How To Build A Future Proof, AI Friendly SEO Strategy

Ah, the digital realm! A place I’ve called home for years. As the founder of an SEO agency, I’ve seen the ebb and flow of trends, but nothing quite like the AI revolution. It’s like watching your favorite black and white movie suddenly burst into color. Drawing from the deep insights of Search Engine Journal, and sprinkled with my own experiences, let’s take a winding journey through the alleyways of AI’s impact on SEO.

A Trip Down Memory Lane: The AI Chronicles

Remember the days when SEO was all about keywords and backlinks? Well, those days feel like ancient history now. Just over six months ago, Open AI introduced us to ChatGPT. Since then, the digital landscape has been akin to a child in a candy store – constantly evolving and filled with wonder. Here’s a quick recap for those who’ve been too engrossed in their meta tags:

  • Google’s foray into the AI-powered search beta, known as the Search Generative Experience (SGE).
  • ChatGPT’s newfound prowess with the Bing plugin.
  • And who could forget Bard? Google’s charming new AI chatbot.

The chatter around AI is incessant, and honestly, a tad overwhelming at times. But there’s a silver lining. The conversations have matured, moving from wide-eyed wonder to a pragmatic understanding of AI’s role in our world.

Decoding the Enigma: The SGE Saga

Before we dive into strategies and tactics, let’s take a moment to understand this beast called SGE. It’s still stretching its legs in beta, but its potential is undeniable. From my countless hours spent tinkering with it, here’s my two cents:

  • There’s a looming possibility of reduced traffic to sites. Why? Because SGE might just spill the beans by answering queries directly. Imagine having a conversation with Bard instead of being directed to a website.
  • But here’s the twist. Users, being the curious creatures they are, might still crave the depth and perspective that websites offer. Especially those featured prominently in the SGE carousel.

Crafting the Blueprint: SEO in the Age of AI

The digital sands are shifting, and as someone who’s built an SEO empire from scratch, I believe in staying ahead of the curve. Here’s my playbook for navigating this brave new world:

  1. Champion Direct Traffic: In the world of SEO, direct traffic is like a standing ovation. It’s the audience’s seal of approval. To amplify this, focus on stellar user experiences, craft compelling brand stories, and perhaps, dabble in some good old-fashioned advertising.
  2. Become a Search Sleuth: The traditional tools of the trade might soon be relics. So, roll up those sleeves and dive deep into the minds of your customers. Understand their search psyche. And if direct interactions seem daunting, harness the power of AI (oh, the irony!) to analyze sales or support call transcripts.
  3. Craft Stories, Not Just Content: Here’s the thing – AI is smart, but it lacks the human touch. The laughter, tears, joys, and sorrows. Infuse your content with personal anecdotes, experiences, and a dash of vulnerability. It’s these human elements that AI can’t replicate.
  4. Wear the Explorer’s Hat: With SGE emphasizing specific content angles, it’s time to don the explorer’s hat. Venture into uncharted territories, experiment with diverse content perspectives, and always keep Google’s preferences on your radar.
  5. Harness AI, Don’t Fear It: While AI might seem like the competition, it’s also an ally. Use it to draft content, unearth fresh perspectives, and ensure your content remains top-notch.

A Heartfelt Conclusion: Embracing AI’s Dual Nature

The AI wave, in many ways, mirrors my journey in the SEO world. A blend of anticipation, challenges, and breakthroughs. As we soar to new heights, it’s essential to remember that AI is a tool, not a replacement. The human touch, our experiences, and our passion remain irreplaceable.

In the words of a seasoned SEO veteran (yes, that’s me!), the best way to future-proof is to stay curious, stay adaptable, and always, always keep the human element at the heart of everything.

James Ewen

James is an SEO consultant based in London working with clients around the world to get more traffic from organic search. He’s the author of the 100 days of SEO newsletter.

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