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From Keywords to Conversations: How AI is Reshaping SEO

By Amanda Tietjen

August 10, 2023

No matter what your marketing philosophy on AI is, we’ve been witnessing an incredible leap in conversational AI technology over the last several years.  And now, brace yourself, because that technology is making its way into the search landscape.

In May 2023, Google introduced us to Search Generative Experience (SGE). That’s Google’s fancy experiment that brings AI-generated responses right into your search results. It’s like having AI-powered snapshots of key information with links to dive deeper. Exciting stuff, right?

In July 2023, they also started testing “Updates for You,” which shows hyper-personalized results based on your browsing history and favorite sites. It blends Google Discover with search for custom results. Pretty exciting stuff!

Our team managed to get access to this cutting-edge SGE experiment and let me tell you, it’s going to have a substantial impact. With AI advancing at lightning speed, the way users interact with search engines is about to undergo a massive transformation. And industry experts are predicting traffic declines from traditional search methods as a result.

But don’t worry! We’re here to tackle this head-on and find ways to integrate this new experience into our clients’ search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. We won’t let it be a threat; instead, we’ll make it an advantage.

Remember what Peter Drucker said: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” We’re all about creating our own future, which means we’ll take proactive action in our SEO efforts. We’ll learn from conversational AI and stride confidently into this new era of marketing with AI, fully prepared for any disruption that comes our way.

Predictions: 7 Ways to Elevate Your SEO Strategy for Generative AI

Below are our predictions for 7 ways the integration of AI in search results will impact your SEO strategy. 

  1. Say goodbye to traditional keyword searches
  2. Strike a balance between content creation and consolidation 
  3. Build your brand authoritativeness
  4. Be the humans creating content for humans
  5. Craft an unforgettable onsite experience
  6. SEO-ify content across platforms
  7. Paid and organic search go hand-in-hand

Get ready for a change in the way people search. With the rise of search generative experiences (SGE), users are predicted to embrace more conversational, long-tail queries rather than sticking to traditional “keywords.” So, our strategies will need to adapt to this shift, focusing on creating long-tail content that caters to exploratory SERPs.

For example, say an individual wants to start a garden, but isn’t sure what kinds of plants to buy, they may turn to search for ideas. Today, their search journey would require multiple keyword searches to find the best result.

AI and SEO trends

And, with each individual search, they’ll need to spend time opening and reading through multiple articles and keeping track of all the recommendations separately. It’s a lot of time and work. 

But, with generative AI, people will eventually be able to shorten this journey to a single search that combs the internet to find and summarize the most relevant information available online. 

search queary with ai intent

2. Strike a balance between content creation and consolidation

We said this in our previous predictions for the SEO trends in 2023, and we’ve been saying it since 2018 quality trumps quantity in the SEO game. Gone are the days of churning out endless pieces of content for every possible keyword variation. We’re entering an era where algorithms have grown wiser and can grasp the true intent behind users’ searches. Search engines understand that users searching the keywords “plants for beginners,” “beginner-friendly plants” and “best first plants” are all looking for the same results – so marketers no longer need to create content for each unique variation.  

crossed out search box to sympbolize longtail considerations for ai and aseo

However, as long-tail, conversational queries begin to dominate, we’ll also need to increase the volume of hyper-personalized content if we want to appear at the top of search results. For example, the terms “beginner-friendly plants for an office” and “beginner-friendly plants for a bedroom” would warrant separate pieces of personalized content because the searcher has different intents.  

So, what does this mean? Some businesses may need to invest in content consolidation and cleanup. Others, in creating a backlog of high-quality, hyper-personalized content. Either way, as AI takes center stage, SEO content should be about aligning with search intent, not keyword searches. 

3. Build your brand authoritativeness 

In a SERP dominated by generative AI, establishing your brand’s authoritativeness will be more critical than ever. 

In the past, a well-rounded SEO strategy began with broad, informational searches that came from users who were first starting to learn about a new topic. Showing up in SERPs as the top-ranked expert on these topics allowed a business to build trust with potential customers at an early stage in their journey. This is at the core of E-E-A-T signals in SEO

However, when generative AI results are fully incorporated into SERPs, more users are going to get answers to their top-of-funnel questions without ever having to click through to your website. So, how will brands develop trust moving forward? 

The answer is by using generative AI as an asset, rather than fearing it as a competitor. Search engines will need to prioritize content published by highly authoritative sources for use in and around AI-generated responses. Google defines authoritativeness as “the extent to which the content creator or the website is known as a go-to source for the topic.”

As a user is searching for information, they’re going to see certain brands popping up again and again. The more times your brand receives impressions as the authority on a topic (even if the searcher doesn’t initially click through to your site), the more trust will be built in their minds. 

google search results page with hyperpersonalized content from ai

Focus on building out a backlog of high-quality, hyper-personalized content will allow you to continue to appear in the long-tail search results of the future. Then improve your digital reputation by earning backlinks from other websites citing you as an official or expert source of information on a topic. 

You want your reputation to shine bright and be consistently recognized as a trustworthy authority online. That’s the secret sauce for success.

4. Be the humans creating content for humans 

As AI-generated content becomes more prevalent, people will crave content that’s created by humans, for humans. Especially content that comes from individuals with first-hand experience or expertise to share. Let’s give the people what they want!

Identify ways to show that your website’s content was created by humans that have real, first-hand experience and expertise on a topic. 

  • If you sell a product, feature reviews and aggregate ratings from past customers 
  • If you provide a service, highlight case studies of past successes and testimonials from some of your clients
  • If you promote a destination, include blog articles written by visitors who have recently been to your destination and user-generated images/video
  • If you are offering advice online, include an author for your content to tie back to the name and face of an expert, human source

5. Craft an unforgettable onsite experience

There are countless ways people consume information, and Google is keeping up with the times. It’s no longer just about web pages; search engines crawl and index all different types of media. Invest in creating a website that is as engaging as it is informative. Consider content such as: 

  • High-quality imagery and videos to paint a picture of your product/service
  • Infographics, charts, and tables to highlight data and key information
  • Interactive quizzes and calculators to provide a highly personalized, relevant experience

Visual search is gaining importance too, so we’ll optimize our images accordingly. In the new Search Generative Experience (SGE), we see images featured throughout search results. So ensuring that each piece of content is marked up with structured data like schema and open graph tags that attribute engaging imagery to the page will be essential. 

serp showcasing the opportunity for schema in search generative experiences

AI advancements mean users won’t need to visit your website; they’ll choose to. That’s why it’s crucial to invest in content that’s engaging, user-friendly, and leaves a lasting impression. 

6. SEO-ify content across platforms

Platforms like TikTok have drawn content creators and audiences away from YouTube and traditional search because of the vast number of unique perspectives from people with first-hand experience. 

As AI becomes more prominent in search, the desire for human thoughts and opinions will grow as well. 

All signs are pointing to video and social optimization having massive opportunities in the near future – especially when paired with a trustworthy face and experienced opinion. Google recently released a feature called “Perspectives” that will filter search results to only include listings from platforms like TikTok, Reddit and Quora that meet this criteria.

To stay ahead of the curve, it will be important to invest in optimizing for search using new content formats and platforms. 

Paid and organic search listings are becoming intertwined in the evolving SERP landscape. So, it’s time for our paid and organic search teams to have active, ongoing conversations. We’ll discuss SERP layout changes, keyword rankings and content updates to ensure perfect alignment.

screenshot of search generative experiences on google with organic and paid results

Embrace AI-Generated Search Results with Noble Studios

Ready to revolutionize your SEO strategy for the AI-powered search landscape? Don’t navigate this exciting but challenging terrain alone. 

Our team of experts is here to guide you every step of the way. Whether you need assistance with optimizing your content for conversational queries, building brand authority, aligning paid and organic search efforts, or creating engaging multi-format experiences, we’ve got you covered. 

Contact us today to explore how our tailored solutions can elevate your SEO game and ensure you stay ahead of the competition. Together, let’s harness the power of AI and transform your online presence. Reach out to us now and let’s embark on this SEO journey together!

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