If you work in digital marketing, copywriting, or SEO and you have been on LinkedIn this year, there is no doubt in my mind that you have seen multiple posts related to ChatGPT. More specifically, how ChatGPT is going to replace you as a digital marketer, copywriter, or SEO.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT can converse and write in a manner that resembles that of a human. It can produce new words, sentences, stories, and questions as well as their answers. It functions somewhat like a magic pen that speeds up writing and gives it a more convincingly human tone. Basically, ChatGPT guesses the fourth word after every three words, based on a huge data set containing billions of words of text. 570GB of text to be more specific.
How to use ChatGPT as a digital marketing tool?
ChatGPT is a game changing tool, but is it really going to replace humans?
I’ve spent the last two months taking a deep dive into ChatGPT. I will admit that at least, in part, my research started, to determine whether or not ChatGPT could replace me as an SEO and digital marketer. I also wanted to see if this tool was really useful, and if I could deploy it and make it part of my daily workflow.
And boy, has it become part of my daily workflow.
ChatGPT will not replace human SEOs
ChatGPT is an incredibly intuitive bot. Even when I just started using the AI, I was amazed at how conversational my use of ChatGPT was. The more my use resembled dialog, the better the text that ChatGPT generated. It’s still far from perfect and I quickly learnt that ChatGPT needs a lot of coaching, and sometimes back-and-forth, before it can generate something that is of use.
As an SEO I work with and alongside a lot of copywriters. There are a handful of copywriters that have a decent grasp of SEO and I safeguard them like my life depends on it. Content creation has become an integral part of SEO and having a copywriter that understands how their work plays into SEO as a whole is rare in South Africa.
ChatGPT has certainly given me the capability to produce more content, but not completely without human intervention. I can use ChatGPT to quite effectively brief copywriters for SEO content. I can even use ChatGPT to help in the ideation of content topics to help me target certain keywords. I even used ChatGPT to help me write a piece of content on a very niche topic, and gain a number one Google ranking in a very competitive industry. But I can’t rely on ChatGPT to be my SEO copywriter.
It does kind of feel like ChatGPT has given me four extra arms, but with four left hands. Not perfect, considering I’m right handed. ChatGPT has increased my content output, but it can at times feel incredibly clumsy.
Using ChatGPT to assist with keyword research
Optimising content for SEO is one thing, but a crucial part of the SEO process is keyword research. Keyword research helps you identify not only what keywords to target (based on what Google users are actually typing into Google) but also how difficult it would be to gain rankings for those keywords.
By providing a list of pertinent keywords and phrases based on a given topic or seed keywords, ChatGPT can help with keyword research for SEO. By creating content that contains a specific keyword, and providing details on how frequently and in what context it is used in the text, it can also assist you in analysing the competition for that keyword.
Long-tail keywords, which are longer, more precise keywords and phrases that are better focused to the user's search intent and frequently have lower competition, is another way in which ChatGPT can help. ChatGPT can be prompted to suggest longtail search phrases based on a specific keyword.
Additionally, it might suggest associated terms and expressions that are pertinent to the subject, broadening the scope of possible keywords for you to target.
ChatGPT can also suggest content ideas for you to write to target certain keywords and increase traffic to your website. It's crucial to keep in mind that while ChatGPT can produce a list of keywords and phrases, it is unable to provide data on their search volume or competitiveness, two crucial factors to consider while conducting keyword research. To obtain a more realistic view of the keywords' performance and competitiveness, it is advised to employ specialised tools.
Where does ChatGPT drop the ball in terms of SEO?
Any good SEO is going to make use of ChatGPT as a tool to increase their productivity. That said, a good SEO would also understand the limitations of ChatGPT with regards to it being used as a SEO tool.
Here are some instances where ChatGPT can struggle with SEO:
- Lack of comprehension of current algorithms
ChatGPT is trained on a big text dataset, but it lacks the capacity to comprehend the current, regularly changing methods employed by search engines like Google. Consequently, it's possible that whatever ChatGPT generates for you, might not be based on the latest SEO best practices suggested by Google, and it might not take into account recent algorithm updates like the one that Google just rolled out in January 2023.
- Lack of human insight and imagination
ChatGPT can produce high-quality text, but it is unable to add original viewpoints or imaginative concepts to the stuff it produces. The text produced by ChatGPT should therefore be reviewed and edited by human writers and editors to ensure that it is of a high standard, is factually correct, makes sense, and is helpful to the user.
- Lack of expertise in the business or industry
ChatGPT does not have expertise in any particular business or sector for which the content is being generated, which can provide a challenge when it comes to delivering precise and detailed information that could aid SEO.
- Lack of SEO analytics
ChatGPT can produce content that is SEO-friendly, but it cannot give users data on search volume, competition, or other crucial SEO parameters. To obtain a more precise picture of the keywords' performance and competitiveness, tools like Google Analytics and SEMRush should be used in conjunction with ChatGPT.
ChatGPT works great in general, but leaves much to be desired when we get specific
Most South African business owners have now at least heard of SEO and understand the need for it. SEO is not anything new, but SEO packages might not suit exactly what you need. Many marketing agencies offer SEO services in packages. There is no problem with that, but each website’s SEO needs will differ. In SEO, there are very few “one size fits all solutions” and a good SEO or SEO agency will always try to tailor what you need for SEO to your specific website and industry needs.
ChatGPT can’t tailor-make a SEO package for your business just yet. It might be able to do so if an SEO spends enough time coaching the AI to get what you need, but this is just one example of why ChatGPT is not replacing digital marketers, SEOs, or copywriters. It’s merely becoming a tool that great digital marketers, SEOs, and copywriters will use daily.