ChatGPT and SEO

Posted by Dave CollinsCopywriting, SEO

What is ChatGPT?

If you believe the hype, excitement and fear that’s out there, ChatGPT is somewhere between the dawn of a new era and the end of the world.

Essentially though, ChatGPT is just a chatbot. But unlike the chatbot of yesteryear, it can actually hold a reasonable conversation, and even give answers to questions in a human/ish manner.

Does it work? Well, I asked ChatGPT “what is chatgpt”, and here’s what it said:

ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI, designed to generate human-like responses to natural language prompts. It is trained on a massive amount of text data and uses deep learning algorithms to understand the meaning and context of a given text input and generate relevant and coherent responses. ChatGPT can be used for a wide range of natural language processing tasks, including chatbots, text generation, question-answering, language translation, and more. It is considered to be one of the most advanced language models available today.

Okay.

I then asked it to rephrase that in a less formal way that is easier to read:

ChatGPT is a really smart computer program made by OpenAI that can talk with people and understand what they mean. It’s like a robot that can chat with you in a natural way, just like how you would talk to a person. ChatGPT can be used to make things like chatbots, answer questions, and even translate languages. It’s one of the most advanced language programs in the world!

It can also write emails, stories, poetry and songs. It can answer questions, and can even write code.

So it can already do a lot more than me, but can it do it well?

I asked it to write me a funny short poem about chatgpt, and it produced this:

ChatGPT, oh what a thing!
A computer that can talk and sing.
Ask it anything, it’ll reply in kind,
Even if it’s something weird you’ve got in mind.

It’s like a robot friend, always there,
To listen to your troubles and to care.
But be careful what you say,
ChatGPT might just have a funny way.

So talk to it, have some fun,
And you might be surprised by what you’ve done.
ChatGPT, oh what a thing!
A computer that’s more than just a fling.

I’m started to worry a little.

Are the robots coming – for our jobs and lives?

It goes without saying that a lot of people are concerned about many aspects of AI.

Many are burying their heads in the sand, while others are digging far deeper for when the robocalypse happens.

Some of these concerns are legitimate. Can our children use it to write essays without learning? Will the web be (even more) full of low-quality content? Can’t other people’s content now be copied and made to look original?

And some concerns are a little more imaginative. Is this the beginning of sentient AI? Are our jobs at risk? Is this the stage before the era of being ruled by AI Overlords?

You may notice that I included the risks posed to our jobs alongside AI sentience and a terminator-type of future. More of that later.

But bearing in mind that a large part of my work involves creating, optimising and improving content for Google, shouldn’t I be more concerned?

I don’t believe so. And here’s why.

Writing good content isn’t about just generating a list of facts, thoughts and ideas. It’s also about communication, clarity, insight, having a voice and originality.

And while the day may come that AI chatbots are capable of all of this and more, there’s no sign of it yet.

I asked ChatGPT for an original joke, and three times pushed that it had to be original and new.

It couldn’t do it. Obviously.

So no, I don’t believe that the robots are coming for our jobs. But I do think they may be able to help us do our work quicker and better.

So I’ve rounded up a very small sample of the things that I’m using ChatGPT for on a daily basis.

ChatGPT as an SEO tool?

SEO is a peculiar mix of skills: part science, part art, part creativity and part bullshit. Most SEOs like to think that there’s far more complexity to it than that.

And in terms of specific SEO related tasks, many of these can at least assisted by other input.

For example:

  • keyword research
  • content outlining and summarisation
  • on-page optimisation
  • content creation

All of these can be automated, to some extent.

In other words, there are parts of the tasks that can be greatly sped up or even improved.

Automating these parts can have a major impact on the time you spend on the work.

What follows is a very small sample of what you can use ChatGPT for with SEO. It’s not supposed to be in any way an exhaustive list, but may give you a few good ideas for starting points of your own.

Keyword research with ChatGPT

For example, let’s imagine that I am working on SEO for an emergency dentist in London.

Normally my process would look something like this:

  1. Go to Google to do some basic searches, to get a feel for the keywords and phrases that I should be using.
  2. Scribble these down – either on paper or in a text document on my PC.
  3. Search for these phrases, see what comes up, and explore further.
  4. Expand my list.
  5. When I hit a reasonable volume, I will then copy and paste them into my keyword tool of choice, for example ahrefs or SEMrush.

Alternatively, I could skip the first four steps, and enter “give me 50 keywords for an emergency dentist in google” into ChatGPT:

Keyword research with ChatGPT

Better yet, using the excellent AIPRM for ChatGPT extension, choose Keyword Strategy, and get something like this:

Keyword research with AIPRM for ChatGPT

Or I could ask ChatGPT to generate 50 long-tail keywords, or 50 questions, or for that matter extract keywords from someone else’s piece of content. I could ask ChatGPT to group keywords, to give me keyword variations and so much more.

The main limitation here is your own imagination. So rather than seeing what ChatGPT can do with your keywords, a better starting point would be to think what you would like it to do for you.

This alone has enormous time saving potential.

ChatGPT can be an excellent keyword research assistant, when used correctly.

Content outlining using ChatGPT

Once you have the keywords, the first step in creating the content is to come up with the ideas. And whether that’s by consulting an internal list or hitting Google (or Social media) for inspiration, both have obvious limitations.

So let’s see what ChatGPT can do.

I started with a simple query, “Give me 10 content ideas for an emergency dentist in London”:

Content ideas with chatgpt

This isn’t a bad start, but there’s nothing particularly inspiring.

As a general rule, the more direction you give ChatGPT, the better and more relevant the results. So let’s try to improve on this, with “give me more original ideas”:

Content ideas with chatgpt - more original

Now we’re starting to get somewhere, but let’s see if we can exclude children, and perhaps make the ideas a little more exciting. So “exclude children from the ideas and make the list more exciting”:

Content ideas with chatgpt - no children and more exciting

This is beginning to take shape, but why reinvent the wheel?

Again using AIPRM for ChatGPT, I can chose the “Generate a List of Content Ideas for a Local Business”, and again just choose the default “10 content ideas for an emergency dentist in London”:

Content ideas with aiprm for chatgptpng

The beauty of this approach is that it can not only save you a great deal of time, but can even come up with ideas that you may never have thought of yourself.

Like the above example with researching keywords, don’t be afraid to push further and refine the ideas if you’re not happy. Even if it doesn’t come up with the precise¬† idea for you, this can be a great starting point.

ChatGPT can be a staggeringly good content brainstorming assistant.

Using ChatGPT to generate title ideas

We know that producing good content is an important part of business. It’s good for our website visitors, for marketing, for Google, developing new ideas, and for positioning ourselves as experts.

Yet one of the more common problems often seems to be just coming out with the initial idea. Once we have the idea, we can talk about the subject until we’re blue in the face. So creating the content is often significantly easier than coming up with the idea.

For an example, let’s say that I work for a company that sells backup software.

Bearing in mind that at the time of writing this, it’s 3:30 PM on a Friday, and I’m starting to tire a little. So let’s see what I can quickly come up with in 60 seconds or so:

  1. The importance of backup software.
  2. How do I make sure that my files are safe?
  3. The backup mistakes that most businesses make.
  4. Why disk imaging isn’t a solution.
  5. Why dropboxx isn’t a good way to backup your files.
  6. Why do I need backup software?

Like I said, I was tired. And it shows.

I then asked ChatGPT: “give me a long list of article ideas for a company that sell backup software”.

It produced the following in 16 seconds:

a long list of article ideas for a company that sell backup software

Again using AIPRM for ChatGPT, I chose “Blog Post Title Generator”, and simply chose “backup software”.

In 10 seconds it gave me this:

chatgpt blog post generator for backup software

ChatGPT is an undoubtedly great title and concept brainstorming assistant.

Generate meta descriptions with ChatGPT

Again using the same example, I gave ChatGPT the following: “Give me ten meta descriptions for a blog post on how to choose the right backup software”:

chatgpt output for how to choose the right backup software seo meta descriptions

I then used AIPRM’s “High CTR Meta Description” for “how to choose the right backup software”.

It impressed me by providing a title and meta description, and even included a character count for the description:

how to choose the right backup software SEO meta description, made easier with chatgpt

ChatGPT makes generating well-written META descriptions incredibly simple.

Proof readingg your content with ChatGPT

For this, I went looking for badly written content on line! This was more difficult than I anticipated, but eventually I found this:

I hate wet and reiny days.

It rained a lot in 1816…. a lot – like everyday; the weather in Europe was abnormally wet because it rained in Switzerland on 130 out of the 183 days from April to September. If I was Mary Shelley I might decide to write a book too. Afterall, it was the onnly thing you could do without TV or anything. She said that she “passed the summer of 1816 in the environs of Geneva…we occasionally amused ourselves with some German stories of ghosts… These tales excited in us a playful desire of imitation” So, people were stuck inside and bored. Mary Shelley decided to write a book becuase it was so awful outside. I can totally see her point, you know? I guess I would write a novel if there was nothing else to do.

So first of all, I asked ChatGPT to proof it, and it came up with the following:

basic proofing with chatgpt

That’s pretty good. But I then also ran it through AIPRM’s “Best Proofreader for Daily Use”:

proofreading with aiprm and chatgpt

ChatGPT can be good at basic proofing. I wouldn’t use it for checking a book before going to print, but it could be a useful first sweep.

Using ChatGPT for rephrasing or rewriting content

I hesitated over including this. Because I know that some people will consider taking someone else’s content, then copying, pasting and rewording it. And that’s just going to add to the polluted and muddy noise that is online garbage. But I decided to go ahead with it. Why? Because there are times when being able to rewite something can be legitimately useful.

So I took the above paragraph, and asked plain and simple ChatGPT to rewrite it. Here’s what it produced:

rewritten text with chatgpt

While not exactly the worst text I’ve seen, I would have expected slightly better.

So this time I told ChatGPT: rewrite in a concise manner with a professional tone”:

rewritten text with chatgpt asking for concise and professional tone

Eugh. This is the sort of garbage that I first expected ChatGPT to spit out. And for some reason, I can only read that in the sound of Homer Simpson’s drunk voice.

So for the third attempt, I went to AIPRM’s “Content rewriter (Best quality output)”:

rewritten text with chatgpt and AIPRM

Of all them, I think this was the one I liked the most. It would still need a little editing, but using ChatGPT to produce a draft to be worked on can be quite useful.

ChatGPT can occasionally be vaguely useful at rephrasing and rewriting content. But setting it loose on your carefully crafted text can be terrifying.

This isn’t even the tip of the iceberg…

The above ideas are nothing more than a list of basic starting points. But with a little imagination, there’s so much more that you can use ChatGPT for:

  • Generating FAQs based on the content that you’ve written
  • Supporting your ideas with facts and statistics
  • Writing a summary of content (I love this one! No more TLDR!)
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Understanding search intent and optimising for it
  • Technical optimisation.htaccess rules
  • robots.txt
  • Link building
  • SEO reporting
  • SEO analysis
  • and so much more

The caveats of using ChatGPT for SEO (or anything really)

The main issue to be aware of is that just because ChatGPT can do something, you shouldn’t necessarily use it for that purpose.

For now, at least, there are some serious limitations as to what you can reasonably expect from it.

For example, the proofing may be useful as a second set of eyes. But ChatGPT proofing your content isn’t the same as having a professional sign-off, or even having a reasonably good writer in your team check it.

Similarly, getting ChatGPT to generate a list of ideas for content is a great starting point, similar in concept to the first round in a traditional brainstorming session. But thinking, discussing, researching and expanding on the original ideas is certain to produce far more interesting ideas and themes.

And in a sense, this is perhaps the main point when using ChatGPT.

That ChatGPT should be used as part of the process, but not be solely the process itself.

The other issue to consider is how to use it.

In many ways, to get the best results, I had to tailor my requests and include as much direction and context as possible. And this was almost like learning a new language. But a tool like AIPRM for ChatGPT made this unnecessary, as behind the scenes it does all the heavy lifting for you.

I do believe that we need to consider ChatGPT as the power tool that it undoubtedly is. And like most power tools, it needs to be used by the right person, for the right job, to produce the right things to produce impressive results.

One final thought. I work from home, in a room on my own. For me, having instant access to some of the things that ChatGPT can do, without having to call someone on Zoom or the phone is priceless.

So are the ChatGPT robots coming for your job?

No. At least not yet.

But these easily accessible chatbots are at a very early point in their development. Meaning that this is only the beginning of what will eventually emerge.

For now, however, while the robots aren’t coming for your job, the person who understands how to use ChatGPT may be. If they know how to use it to speed up what they do, and how to combine these capabilities with their own skills, they may be able to do what you do faster and even better.

Oh and for the record, if this actually proves to be the start of the singularity, I for one am eager to welcome our new masters, and have much to offer them.

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