The integration of generative artificial intelligence (AI) with marketing practices has opened up new possibilities for businesses. As the marketing landscape evolves, professionals are increasingly turning to generative AI tools to stay competitive and meet customer expectations. A 2023 study found that 73 per cent of US marketers said they used AI tools as part of their work.
This article explores the impact of generative AI in marketing, focusing on how it can enhance search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. By leveraging AI technologies such as chatbots and content generation, businesses can optimize their online presence and engage with their target audience more effectively.
ChatGPT, Bard, and the battle for search supremacy.
ChatGPT-4 and Google Bard are two of the most advanced large language models (LLMs) available today. Both models are capable of generating human-quality text, translating languages, writing different kinds of creative content, and answering your questions in an informative way.
Microsoft has now integrated ChatGPT with its search engine, Bing, in an aggressive play for Google’s top spot in search. Bing has also introduced a chat function in addition to its natural language results.
Meanwhile Google continues to develop the capabilities of its AI chatbot, Bard, which it wants users to think of as a sidekick to Google Search, not a replacement. Bard produces three drafts of every result – for users to choose between or mix and match – as a reminder that answers are not definitive. This ‘battle of the AI chatbots’ means that marketers have ever-more powerful tools to draw on to automate tasks and support their efforts to reach audiences.
Challenges of generative AI in marketing
While generative AI brings significant benefits to marketing, it also presents some challenges that need to be addressed:
- Content originality: AI-generated content may lack originality, potentially leading to issues with plagiarism. It is essential for marketers to verify the sources and ensure the content is unique.
- Prompt accuracy: The accuracy of AI-generated prompts may vary based on the available information. Marketers should provide detailed and specific instructions to improve the quality of AI outputs.
The future outlook
The integration of generative AI into marketing practices has the potential to revolutionize the industry. These tools are expected to become mainstream marketing solutions, offering advanced capabilities for content creation, customer engagement, and data analysis. However, it is crucial to approach the adoption of AI with caution, prioritizing ethical practices and avoiding content plagiarism, bias, and manipulative marketing techniques. By leveraging the power of AI responsibly, marketers can harness its benefits while ensuring a positive user experience and long-term business success.
SEO considerations when using generative AI
- Natural language queries: Generative AI tools like ChatGPT can understand and generate relevant responses to natural language queries. Marketers can optimize their content to address the intent behind user queries, improving organic search rankings.
- Voice search: With the growing popularity of smart speakers and virtual assistants, optimizing content for voice search is crucial. AI-powered tools can help marketers create content that aligns with natural language queries, driving visibility in voice search results.
- Content optimization: AI search technologies have led to the rise of "no-click" searches, where answers are directly displayed on the search engine results page (SERP). Marketers should focus on long-tail keywords, provide comprehensive answers, and structure their content effectively to win visibility in these direct answer boxes.
- SEO fundamentals: Despite the advancements in AI search, SEO fundamentals remain essential. Marketers should continue to implement best practices, including keyword optimization, high-quality content creation, and technical SEO, to improve their rankings in search results.
Google's response and counterbalancing AI in search
Google has responded to the rise of generative AI in search with its own AI-powered features. By leveraging AI, Google aims to provide users with more informative search results and a better search experience. Some notable developments (these are currently in Beta testing) include:
- AI-generated snippets: Google's AI generates snapshot information for complex queries, offering users key insights and relevant links to explore further.
Let’s take a question like “what's better for a family with kids under 3 and a dog, bryce canyon or arches.” Normally, you might break this one question down into smaller ones, sort through the vast information available, and start to piece things together yourself. With generative AI, Search can do some of that heavy lifting for you.
Context will be carried over from question to question, to help you more naturally continue your exploration. You’ll also find helpful jumping-off points to web content and a range of perspectives that you can dig into.
- Perspectives filter: For searches that might benefit from the experiences of others, Google is introducing a filter that highlights perspectives from forums, social media sites, and other platforms, allowing users to access content shared by people with real experiences.
Tap the filter, and you’ll exclusively see long- and short-form videos, images and written posts that people have shared on discussion boards, Q&A sites and social media platforms. You can also see more details about the creators of this content, such as their name, profile photo or information about the popularity of their content.
Generative AI is transforming marketing practices and has the potential to significantly enhance SEO efforts. By leveraging AI-powered tools, businesses can optimize their online presence, improve customer support, and generate SEO-optimized content efficiently. However, it is essential to address challenges such as content originality and prompt accuracy. As AI becomes more integrated into marketing strategies, businesses must adopt responsible and ethical practices to ensure a positive user experience and maintain the credibility of their brand. With careful implementation, generative AI can be a powerful ally in driving SEO success and staying ahead in today's competitive digital landscape.
Next: part two of this series is a step-by-step guide to creating a blog article and image using generative AI tools. If you'd like to talk to us about your digital strategy, do get in touch.
Disclaimer: This article has been created with the support of generative AI tools including Chat-GPT4, Bard and Midjourney.