Since Google Search first launched in 1998, there didn’t appear to be much change in the search engine landscape. Users typed in their query and were presented with a list of blue links. But now, the two largest search engines, Google and Bing, are making major changes to the way they present search results.
On February 8th, Google unveiled Bard, a conversational AI service to be integrated into Google Search. A day earlier, Microsoft held a Bing and ChatGPT event, unveiling a revolutionary new update to its search engine, powered by OpenAI’s large language models. To get ahead of these changes, businesses can start taking the following steps to update their SEO strategies.
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1. Re-evaluate keywords
AI search engines are designed to understand queries more like the way a person would, so marketers need to consider how real people are likely to search for their products or services. That means rethinking the keywords you’re targeting and focusing on long-tail keywords that are more conversational in nature.
For example, consider targeting the most natural phrases that people are likely to use when searching for your product. Instead of targeting “top 10 cars to buy in 2023,” you might target something like “what are the best cars to buy in 2023?”
Interact with tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT to get a better sense of how people are likely to phrase their queries. This will help you create content that will be more likely to appear in the AI-generated answers that appear in the search engine results page.
2. Clearly organize information for AI algorithms
AI search engines rely on algorithms to read and summarize content from multiple sources. As such, it’s important to make sure your content is well-structured and easily understandable by machines.
That means organizing your content into different sections and subsections, using headings, subheadings and bullet points to break up text. It also means making sure you use the right types of HTML tags, such as H1 and H2 tags, to help the algorithm understand the structure of your content. Most company blogs and sites are already doing this, but the integration of new AI features into search engines makes this a must-have and not a nice-to-have.
3. Ensure factual accuracy at all costs
AI search engines will highly value factual accuracy. As seen in the Google Bard presentation, AI-generated answers will have a simple thumbs up and thumbs down system for users to vote whether the answer is correct or not.
Unfortunately for Google, Google Bard made a small mistake in its first answer to a query about constellations. Google stock then lost over $100 billion in value in a matter of hours.
So, it’s important to make sure your content is factually correct and up-to-date. You should also add citations and references to back up any claims you make in your content.
Related: 7 Best SEO Tools to Help You Rank Higher in Google
4. Stand out with your content
Carefully-designed marketing is crucial to stand out. You need to make sure your marketing messages are clear, differentiated and relevant to your target audience. Legacy strategies like using general advertising to reach as many people as possible are no longer effective.
Consider using targeted marketing methods such as account-based marketing (ABM), which involves targeting specific accounts that are more likely to convert. This approach can help you be more efficient with your marketing spend and get better results. ABM alone, of course, is not enough — but it can be a powerful tool in your arsenal.
More granular methods like retargeting can also help you reach consumers who are more likely to be interested in your product or service. The Facebook Pixel, for example, allows businesses to show ads to people who have visited their website or taken specific actions — such as adding an item to their shopping cart.
Moreover, you need to make sure your marketing is personalized and relevant to the individual. Thanks to data and technology, businesses can now send highly targeted messages to specific segments of their audience.
That content, too, should be interactive and engaging, and it should offer something of value to the consumer. For instance, surveys, quizzes and calculators are all ways to make your marketing more engaging. involve.me is one tool that makes it easy to create such content.
Interactive content is also a great way to capture data about your audience. This data can be used to create more personalized content and better understand what types of content are resonating with your audience.
5. Build authority and trust in your content
AI search engines will prioritize content from trusted sources, so it’s important to make sure your content is authoritative and accurate. This means providing citations and references to back up any claims you make in your content.
It also means working to build your reputation as an expert in your field. You can do this by participating in relevant conversations on social media, responding to customer feedback and creating content that is valuable to your target audience.
It’s also important to be clear about the terms of your products and services. Customers should know exactly what they are getting, and there should be no surprises. This includes things like delivery times, return policies and warranty information.
Finally, you need to show that you are available to help if something goes wrong. Whether it’s a problem with an order or a question about your product, make sure you have a plan in place to address customer concerns quickly and efficiently.
Related: How Can AI Improve SEO?
Google and Bing are making major changes to their search engines, which will require businesses to update their SEO strategies to stay ahead of the curve. To do this, businesses need to re-evaluate their keywords, clearly organize information for AI algorithms, ensure factual accuracy, stand out with their content and build trust and authority in their content. By following these steps, businesses will be well-positioned to succeed in the new AI search engine world.