The word on everyone’s lips at the moment is ChatGPT. The AI technology has caused a stir, being both praised and criticised on different aspects. Its impressive ability to mimic human conversation is very advanced, yet its factual unevenness leaves a lot to be desired.
But, ultimately, it looks as thought ChatGPT – and others like it – is here to stay. For the SEO world, this provides some interesting opportunities as well as some pitfalls to look out for.
Let’s take a look at how ChatGPT can help with your SEO.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT uses artificial technology to provide information in a human-like way. That means it’s designed to work as if you’re speaking to a real person who is knowledgeable about the topic you are discussing.
Released in November 2022, it’s developed by OpenAI, a company that was co-founded by Elon Musk (although he’s no longer involved).
How does ChatGPT work?
ChatGPT works much like Google in that it uses natural language processing (NLP) to learn patterns in data such as text. By processing a huge amount of data, it can understand the meaning between words, phrases, and large chunks of text.
This understanding gives it the ability to answer questions – because it understands both the question being asked, and the answer it’s providing. Not only that, but it can recognise the important elements within text, so it can interpret the intention behind even large chunks of words.
Limitations of ChatGPT
Of course, it’s far from perfect. ChatGPT’s information isn’t always accurate, and it’s been known to write essays that look comprehensive on the surface, but actually say very little. It also has limited access to information after 2021, and can be biased in the details it provides.
Be aware that Google will also penalise the use of AI-generated content. You’re probably fine using small sections of text (see below for more information), but you should definitely avoid creating pages full of AI-generated content.
If you choose to use ChatGPT, it’s important to understand that it’s not perfect and certainly not a replacement for human-driven SEO.
So, with that in mind, let’s look at how you can use ChatGPT in search engine optimisation.
How can ChatGPT be used for SEO?
Perhaps one of the most useful SEO functions for ChatGPT currently is its ability to help you find new keywords.
Keyword research is an important part of SEO, and is vital for understanding what your target audience is searching for. With ChatGPT, you can start with one keyword and ask for related keywords, or ask for it to provide you with a list of keywords that suit your business.
You won’t receive an exhaustive list, but you can then pick some keywords and use those to repeat your search around a more specific topic.
For example, if you search for keywords related to weddings, one result is “wedding themes”. You can then search for keywords related to wedding themes, and you’re provided with further, more specific keywords including “vintage wedding themes” and “fairytale wedding themes”. So, if your website has a page on wedding themes, or you’re looking for content ideas for your blog, here’s a long list of inspiration.
Learn more about keyword research and its importance in SEO.
Spelling and grammar
If you’re not too hot on spelling and grammar, but need to write content for your website. Then ChatGPT can help correct your mistakes. Just enter the text you want to check and tell ChatGPT what you want it to do (i.e. check spelling and grammar). It will then generate the same text, but corrected.
Though this kind of function is obviously available on programmes such as Microsoft Word, it’s arguable that ChatGPT has a better understanding of natural language, and wider access to various spellings of words, so will be able to more effectively correct your writing.
Of course, it’s always worth proofreading anything so make sure it still makes sense.
Similar to keyword research, if you want to answer your customers’ frequently asked questions, then ChatGPT can provide ideas both for the questions and the answers. Remember to be careful how much AI-generated text you use to avoid being penalised by Google.
As an expert on the subject of your business, it’s likely that you know the answers to the questions. So ChatGPT can simply help you get some ideas of what to include in your FAQ.
Draft page content
As I’ve highlighted previously, Google doesn’t like excessive AI-generated content. So if you’re using ChatGPT to create content, you need to be very careful how you go about it. It’s best to use the programme for inspiration and as a jumping-off point, rather than copying a full page’s worth of text, verbatim.
Instead of using ChatGPT for a large bulk of text, you can ask it for bullet points related to a subject, and use that as a potential structure. You then fill out the content with your own knowledge. This not only makes the information more unique to your site, it takes advantage of ChatGPT’s abilities, without relying on it too heavily.
Meta titles and descriptions
Meta titles and descriptions help briefly describe what your website and individual pages are about. They are what you see in the search results on search engines such as Google and Bing.
Meta titles and descriptions should be unique for every page, which can be easy enough to achieve if you have a small website, but is harder for complex sites such as those dealing in e-commerce. On an e-commerce site, you’re more likely to have a lot of similar pages (e.g. products in the same category) that require unique but similar meta titles and descriptions.
As well as being difficult to come up with lots of different Meta titles and descriptions, it can also be quite tedious. ChatGPT can alleviate this somewhat by providing you with numerous options that you can then use on your site.
Alternatively, you may have come up with the text yourself but want to check if they’re could be a better way of writing it. Enter it into ChatGPT to get some alternatives that you can choose from (or not).
As always, remember to proof read and sense check all text to ensure it suits the page.
Coming up with new blog content can be tricky, especially if you specialise in a small niche, or have already written a lot of content. As well as my tips for coming up with new content, use ChatGPT to research content ideas. Enter a subject and ask for questions, searches and sub-topics. You can then take those results and narrow it down further if you need to. You may have to sift through topics that you’ve already covered in depth, but you’re also likely to find some gems that you haven’t yet considered.
ChatGPT and SEO
There’s no doubt that ChatGPT has changed – and will continue to change – the face of SEO. But change doesn’t mean worse. This AI platform can be leveraged to great benefit for your SEO, whether that’s through content inspiration or checking your grammar. It can provide you with inspiration, reduce the need for tedious jobs, and help you get better results from search.