strategy.
For instance, if users are searching for “eth prediction” you can provide insights and analysis on Ethereum price predictions. Stay informed about the newest trends and market analysis to offer accurate and reliable information to your audience.
As more and more people use voice searches to find information on the Internet, local SEO cannot be overlooked. If you haven’t yet optimized your Google My Business profile and included local business listings, it’s time to do so now. Otherwise, you’ll lose a lot of local traffic.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, visual search is another popular way of searching for information online. With that in mind, it’s important to make sure that no matter what type of visual content you have on a website, it’s fully optimized for search engines and includes alt tags, meta descriptions, captions, etc.
It goes without saying that your content should also be visually-appealing and relevant to user search queries. If it’s not, there’s not much use in posting it in the first place.
Last but not least, it’s essential to monitor and analyze the results of SEO efforts to ensure the success of an SEO campaign. Without monitoring and analyzing, you won’t know what’s working and what’s not, which can lead to wasted time and resources.
So, the first step is to set up analytics. Google Analytics is a popular choice and can offer valuable insights into your website and user behavior patterns.
Once you’re done, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your rankings. For this purpose, you can use analytical tools such as:
Whichever suits you most.
Of course, you also need to know how much traffic and conversions you’re getting. By measuring these KPIs, you’ll get an idea of how your SEO efforts are impacting users and whether they are meeting your expectations.
Next up, analyze your content. To understand how it’s performing in search engines, look at the click-through rates (CTRs) for your pages and identify opportunities to optimize your content for search engines.
Finally, review your backlink profile. In doing so, you’ll not only learn how your website’s doing, but you will also be able to identify opportunities for getting new backlinks from authoritative websites.
To wrap it all up, the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning in SEO is steadily increasing as search engines continue to evolve and improve. AI and ML algorithms can analyze big volumes of data, recognize patterns and trends, as well as make more informed decisions about strategies.
However, this doesn’t mean that human participation is no longer required. SEO professionals still play a critical role in analyzing data, interpreting results, and making strategic decisions. So, if you want to launch a successful SEO campaign and maintain a competitive edge, the best thing to do is combine the two—harnessing the power of AI and ML and human expertise.