Keyword Strategies in the Age of AI 

13 October 2023
By Sam Coppola

By now, it is highly likely that you have used an A.I. tool like ChatGPT or Google’s Bard. These tools make our lives so much easier. Whether you’re looking to create a meal plan, or need information on travel insurance, these tools can be super helpful.  

Try the prompt “top 5 meals for the work week ahead” to create a list of dishes, instructions on preparation and the ingredients you’ll need.  

Need advice on travel insurance? Ask the AI for “some information on the best travel insurance” and watch it generate a list of recommendations.  

Writing an article for a fully integrated marketing agency (that’s us!) about how advertising agencies should now be focusing on customer experience? Yep, ChatGPT can do that too!  

AI-powered algorithms are now being utilised to generate content, often with a focus on specific keywords to enhance visibility and ranking on search engine results. However, with an increasing number of websites employing AI-assisted content creation targeting the same keywords, the challenge lies in standing out amidst the digital crowd. Google is now expected to distinguish the content based on quality, relevance, and authority.  

Believe it or not, the last paragraph you just read was generated by ChatGPT, with a short prompt asking: “write me a paragraph on keyword strategies and AI”. 

Accurate? Sure. But what difference do you notice between the above few paragraphs? What is the AI version lacking? Tonality and personality. Or as we at kwpx like to refer to it… the vibes.  

We know AI-generated content can lack depth, but what exactly does it mean for keyword research, content strategies, and the bigger SEO picture? And why does this matter to your brand’s personality and identity?  

 

The power (and problem) of AI content automation 

Let’s say you want to fill your website blog page with detailed, keyword-rich articles. You understand the basics of SEO so you know that this will help your website appear when people are searching for information, people will read your amazing articles and your site will, therefore be ranked higher by Google. A fool-proof plan!  

You know a few buzz words around your topic so you ask ChatGPT the following prompt:
“I need you to write me an article on the travel industry with the main topic being the ‘Top 7 travel destinations on a budget’ and I would like you to use these keywords: travel, economical, budget travelling, tourist locations and cheap travel”. 

Immediately it begins to generate a wonderfully crafted article, and before you know it, you have 800 or so words. That’s it, right? You copy, paste and upload to your website for everyone to read. And then you wait…  

Pretty quickly you’ll notice that not a lot of users are finding this article. You may also notice that the page is not as visible on search engines as you’d hope.  

What went wrong?  

While you nominated a few keywords, chances are you haven’t done extensive keyword research on the topic, and know what users are actually searching for at the time. Keywords and phrases are what lead users to your content. It is imperative you only use keywords that have some form of exposure and search traction. This type of research lets you peek into the minds of potential readers, understanding what they’re searching for and how they phrase it.  

On top of this, Google is actively identifying and ignoring content copy-pasted from AI. If another travel agent uses a similar prompt, you will see an extremely similar article posted, and Google will recognise it as such.  

The other thing missing from the article would be any nuances and personality. It’s what takes an ok article to a great piece of writing. Your users and readers are seeking an experience, a deeper connection. So, if your article lacks your brand’s unique personality (and vibe), it’s like serving a meal without seasoning. Bland, forgettable, and not something your readers will rave about. 

This is where customer experience, again comes into play.   

 

Experience vs. Ease 

One of the ways Google is expected to differentiate content is through quality and experience. Google has long emphasised the importance of its EEAT algorithm.   

Haven’t heard of it? E-E-A-T stands for expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, and content that demonstrates high EEAT levels is likely to stand out. AI-generated content that aligns with these factors is more likely to be perceived as valuable and relevant. 

Google is now prioritising the whole user experience. For a marketing agency that prides itself on the customer experience (CX), this is something we love to hear, but, its not necessarily great for AI. Tools like Google’s Bard or Chat GBT have trouble meeting the quality threshold for the experience aspect of content. It can’t consider the experience that a user will be having, as every website, every brand, and every bit of content will inevitably have a different message or tone to be conveyed. A level of human intervention is essential.  

Google have officially advised against publishing automatically generated AI content using tools like ChatGPT without somebody reviewing the content. Checkout a snippet from the Google algorithm developer guidelines set in place February 2023:
“Using automation—including AI—to generate content with the primary purpose of manipulating ranking in search results is a violation of our spam policies.” 

“…however content is produced, those seeking success in Google Search should be looking to produce original, high-quality, people-first content demonstrating qualities E-E-A-T.” 

Reading this, it is clear that using AI automation is acceptable, but only if the content has the user in mind first and foremost.  

Appropriate use of AI or automation is not against Google’s guidelines, as Danny Sullivan from Google confirmed. AI-generated content isn’t necessarily against the company’s guidelines, assuming it is acceptable if an editor reviews it and undergoes fact-checking. 

For people creating the content, ensuring that anything generated by AI algorithms adheres to EEAT principles is critical. It involves accurate information, well-researched content, proper citation of sources, and a level of clarity and coherence that reflects expertise and trustworthiness. Incorporating these elements into AI-generated content will help it rise above and be seen. 

 

The Next Phase 

These new AI tools make it easier for you to create content within seconds, but it’s not enough. All these tools are doing really is dissecting the information they have indexed and creating new content based on old content.  

This means it won’t have the uniqueness and freshness that people are looking for, and more importantly, won’t have the tailored experience and identity that your users have come to know. No-one wants to read regurgitated copy that’s just a spin off.  

In today’s digital landscape, AI is truly fantastic, but let’s face it, it doesn’t have the same life experiences and gut feelings we do. Adding that human touch will mean a distinctive vibe and brand personality that ensures your content will stand out.  

How will you strike the balance between automation and the human touch for your brand’s unique identity? 

 

Sam Coppola
CRO Manager
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Kwpx is a creative company that specialises in communication, and we respect how important language is to all Aboriginal Australians. As a company that works on Kaurna, Whadjuk Noongar, and Larrakia Country, we want to acknowledge the importance of connection to the Country. We take pride in everything we do and see reconciliation as important work for all Australians.

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Adelaide
Level 1, 251 Rundle Street
Adelaide SA 5000
08 8217 9100
Darwin
The Village Workplace
Level 1, 38 Parap Road
Parap NT 0820
08 8941 1799
FREMANTLE
131 High Street
Fremantle WA 6160
0422 174 663
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