Harnessing ChatGPT for SEO: A Comprehensive Guide With Pros and Cons
As technology continues to evolve, so does how we use that technology in relation to SEO and our digital marketing efforts. So to stay ahead of the competition we need to use innovative strategies that utilize these advancements in technology. One such tool that has been making waves in the industry is ChatGPT, a powerful AI language model developed by OpenAI. In this blog post, we will explore various uses of ChatGPT in SEO, delving into the pros and cons of various use cases, and providing you with a comprehensive guide to effectively utilize AI for your SEO efforts.
1. Content Creation with ChatGPT
One of the most obvious and effective uses of ChatGPT is content creation. Using a prompt you can have ChatGPT produce all kinds of written content. The more specific instructions you give it, the better the content will be. For example, you can tell it the word length you want, keywords to use, and provide headings, meta titles, descriptions, or any other kinds of parameters.
Pros of ChatGPT for Content Creation
- Speed and Efficiency: ChatGPT can quickly generate high-quality content, saving you time, effort, and money if you pay a writer. This enables you to focus on other important aspects of your SEO strategy. The time you can save from waiting on writers to produce content can end up being quite significant over time, allowing you to apply your time to things like sales, reporting, technical SEO, and much more.
- Creativity and Versatility: ChatGPT can generate content on a wide variety of topics, making it an ideal tool for crafting engaging and informative blog posts, articles, and more. This can make crafting a content strategy much easier and save you tons of time while doing so. You can ask ChatGPT to produce a list of topics related to your industry, you can add other specific instructions to your prompt like “create topics that have high search volume” or tell it how many topics to create. Once you’ve entered your prompt, just sit back and watch ChatGPT go to work and populate your list of topics for you.
- Keyword Optimization: By inputting targeted keywords, ChatGPT can create content that is optimized for search engines, helping you rank higher in search results. You’ll want to make sure you give specific instructions on which keywords you want ChatGPT to include in the content it produces for you. To find out which keywords you should use, we would recommend you use a tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush, these tools are great for keyword research and allow you to view helpful metrics such as search volume and keyword difficulty. Using that knowledge you can ask ChatGPT to use the keywords best suited to the piece of content you want to create.
- Consistency and Tone: With ChatGPT, you can maintain a consistent tone and style across your content, enhancing your brand identity and making it more memorable for your audience. Again to achieve this, you’ll want to make sure that you are specific in your prompt when you ask ChatGPT to create your content. Make sure to include something like “write the content with a professional but casual tone”, without this instruction ChatGPT won’t know to apply a specific tone you want in the content it creates for you.
Cons of ChatGPT for Content Creation
- Potential for Inaccuracy: ChatGPT is an AI model that may occasionally generate inaccurate or outdated information. The AI model, even in its most advanced form (at the time of this writing), GPT4, still has its limits. Such as that it can’t update its knowledge in real-time, which leads to it occasionally producing wrong or outdated information. So because of this, It is crucial to fact-check the content before publishing.
- Over-optimization: AI-generated content may sometimes over-optimize keywords, leading to keyword stuffing, which can harm your SEO efforts. Ensure proper keyword density by manually editing the content and using a tool like Rank Math to determine the proper keyword density you should have for your piece of content.
- Lack of Human Touch: While ChatGPT can create engaging content, it may lack the personal touch that only human writers can provide. This can also end up harming your SEO efforts because Google’s algorithm has been updated to identify AI-generated content and penalize websites that are using it. If your website were flagged by Google for using AI-generated content, you would see a steep decline in keyword rankings and potential indexing issues, meaning some of your pages might not appear in Google searches at all. To avoid this consider combining AI-generated content with human-written content, and checking your content against an AI content detector.
2. Keyword Research and Analysis with ChatGPT
While there have been several methods for performing keyword research in the past, with a variety of tools and strategies, utilizing an AI model like ChatGPT is a relatively new method that is still being refined and explored. Thankfully this powerful tool allows for some interesting applications with keyword research that we will be able to use and improve upon existing methods and strategies.
Pros of ChatGPT for Keyword Research
- Extensive Keyword Suggestions: ChatGPT can generate a large number of keyword ideas based on your input, helping you discover new, relevant, and high-search volume keywords. While ChatGPT can provide you with an extensive list of keywords, it’s best practice to check those keywords against a keyword research tool like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz. This is because ChatGPT’s keyword metric data is out of date, so any of the data you get from it you’ll want to take with a grain of salt.
- Long-tail Keyword Generation: ChatGPT is capable of generating long-tail keywords, which often have lower competition and higher conversion rates, making them valuable additions to your SEO campaigns. A great example of longtail keywords you can use in your SEO campaign are questions that you can use as FAQ’s at the end of posts or for even a whole FAQ page. If you apply schema correctly, your FAQ’s and answers could appear directly in the SERPs when a user asks Google their question. Like above however, due to ChatGPT’s outdated keyword metric data you’ll want to check with one of the keyword research tools previously mentioned to find out the current data and then make your choices on which longtail keywords to use based on that.
Cons of ChatGPT for Keyword Research
- Incomplete Data: While ChatGPT can suggest keywords, it may not provide comprehensive data such as search volume, keyword difficulty, or competition. We highly recommend using dedicated keyword research tools to make sure you’re getting current and accurate data. At the time of this writing, GPT4 informed us that the last time its keyword metric data was updated was in September of 2021, which makes it about a year and a half old. If you’ve worked as an SEO for any amount of time you know this makes that data very unreliable, so again we heavily recommend you use a keyword research tool to get the most up-to-date information on your target keywords.
- Manual Filtering: If you’ve ever done in-depth keyword research before, this is something that should be familiar to you. When using ChatGPT you will likely need to manually filter the suggested keywords to ensure relevancy, avoid targeting keywords that may not be beneficial to your SEO efforts, and make sure the keywords have relevant search intent. Similar to the way you would analyze keywords when using a tool like Ahrefs/SEMrush. While ChatGPT is a powerful tool, it sadly has not reached a level yet where it can use its intelligence to filter out keywords for us automatically.
- Analyzing Competitor Keywords: Sadly, ChatGPT is unable to help you with analyzing competitor keywords. When we asked it to do this for us it simply said; “I’m sorry, but as an AI language model, I am unable to browse the internet and directly access websites to provide you with the information you are looking for. My knowledge is based on the training data provided to me, and I cannot interact with the internet in real-time.” So basically it is incapable of helping us with this task and we must rely on using any of the keyword research tools that we’ve mentioned previously.
3. On-page SEO Optimization with ChatGPT
On-page SEO is another essential part of any SEO campaign. It contributes to not only what your users see on your pages, but also has an effect on how crawlers will navigate your website. It can also have a direct impact on your keyword rankings and click-thru rates. Due to the capabilities of ChatGPT, we can utilize this tool to help with our on-page SEO.
Pros of ChatGPT for On-page Optimization
- Meta Titles and Description Generation: ChatGPT can generate relevant and compelling meta tags and descriptions, which are essential for improving click-through rates and driving more traffic to your website. This a great feature of ChatGPT, you can instruct it to create different versions of the titles and descriptions using relevant keywords you have selected. All that being said though you will still want to make sure that the title and description you pick fit within the recommended character count for SEO best practices.
- Header Tag Optimization: ChatGPT can help you create informative and keyword-optimized H1, H2, and H3 tags, which are crucial for improving your content’s structure and search engine visibility. This is an essential part of on-page SEO that will help crawlers understand the most important parts of your page and how it is organized.
- Image Alt Text Generation: By generating keyword-rich and descriptive alt text for your images, ChatGPT can improve your website’s accessibility and enhance its SEO value. While it’s great that ChatGPT can do this for you, it’s still important that you choose alt text that describes the image you’re adding it to and includes a targeted keyword.
Cons of ChatGPT for On-page Optimization
Overlooking User Experience: Focusing too much on AI-generated SEO optimizations may lead to a website that caters primarily to search engines rather than users. Balancing user experience with SEO optimization is crucial for long-term success. So when using ChatGPT to help with your on-page optimizations, you’ll want to make sure that you keep this in mind and implement best UX practices. This will also help you stay under Google’s radar and avoid getting penalized for using AI-generated content.
4. Off-page SEO with ChatGPT
Off-page SEO also has its importance, relying solely on off-page or on-page SEO will yield you minimal results. They must be implemented together to see the best results. Thankfully this is another thing that we can get some help from ChatGPT.
Pros of ChatGPT for Off-page SEO
- Link Building Outreach: Link building is one of the most important pillars that SEO sits on. If you use white hat tactics, you can leverage ChatGPT to help you craft personalized and persuasive outreach emails to acquire valuable backlinks. If you intend to use this method for creating outreach emails, you should make sure to set up a way to test different versions. To do this use a service like MailChimp or Hunter to track the open and response rates of the emails you send out. After determining which emails perform the best, refine and adjust those email messages to keep testing and improving them.
- Social Media Engagement: You can use ChatGPT to help you generate engaging and share-worthy written content for your posts. This can help boost your social media presence, contributing to increased brand exposure and traffic to your website. Like with link building above, you’ll want to test the different written content created by ChatGPT for your posts and determine which ones are performing the best. Thankfully most social media platforms allow you to easily view your analytics, so after making enough posts you’ll be able to see what kind of content gets the most engagement and then begin replicating similar posts to keep growing your social media presence.
- Reputation Management: We heavily emphasize reputation management for our smaller clients, as it can have a very positive impact on a business’s local SEO. ChatGPT can help you respond to reviews, comments, and queries, enhancing your online reputation and fostering trust among your audience. If a customer or a previous client takes the time out of their day to leave a positive review for your business on Google My Business, or any other review website, it can be extremely beneficial to respond to it. It shows them, as well as any other potential customers/clients that you care about customer feedback and take care to address it.
Cons of ChatGPT for Off-page SEO
- Automation Limits: While ChatGPT can assist with various off-page SEO tasks, human intervention is still required for tasks such as relationship building, networking, and forming strategic partnerships, which are essential for a successful off-page SEO strategy. ChatGPT isn’t in a place yet where it can fully automate these tasks, but the help it can still offer us with them is a giant help and can save us tons of time and money.
- Limited Technical SEO Capabilities: While ChatGPT is great for content-related on-page optimization, it may not be as effective for handling technical SEO aspects like site speed, mobile-friendliness, or XML sitemaps. To address Technical SEO issues, it’s still best to rely on legacy tools and expertise for these tasks. Tools like Google Search Console & Rankmath are more suited to dealing with these tasks.
So Can ChatGPT Help Your SEO in a Meaningful Way?
We would say yes it absolutely is, ChatGPT is a powerful tool that can greatly benefit your SEO efforts when used effectively. The key part here though is using this tool effectively. As we said, Google is actively trying to limit the use of AI-generated content on websites by penalizing any websites that are caught using it. Thus it’s important to use this tool to supplement your SEO efforts and not rely on it solely.
Aside from the potential of getting penalized by Google, we’ve shown how ChatGPT still isn’t perfect and that it can make mistakes when you ask it to perform a task. So it is essential to be aware of its limitations and drawbacks, such as potential inaccuracies, over-optimization, and the need for human intervention in certain aspects.
If you keep the points we’ve made in this post in mind, you can absolutely make the most of ChatGPT for your SEO strategy by combining its capabilities with other specialized tools and legacy strategies. By leveraging the power of AI and staying updated with the latest SEO trends, you can stay ahead of the competition and achieve sustainable growth with your digital marketing efforts.
ChatGPT and SEO FAQ's
How do I make sure the content generated by ChatGPT is unique and not plagiarized?
After generating content with ChatGPT, use plagiarism and AI detection tools to ensure that the content is unique and not duplicating existing online material. Using an AI detection tool will also help you make sure that your content is not flagged by Google and avoid any potential penalties. Additionally, you may want to manually review and edit the content to tailor it to your specific needs and add your unique voice and insights.
How frequently should I update the content generated by ChatGPT?
The frequency of updating ChatGPT-generated content depends on various factors such as the relevance of the information, industry trends, and changes in search engine algorithms. Regularly reviewing and updating your content, whether AI-generated or human-written, is essential to maintain its relevance, accuracy, and effectiveness in driving traffic and engagement. Consider setting up a content review schedule to ensure that your website's content remains up-to-date and aligned with your SEO strategy.
How can I train ChatGPT to better understand my niche or industry?
While ChatGPT is pretrained on a wide range of topics, it might not have in-depth knowledge of specific niches or industries. To improve its understanding, you can provide detailed prompts, including relevant industry terms, concepts, and context. Over time, the AI model will become better at generating content that matches your niche's requirements and expectations.