The future of AI: An introduction to Chat GPT
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ChatGPT and SEO – an early-stage summary with a focus on luxury marketing
ChatGPT by Open AI is a generative pre-trained transformer whose user interface is built on natural language processing technology.
Never has something that feels so revolutionary been described in such a dry, matter-of-fact way.
Search YouTube for videos on ChatGPT and it seems like a digital marketing team’s dream. Simply type in the right ChatGPT prompts to populate your social media calendars, create high-quality content for your site, generate limitless numbers of web pages and inform your search engine optimization efforts.
There are plenty of reasons to get excited about ChatGPT. But don’t believe all the hype just yet, although a lot of it is, admittedly, justified.
In this article, we look at how AI can add value to luxury brand marketing. We cover:
- The tech behind ChatGPT
- Why companies shouldn’t base their SEO strategy solely on machine-generated content – just yet
- What marketing use cases does ChatGPT and AI offer luxury brand marketing efforts?
Generative AI and NLP – the tech on which ChatGPT is built
“Generative AI”, of which ChatGPT is, at the time of writing, the best-known example, is a form of AI using machine learning algorithms that generates novel output based on written prompts and its internal database of 117 million pieces of information. What makes ChatGPT feel so ground-breaking are its often highly creative outputs and the ability to interact with it in plain English thanks to its language model.
ChatGPT is, of course, only one iteration of generative AI and NLP. Midjourney, an app that creates visual content from both written and visual prompts, uses a collection of databases including one with 1.2 billion images) to generate its output. Other AI models create music, video, programming codes and more.
The amount of information these apps draw on will increase over time as will the computing power behind it and the accuracy of algorithms. So, what we have now may look primitive to the AI tools we’re using in 3 years’ time.
Are the content marketing use cases for ChatGPT?
YouTube is full of self-described SEO experts telling their viewers that ChatGPT is revolutionary for:
- Keyword research: type in “Give me a list of keyword ideas on how ChatGPT will influence how luxury brands market their products giving me a title for a blog containing each keyword and suggest content for that blog”. Like magic, you get the keywords and topics. You can even ask it to factor in search intent to get top-, middle- or bottom-of-funnel content.
- Content creation: You can then ask ChatGPT to create these articles for you. Within 30-60 seconds, you’ll have a 1,000 words of content.
- Link building and outreach: ask Bing + GPT to search through 10 websites you’d like a backlink from. Tell it to pick out notable content on each, find the site owner’s email address and then send off an automatically-generated email personal to that site owner asking for a backlink.
- Technical SEO: ChatGPT is very good at generating search engine-friendly schema mark-ups for e-commerce sites. Page titles, title tags and meta descriptions are also not a problem.
- Google Analytics interpretation: Ahrefs gives great examples of how to use regex (regular expressions) to dig deep into visitor, keyword and interaction data.
Why you shouldn’t base your online marketing strategy solely on ChatGPT
Google has stated explicitly that it doesn’t want the search results it presents to be gamed by robotic content creators. It has a number of tools at its disposal already to detect AI content that are accurate and reliable.
However, ChatGPT may already be able to sidestep these safeguards. One way Google judges whether content was authored by AI technology is the “perplexity” and “burstiness” of the prose. You can instruct ChatGPT to mimic the burstiness and perplexity of natural human expression and, as you can see in this article in The Conversation, it catches Google out a lot of the time.
Google’s potential workaround
Recently and perhaps coincidentally, Google expanded its well-known E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) quality content metric to become E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness).
This is because, for years, skilled copywriters have used SEO tools like Surfer and Clearscope to look for clues on content structure, keyword inclusion (primary and long-tail) and length on top-ranking pages for the keywords they’re targeting.
Ever wondered why many top-ranking pages have FAQ sections now? Copywriters cottoned onto the fact that Google likes it if a page contains FAQ questions that mirror the “People also ask…” questions on search result pages.
So, one copywriter sets the standard. Other copywriters use tools to find out how they did it. This ends up with the top 10 search results for a keyword often reading like 10 rewrites of the same article.
Hence the near for E-E-A-T. Google now parses each page to look for real first-hand experience of and knowledge in a subject from the writer or the website. So, articles on how to fix a boiler might get a boost if the writer shares one or more stories about how s/he got the boiler to work and how they overcame the problem.
But given the speed with which AI is developing, E-E-A-T could soon be fooled. What’s to stop someone from downloading every boiler service manual into a ChatGPT-like app so that it can create AI-generated content containing anecdotes that never happened?
Content strategy is also a concern
For the time being, ChatGPT is trapped in the middle of 2021. It can’t access the internet like its cousin Bing. It certainly can’t use API to connect to platforms like Ahrefs and SEMRush to collect the very latest search information on a keyword. It’s only a matter of time however before this is possible.
If content generation now has a marginal or zero cost because of artificial intelligence, there are no theoretical limits to the amount of content you can generate.
According to Ahrefs, there are 141,329 long-tail keywords relating to “diamond ring” which, in total, are searched for 2.4m times a month in America. You could build a future ChatGPT SEO plug-in to write 1,000 words to create articles for all 141,329 of those long-tail keywords or, at least, the long-tail keywords that are consistent with your range. The issue is that the SEO content it creates across all those pages will be remarkably similar to each other and repetitive. Google will view that as spammy and almost certainly penalise your site.
There is also the danger of keyword cannibalization. Having so much content about diamond rings will hurt your search engine rankings and the way to fix it is to consolidate that body of pages around the top or handful of top performers. You’ll essentially end back up right where you started.
How can luxury brands use ChatGPT and AI in general?
Luxury brands need to exercise caution on AI-driven content creation and content strategy. Budget or mid-market brands are generally utilitarian but, because luxury also involves selling a lifestyle as well as a product, content quality must be maintained.
From the perspective of technical SEO, ChatGPT is really very good already at automating SEO tasks like creating schema, title tags and more. There is a growing number of AI apps that are great at analysing trends in data in Google Analytics and Search Console.
There’s nothing wrong with using ChatGPT to generate article outlines. If you do however, we recommend you focus immediately on building bios of your content creators that Google can find your site and on LinkedIn.
Make sure new content references writers by name (with a byline for example) as this will aid the new E-E-A-T Google algorithm in recognising their subject matter authority, experience and expertise over time. Your creators, for the time being at least, should use ChatGPT output only for inspiration, not in lieu of their own writing. Make sure they create fresh, 100% human content imbued with authenticity, your brand values and their own experience and knowledge.
There’s nothing wrong with using AI to generate ideas for articles too. The true test of whether that content has any value though should be whether you’d pay someone to create it. If the value of an article is not apparent for SEO purposes, we recommend that you think twice before getting a write to write it or ChatGPT to spin it off.
There could also be value in creating AI video content for use on social media. Most luxury brands serve a number of different audiences and, using avatar input, AI could create segmented videos for each. However, again, we would caution that all content be human-edited prior to release.
Luxury brands, ChatGPT and SEO
Like many of our clients, we’re excited but wary about the possibilities AI offers marketing teams. Like you, we embrace it to a degree but view it as a tool but not a substitute.
In just over a decade, VERB Brands has built close relationships with many luxury brands around the world. To discuss with us how you can use AI in your business, please get in touch. We look forward to working with you.