AI in SEO: Transforming the Future of Search Traffic Growth

AI in SEO: Transforming the Future of Search Traffic Growth

In 2022 alone, Google updated its search algorithms 729 times. This means on average, that the ranking metrics were updated twice per day.

So, does this mean that you have to spend hours on end anticipating exactly when an update will be introduced and what effect it will have on your present rankings?

The answer is “Not exactly,” as with the growing use of AI in search engine optimization (SEO), business and digital marketers can tackle the challenge of ever-evolving algorithm changes.

While you need to have a basic idea of how Google’s ranking algorithms work and their overall impact, you don’t need to conduct extensive research on every update by the minute.

AI-powered models can analyze vast amounts of data, predict ranking fluctuations due to algorithm changes, and facilitate SEO workflows such as content creation and optimization, search traffic monitoring, competitor analysis, and a lot more.

 

1. AI SEO – The Basics

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an all-inclusive term for a variety of technologies such as natural language processing (NLP), machine learning (ML), deep learning, computer vision, and other evolving tech innovations.

AI has one primary aim – to perform (often too tedious and time-consuming) cognitive and perceptive tasks faster and more efficiently than humans.

It is designed to make the routine aspects of business, educational, and personal workflows several times faster, letting humans focus on more complicated matters that require added sensibility and judgment.

What is AI SEO?

AI SEO, also known as ‘Intelligent SEO’, refers to the process of using artificial intelligence to model and track your search engine performance for a website, web page, or blog post. AI-powered SEO facilitates your keyword research, content creation, link building, voice optimization, SERP analysis, and other such SEO workflows.

The ever-evolving trends in search engine algorithms have made it virtually impossible for marketers to optimize their content and on and off-page SEO factors manually. It is a no-brainer that AI holds the key to boosting your online visibility and taking your business ahead of the curve.

A Statista survey reveals that 30% of the companies that integrated AI into their online marketing campaigns have enjoyed a 6 to 10% increase in annual revenue. This is why every growing business is investing in artificial intelligence developers to harness AI’s numerous perks in search engine optimization and deliver high-quality content that ranks.

2. How Does Artificial Intelligence Work in SEO?

Today, AI has become so technically advanced that it is being implemented not only for market surveys but also for its ability to analyze, categorize, and store large volumes of data.

This has made it immensely effective for search engines like Google and Bing to scan millions of web pages, rank them based on relevance and value, and display the results in a fraction of a second.

To fully grasp how to use AI in SEO, we need to understand how search engines work and how artificial intelligence is impacting the scene.

2.1 How Google Uses AI for Search Results

As AI continues to undergo innovations, Google aims to maximize its potential and offer a flawless user experience.

On September 26 2013, Google announced its Hummingbird  update that aimed to understand user intent better to return more useful and relevant pages in the results. This meant that the searches would be considered based on the context instead of going through each keyword.

Hummingbird enabled the search engine to deliver intent-based results and offer a more valuable experience to the user.

A couple of years later in October 2015, Google introduced RankBrain, a machine learning-powered ranking algorithm that analyses each search keyword according to user intent and delivers apt results.

In 2018, Jacob Devlin and his colleagues at Google published their research on BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers). It is a family of language models based on Natural Language Processing that is capable of understanding the context of words and the overall intent behind the search.

In May 2021, Google announced that it was working on MUM (Multitask Unified Model) to bridge language gaps and create a more productive comprehension and interpretation of the user’s query.

MUM runs on the T5 text-to-text platform and Google claims that it is 1,000 times more than BERT. It not only understands natural language but is also capable of generating it. It has been trained in 75 languages and multimodal, possessing the ability to grasp information from both text and images. Google is planning to expand its capacity to recognize audio and video soon.

With Google rolling out hundreds of AI-powered updates to its ranking algorithms each year, it has become imperative for businesses from all sectors and of all sizes to monitor them constantly and make the necessary modifications to their online platforms.

Suppose you do not possess the required level of technical expertise. In that case, it is advisable to hire an artificial intelligence development company to make sure that your SEO strategy adheres to the latest ranking updates from Google.

2.2 Benefits of Using AI in SEO

Whatever we do manually from creating content to monitoring results, artificial intelligence seems to do it much faster and more efficiently. With existing generative AI tools like Chat-GPT and Google Bard constantly enhancing their capabilities and new ones being introduced almost daily, every business and SEO company is looking to adopt this technology to their working processes for better online reach.

The most significant advantages of implementing artificial intelligence in your SEO strategy over traditional practices include:

  • Adhering to the latest changes in search ranking algorithms
  • High-quality content generated within seconds
  • Boosts organic traffic to your website
  • Helps generate more leads
  • Increased conversions and sales
  • Constant analysis of results and SEO audits
  • More cost-effective than paid marketing efforts
  • Also complements your paid marketing campaigns
  • Creates a personalized user experience, with automated customer support, and
  • Fosters confidence in users and builds brand image.

3. Use Cases of AI in Search Engine Optimization

Now that you have an idea of how search engines use artificial intelligence, it’s time to grasp how to use AI for SEO. Let us take a look at some of the real-life applications every business and website development company is taking advantage of.

3.1 Competitor Analysis

Competitor analysis refers to the process of identifying and evaluating your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses to build strategies to outrank them on search engine result pages (SERPs). It is one of the first measures to take before going about setting your SEO strategy and creating content.

The traditional method of doing so involved manually collecting and comparing data from different sources such as competitors’ on-page content, backlinks, and social media posts and practices.

However, with the growing influence of AI, most of these processes are being automated, making competitor analysis faster and more reliable. Here are some areas where AI helps you compare your rivals’ SEO strategy and performance.

3.1.1 Keyword Analysis

Keywords are a key element of SEO and knowing your competitor’s keyword strategy is vital in developing your own. With AI-powered tools like Ahrefs and KWFinder, you can study what keywords your peers are using and how to drive traffic and conversions.

You can get valuable knowledge on metrics such as keyword difficulty, volume of search, and CPC, and then develop your strategy accordingly.

3.1.2 Content Analysis

AI-driven content analysis tools like Clearscope and MarketMuse allow you to study and assess the content development and marketing strategies of other websites of your niche. This helps you to spot content gaps, high-performing topics, and opportunities to optimize existing content.

These platforms use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to examine the structure, relevance, and accuracy of content, giving actionable insights on how you can improve your content.

3.1.3 Backlink Analysis

Backlinks are a crucial factor that decides how well your website ranks in search results and can make or mar your online presence.

Tools like Majestic and Moz leverage the power of AI and allow you to analyze your rivals’ backlink profiles and find high-authority domains and pages that have linked to them. You can track metrics like citation flow, trust flow, and link velocity to evaluate the quality of backlinks.

3.1.4 Social Media Analysis

Social media plays an important role in your digital marketing campaign and ultimately, in your online visibility. AI-powered tools like Talkwalker and Brandwatch let you study your peers’ social media activity including a wide range of aspects such as sentiment analysis and influencer analysis.

3.1.5 Best Practices for Competitor Analysis in SEO

You need to put the following into practice while using AI tools to analyze the SEO strategies of similar businesses.

  • Define your goals: Answer questions like “What tools to use”, “What data points to compare”, etc.
  • Quality over quantity: Focus on quality metrics like relevance, authority, and engagement rather than dwelling too much on the number of keywords, backlinks, and followers on social media.
  • Utilize multiple tools: No single tool can provide you with a tailor-made SEO strategy. Stay updated on the various tools available for specific purposes and use them accordingly.
  • Don’t count only on AI: AI-based platforms are still in their growing stages and it is important to use human expertise and supervision wherever required. Seek help from a professional SEO company for the best results.
  • Respect ethical bindings: While AI-powered tools can access large volumes of data and provide valuable insights, you must respect the sensitive and private data of your peers and follow all legal and ethical guidelines.

3.2 AI-Powered Keyword Research

Advanced keyword research with the help of AI is proving to be a game-changer for companies and bloggers looking to grow their online presence. Using machine learning (ML) algorithms, you can get data-driven insights on the search behavior and patterns of users and identify high-potential yet low-competition keywords to target in your SEO content.

The common features of AI-aided keyword research tools include:

  • Real-time stats – Search volume, cost-per-click (CPC), and keyword difficulty to set realistic SEO objectives
  • Related Keywords – Terms that are relevant or related to the primary keyword, for keyword clustering
  • Autocomplete – Auto-completed suggestions in relation to the main keyword that help search engines to find suitable topics
  • Common Questions – Providing answers to usual questions that make your content appear in the featured snippets or “people also ask” sections of search engines.

The ability to find relevant keywords with AI at a fraction of the time required for the same manually, lets you focus on your content, design, and other on and off-page SEO factors. This approach helps increase your site’s click-through rates and in turn, generates more leads. The most prominent benefits of AI-based keyword research include:

  • Better understanding of search intent and demand
  • Constant awareness of your competitors’ search rankings
  • Provides fresh ideas on topics for creating content
  • Helps to explore the potential of your chosen keywords, and
  • Offers predictive analytics for your keyword research process.

An apt example would be the SEMRush SEO toolkit that helps make websites more search engine-friendly with a vast keyword database along with competitor SEO analysis. The user has to enter the domain or site to avail insights on the best-performing keywords in current posts and articles.

The user-friendly interface lets you harness the power of AI and perform multiple tasks such as tracking keyword positioning, analyzing organic traffic, and comparing keywords with one another.

 

Also read: What is SEO and How It Works – A Detailed Guide

 

3.3 Content Creation and Optimization

Once you have identified the keywords to target comes the most vital part – creating content. As Google gets more efficient in understanding language, creating high-quality content has become integral to your search performance.

Generative AI tools like GPT-3.5, GPT-4, and Jasper.ai have taken the SEO scene by storm, and almost every leading business is working closely with a content marketing company to establish and grow its online presence with this technology.

AI-driven platforms like Brightedge can scan the web for relevant content ideas for the keywords you choose. They can provide you with:

  • Content gaps you can capitalize on
  • Trending topics
  • A framework of the sections and pattern of your content

With such resources available readily, it becomes much easier to create content purpose-made to solve specific problems and provide relevance and value to the user.

Generative AI models are now capable of generating meta tags, sentences, paragraphs, and even fully SEO-friendly articles in seconds with just a few prompts.

However, AI is still in a developmental phase and whether it will replace human writers depends on a range of factors. The quality and accuracy of the data being fed into the AI-powered system have a deep impact on the efficacy of the results generated.

You can use AI tools to generate and optimize content in the following ways:

  • Topic Generation – Use tools like CopyAI to get hundreds of engaging ideas for articles and posts. You can then instruct the tools to generate headings and subheadings according to your SEO strategy.
  • First paragraph and draft – Although some AI models can produce entire articles within seconds, it’s better to work your way gradually from titles, opening paragraphs, and subheadings individually to ensure that each section is relatable to the others.
  • Optimizing Content – You can use tools like SEO Content Assistant and Farse to generate search engine-friendly content that helps you rank higher.
  • Meta Tag Generation – For companies with hundreds of landing pages, writing unique meta descriptions and page titles can be a mammoth task. AI-based tools like Headlime and Jasper let you generate large amounts of meta tags in a matter of seconds.

3.4 Search Algorithm Analysis

A significant perk of implementing AI in SEO is the automated tracking of search engine algorithms and their latest updates, making it indispensable for every business and digital marketing company looking to grow its operations.

Google is constantly introducing fresh AI-driven updates to its ranking algorithms, AI is playing a key role in studying and constantly upscaling its abilities according to the latest changes with the help of machine learning and deep learning.

AI-based ranking works specifically on a technology called “Learning to Rank” (LTR). It uses machine learning (ML) algorithms to scan and rank websites in response to searches.

LTR takes the common results of the search engine and re-ranks them according to the users’ needs. Its primary aim is to enhance the relevance of search results and provide more value to the user.

An AI-assisted model is trained to anticipate a relevance score for sites displayed on SERPs using data on user interactions. With the help of LTR, the AI-based system can automatically learn to rank websites on its own, thereby improving the value and relevance of the search result.

This process of training the AI platform can be put into practice in three ways:

  • Supervised Learning – The model is trained by humans who label and categorize the data sets for the algorithm to learn.
  • Unsupervised Learning – The model learns to collect its own data sets and rank pages based on self-taught metrics.
  • Reinforced Learning – The model learns how to rank based on the feedback received on its results. User actions like page visits, clicks, and conversions are considered positive feedback and the algorithm learns to rank such pages higher.

3.5 Observing and Predicting Search Algorithm Changes

Aided by artificial intelligence, you can monitor and foresee algorithm changes and their potential effects months before they appear on the rank trackers. As a result, most businesses are leaning heavily on professional digital marketing companies to stay in the loop with the latest changes.

Traditional SEO practices are often based on historical data that may not always be relevant at present. AI SEO, however, is capable of learning from huge volumes of information on user interactions, spotting emerging patterns, and predicting algorithm changes and their potential impact.

Instead of spending time and resources on predictive analysis, you can use AI tools like Market Brew to know exactly what to expect from an upcoming Google algorithm update. Market Brew is capable of self-calibrating according to existing search engine models.

It shows you how the ranking of the page fluctuates before and after an update from Google based on algorithmic bias and crawlability. Every time the calibration process takes place, Market Brew updates and sorts the bias/weight settings.

Also read: 7 Major SEO Mistakes And Ways To Fix Them

3.6 Testing Your SEO Performance

Another area where SEO is being remodeled by artificial intelligence is analyzing and drawing insights from a website’s traffic and performance over a while. AI-driven tools have relieved SEO professionals of a lot of work by collecting data, evaluating it, and providing actionable steps to improve traffic and search ranking.

AI allows businesses to scale their website’s effectiveness in adapting to frequent market and algorithm changes and growing their online visibility. AI-powered tools like Alli AI and Rankings Analyzer can help you in:

  • Conducting website audits
  • Performance and security testing
  • Drawing scalable insights from data
  • Optimizing content automatically, and
  • Fix duplicate content issues.

Tools like SEO Scout allow you to compare your content to your competitor’s with the help of natural language processing. You can also analyze various titles and meta descriptions that you can choose for your page’s snippet to be displayed on SERPs.

AI also helps you enhance your technical SEO aspects such as website structure, duplicate content, identity broken links, and other such issues that can hurt your online presence.

AI-based algorithms can interpret website data, spot technical issues, and provide solutions or recommendations for better search performance. These models can also examine server logs for crawlability issues, understand search engine behavior, and optimize your website’s visibility.

3.7 Enhanced User Experience

Since Google’s primary focus is to provide as much value as possible to the user, UX (user experience) has become crucial for any website to outrank its peers. In 2021, Google announced that Page Experience will play a key role in search rankings.

Page Experience is a set of metrics that quantify the user’s satisfaction levels (or the lack thereof) while interacting with a web page. It is not just limited to the page’s informational relevance and value, tracking the overall experience based on factors such as page speed and structure.

With AI search algorithms are gradually learning to think and reason like actual human users, and can decide whether your page offers a positive experience or not.

This means that when the user makes a search, Google bots scan web pages that provide:

  • Authoritative and relevant content
  • Have appropriate structure
  • Are easy to navigate
  • Have fast load times, and
  • Are mobile-friendly.

When users have an engaging experience on your site, it increases their dwell time and encourages them to make purchases or browse more. It also motivates users to share your content if it offers solutions or provides value.

These are strong signals to search engine algorithms to make your content rank higher on SERPs for related searches. AI tools like Uizard and FramerAI can help you create engaging UI/UX designs that keep users spending more time on your site.

4. Growing Trends In AI SEO

While AI has been successfully integrated into most of Google’s and other search engines’ ranking algorithms, it is constantly undergoing fresh innovations and finding new applications in SEO.

Unless you have the required technical skills it is advisable to hire an artificial development company to harness the full potential of AI and update your website catering to the latest practices. Let’s take a look at some of the ways AI is setting SEO trends for the future.

4.1 Voice Search Optimization

People are increasingly using their voice-activated devices like phones, smartwatches, and voice assistants to make searches on the internet. Voice SEO (VSEO) has become crucial for online visibility with the ever-growing usage of smartphones and IoT devices.

A Statista report suggests that the number of voice-based assistants in the world will rise to a whopping 8.4 billion by the end of 2024, exceeding the global population.

It is a must for your SEO strategy to take voice inputs into account as they are different from typed inputs. The primary one is that while typing, we tend to enter 2 to 5-word phrases as queries, on voice assistants we prefer to speak in fully phrased questions or specific long-tail keywords.

This is where AI tools like Dialogflow, Converse.ai, and Farse offer fast and efficient platforms to create voice SEO-optimized content by providing you with the questions voice searchers are asking. You can then create high-value content based on these queries.

4.2 Personalized Search Results

Another new normal in the SEO scene is personalized results according to search intent. AI-based models can analyze the user’s search history, preferences, and location to provide customized results for each individual.

AI chatbots, while still in a developmental phase, have already become efficient in processing language from voice inputs and can provide solutions in a conversational form.

Generative AI models can produce even better results in content creation when only your data has gone into the training process. However, it is vital to ensure that accurate and reliable data is used to train the bot so that it does not generate flawed and incomplete results.

It has become integral for software and website development companies to harness the capabilities of artificial intelligence-based chat support systems as businesses are constantly looking to improve their customer experience and outperform their peers.

4.3 Big Data and SEO

Marketing aided by big data has become a valuable proposition with the increasing use of artificial intelligence in SEO. Big data refers to larger and more complex sets of data, especially derived from new data sources.

These sets are so voluminous that conventional data-processing systems cannot analyze them effectively. However, AI-driven models can go through and learn from such data sets within minutes and provide actionable recommendations.

With the use of AI to handle big data, search engine algorithms can differentiate between similar individuals based on age, gender, educational qualifications, location, profession, social media activity, search history, and other such factors.

AI-based platforms can be fed big data and deployed to spot patterns and trends in user behavior and generate fulfilling and relevant search results.

Before Wrapping Up

Just like all other technologies that have reached new levels of speed and productivity with artificial intelligence, SEO practices are being revamped with AI implementation as well. From identifying keywords and generating relevant content to performance testing and predictive analysis, AI is changing the way search engines work and content is created.

If you want to harness the potential of AI and integrate it into your digital platforms, connect with us at Webgen Technologies, a trusted digital marketing company with hundreds of happy clients. We guarantee cutting-edge solutions and foolproof performance to improve your online presence.

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