Artificial intelligence (AI) is a well-known technology in SEO, as it’s been used by Google for years to power its search engine.
Recently, major companies like Google, Bing, Adobe, Meta, and Apple have recognized the changing consumer behavior and started embracing AI as a central focus.
AI and machine learning (ML) now play a vital role in their core product offerings.
This article covers tips for safeguarding your digital presence in the face of AI’s rapid evolution.
Future-proofing your digital assets
AI has revolutionized consumer-business interactions, providing a smooth experience and transforming how customers engage with companies.
As search engines evolve into answer engines, it becomes crucial to comprehend customer needs, journeys, and expected search behaviors across all channels.
To future-proof your digital presence, you must deliver the experience your customers seek.
While AI will change how we do things in the future, the human element is still needed for the final output and quality.
Here are some use cases of AI in search marketing.
- Content creation using generative AI.
- Keyword research.
- The finishing touch with vision / image search.
- Schema: Build webpages, SEO redirects, and structured data.
- Conversational / voice search.
- Local search, map search and immersive view.
- Video search.
- Shopping graph and product search.
Get the daily newsletter search marketers rely on.
A roadmap to future-proofing your search visibility
As we explore the many incredible applications of AI, we must also understand what it takes to future-proof our digital presence.
A future-looking strategy involves understanding where large language models (LLMs) get their data and whether we can populate them where relevant.
This relates to discoverability. If the answers come from certain repositories, ensuring you are in them may make sense.
Brands need to start thinking about what users want to know about the business rather than providing information about themselves.
Focus on fully optimizing your digital presence with images, reviews, products, schema, and Google Business Profile (GBP) categories.
A short video is also increasingly crucial because video, reviews, images, and GBP are prioritized in local pack results.
Similarly, helpful and relevant localized content with high authority for the time being can help maintain SERP visibility – and remain vigilant about the evolving SERP.
Google is prioritizing informational, navigational, local, and nearby search queries to generate search generative experience (SGE) results across all types of searches, including organic, local/maps, images, news, videos, events, and conversation/voice search (how-to content and FAQs).
SGE results quickly surfaced if informational content from the brand domain is easily discovered and has high engagement and relevancy to the query.
The SERP results below show how easily discovered information-rich content is doing well.
7 tips to future-proof your digital presence
Here are tips to future-proof your digital presence and establish a rock-solid plan to stay ahead as a business.
1. Entity search is your competitive advantage
Ensure your content is created by keeping an entity-first strategy in mind.
I have written several articles about what entity search is, why it is topical, your competitive advantage, how it works, and the steps to deploy.
Ensure all types of content, such as images, videos, FAQs, etc. use proper schema architecture.
2. Content must be discoverable
Your CMS, technical infrastructure, server and website architecture, and hosting environment should allow easy content discovery.
The site structure should be relatively flat and connect similar topics and subtopics through navigation.
3. Saturate all Google properties
Images, how-to content, web stories, recipes, knowledge graphs, FAQs, videos, maps, and events take up a portion of SERPs in SGE.
Let’s ensure the content we create includes these and that schemas are properly nested for easy discovery.
4. Implement mobile search best practices
As Google prioritizes mobile indexing over desktop indexing, it is essential to have a strategy to saturate mobile SERPs.
This includes using web stories, having a responsive mobile site that quickly loads on mobile devices, providing a seamless experience across various screen sizes and browsers, and delivering a secure and safe website.
5. Optimize for visual search
To optimize images for quality, relevancy and experience, centralize all your assets (images, video, PDFs) using cloud storage and use AI/LLM models to rate the most critical metrics.
Ensure all your assets are surfaced right from a central place. Put lifestyle graphics in noindex folders to avoid wasting the crawl budget.
Only the most relevant qualitative image with entity data must be discoverable.
6. Enhance clickability, interaction and engagement
As AI becomes front and center, it is about saturating SERPs, zero clicks, impressions, time on the site, and reduction in bouse rate.
Other qualitative metrics will be site speed, time spent on the site, click and interactions with various assets and features on the website.
Leverage customer data and analytics to personalize user experience.
Personalization enhances user engagement, conversion rates, and overall customer satisfaction. It ultimately increases your authority and trust factor.
AI won’t take your job, but someone who uses AI will
Search marketers must harness skills to use AI effectively.
Future-proofing your digital presence means enabling your team with the right tools and skills to create a strategic plan, incorporate AI, and understand the customer journey and the channels to leverage data to personalize the experience.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.