How to Use AI for SEO: A Detailed Deep Dive

Leverage AI in SEO without Compromising Your Rankings

Published On: February 22, 202410 min readCategories: Blog, SEO
A robot with an overwatching AI eye.

How to Use AI for SEO: A Detailed Deep Dive

A robot on a computer using AI and a tree a plant in the background

Using AI for SEO can help you take your content game to the next level, but only when used correctly.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will know that 2023 was the year that AI took the content marketing world by storm.
Such is the continued buzz about this exciting technological advancement that many people are starting to ask how to use AI for SEO strategies.
And it makes sense, right? After all, AI’s data-driven capabilities and generative text potential make it any SEO fan’s digital dream and the perfect tool for creating SEO-friendly content in just a couple of clicks.

Well, yes and no.

While AI can definitely help speed up and improve your SEO strategy, it must be used the right way.

So, in this article, we will break down exactly how to implement AI SEO optimization, what you should avoid doing, and how to get started today.

What Role Does AI Play in Effective SEO Strategies?

A robot examining a computer figuring out AI for SEO

AI can play an effective role in your SEO efforts when used as a tool rather than a replacer.

But before we dive straight into the pros and cons of using AI in your SEO strategy, we should first touch on the role AI has within an SEO strategy, and why content is important for SEO.

For many years now, content has been widely regarded as the king when it comes to driving more traffic to a brand’s website. 

Each new web page is a new opportunity for a customer to discover your products or services, and shows them your knowledge in the industry.

It also shows Google that you are an authoritative voice on that subject and that you should be pushed to the top of the rankings, as your content is consistent, frequent, and of the highest quality.

AI-powered SEO offers to provide all those benefits, while reducing the cost and time required to achieve the same results.

But AI SEO optimization is not just about asking ChatGPT to generate an article and posting it on your page (a mistake we are seeing more and more brands make). The relationship between the two is actually much greater than that.

How to use AI for SEO

With that in mind, let’s dive into how to use AI for SEO.

For keyword research

A screenshot of AHREFS a commonly used SEO tool for keyword research.

Tools like Ahrefs have led the way for keyword research for some time now

While AI for content generation is still in its infancy, AI keyword research has actually been around for some time now.
Ahrefs is the perfect example of this, with its website crawler running through the top results of every search query, helping you identify which phrases are getting searched frequently and how much competition there is for the top of the search rankings for that topic.
This AI tool allows you to unearth hidden gems where search volume is high, but competition is low, to help build your brand authority and reach your target audience.

For content clustering

A screenshot of Keyword Cupid. A commonly used tool for Keyword Clustering in AI SEO

Keyword Cupid is a great way to cluster keywords into content pillars to help build topical authority.

Another of the best AI SEO tools is Keyword Cupid, a tool that takes your keywords from AI tools like Ahrefs, and groups them into relevant keyword clusters.

“Why is that important?” I hear you ask as you read this article on your laptop screen in your favorite coffee shop (yes, I have magic powers).

Recently, with the influx in new content from a wide variety of places, Google and other search engines have placed more emphasis on ranking websites that have high topical authority.

To achieve this, you need to cover a topic and all its subtopics, much like a worrying mother swaddles her baby in cold weather.

Keyword Cupid provides you with the clusters to target, taking out the guesswork and streamlining your content creation process.

For content foundations

A screenshot of ChatGPT displaying how to create content outlines.

With the right prompts, ChatGPT can be a great source for detailed content outlines.

When looking at AI content generation, while we certainly don’t recommend generating complete articles in ChatGPT, that doesn’t mean it can’t come in handy during the planning phase.

Take the example above. I used the prompt:
Please write me a detailed outline for an article on “How to Become a Student Landlord”

– The article outline must include that phrase in the title and in one of the headings.

– Please also include a frequently asked questions section

– The article will be approximately 1000 words and should include how to become a student landlord, what to consider the pros and cons, and a summary.’

Even with this simple prompt, ChatGPT was able to create a handy content outline that we could then use to cover the topic in greater detail.

You can also use the tool to create SEO-friendly FAQ sections, meta descriptions, and even article titles.

If you were to listen to Google, it would be easy to believe that backlinks do not play a very big role in helping websites rank well.

But you would be wrong to think this.

Sure, Google doesn’t want every single website to link to your page, regardless of industry or authority. That is a clear sign of paying for backlinks, which is a big no-no and something Google will penalize you for.

But remember, Google does not have the workforce required to manually review every page that is created on a subject. As a result, having high-quality links pointing to your website is a great way for their algorithm to identify whether your content is valuable or not.

However, gaining backlinks that are of a high quality is not always easy and often time-consuming.

That’s where tools like ChatGPT can help. By using the tool to create an outreach template, you can spend more time personalizing the content and contacting desirable businesses for collaboration.

You could even use it to create your very own dynamic tool, a concept covered expertly in this video from Ahrefs.

For article optimization

A screenshot of surfer SEO displaying content quality and opimization score

SurferSEO is a fantastic tool for identifying important keywords and phrases to include in your content.

Finally, you can use AI tools to help optimize your SEO efforts. SurferSEO is one of the best AI SEO tools for this. It takes your keyword phrase, analyzes the top results, and provides you with all the details you need to write something better, including word count, headings, paragraphs, keywords, and more.

As you can see above, our ChatGPT-generated outline currently has a score of 43/100. We can use the guidance from SurferSEO to turn that into an 80+, giving our content a much better chance of ranking well.

How not to use AI for SEO

Now that we’ve touched on how to use AI for SEO, let’s look at some of the things you should avoid.

To replace skilled writing and editing

While generative AI can do a lot of things, it can’t replace the skill and expertise of an SEO writer or editor.

These tools should certainly be used alongside expertise and writing skills, but if you cut that step out altogether, don’t expect the content you create to ever reach your desired target audience.

Google wants to see unique content that takes the conversation forward. Otherwise, why would it rank yours over what’s already there?

And when you consider that AI can only operate from what is already online, you will quickly realize that it is incapable of providing this service without significant human influence.

To implement keyword stuffing

Back in 2015, the world of SEO was still pretty new, and all you really needed to do to get your article to rank highly on search engines was to write an unnecessarily long article packed with as many keywords as possible.

Quality writing was an afterthought, and all the focus was on getting as many keywords into the content as possible.

But as other technology has advanced, so too has Google’s ranking algorithm. While it is possible to get tools like ChatGPT to integrate a large chunk of keywords into your content, it certainly isn’t effective (thank goodness!).

Now, other factors, such as topical authority, domain rating, internal and external linking, and uniqueness of content, all play a much larger role in ranking.

This is one of the benefits of using an SEO company, to ensure you don’t get caught in the trap of following outdated tactics and techniques.

To spam potential collaborators

Finally, if you plan on using AI tools like ChatGPT to generate generic outreach emails regarding collaborations or link-building opportunities, think again.

Many website owners are aware of the importance of link sharing and collaboration and, as a result, are often bombarded with similar styles of messages.

And where do they end up? Straight in the trash bin.

Instead, investing time in making your outreach more personalized is critical for success, even if it means you contact fewer brands.

Unlock AI’s Potential Within Search Engine Optimization Through NAV43

A person working on an SEO strategy

NAV43 is dedicated to helping clients craft the perfect SEO strategy with a team full of diverse and well-skilled members.

So, is AI content bad for SEO?

As you can see from this article, when simply generated and uploaded, it will likely have little to no effect on your SEO efforts.

However, when carefully crafted, used smartly, and topped up with a sprinkle of human-written magic, AI tools and strategies can greatly improve your SEO strategy.

However, if there’s one thing we learned from 2023, it’s that the world of SEO continues to evolve at a rapid rate. If you want to ensure that your SEO strategy is up to date and fit for purpose, investing in the services of SEO experts is essential.

Get in touch with us today, and we can discuss how our SEO services can take your SEO game to the next level.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Use AI for SEO

Does Google penalize you for using AI tools?

No. Fully AI-generated articles do not rank highly on Google, but they do not penalize you for using tools to research articles, create outlines, and other elements of your SEO strategy.

How does AI work for SEO?

AI can be implemented within your SEO strategy in many ways, including for outline generation, competitor research, keyword research, and content optimization.

What are the best AI tools for SEO?

The best tools for SEO depend on your requirements. Generally speaking, some of the best tools include SurferSEO, Keyword Cupid, Ahrefs, and ChatGPT.

How will AI change the future of SEO?

The truth is that no one can be 100% sure of the impact of AI on SEO, as the situation is changing almost daily. One thing is for certain, though. As technology advances and artificial intelligence is included in Google search results, having a strong SEO strategy will be crucial for success in an overcrowded digital market.

Will AI replace SEO?

While AI has certainly changed SEO and will continue to do so, it will never replace it. AI technology learns from human-written content. Otherwise, it could lead to AI model collapse, which is why Google will continue to promote skilled SEO efforts to the top of the rankings.