TL;DR / Cheat Sheet
- AI Revolution in SEO: Modern AI is changing the way we search for information, with AI chatbots answering specific questions, reducing the need to sift through multiple web pages.
- Impact on Websites: Websites that rely on visitor traffic (blogs, news sites, etc.) may struggle as AI reduces overall website traffic. However, websites representing real-world businesses will see a revolution in how customers find and choose their services.
- AI Assistants and the Knowledge Graph: Future AI assistants will tap into vast online data to answer specific and nuanced questions, using Google’s ‘knowledge graph’ database. However, much of the detailed business information is not yet available online.
- Rising Demand for Detailed Business Information: As AI chatbot use increases, so will the demand for detailed, nuanced business information. Businesses that provide this information will have an advantage.
- Comprehensive Business Content: To meet the demand for detailed information, businesses will need to create comprehensive content about their services, operations, and local industry. We’re shifting our focus to help our clients become comprehensive resources in their industry.
- Shift from Broad to Deep Content Strategy: We’re moving from creating broad content to answering more nuanced, specific questions about the business and local industry, providing unique responses that AI can’t generate without human input.
- Evolving Content Creation: We’re evolving our content creation process to sound more like it’s coming directly from the business owner, leveraging AI to enhance our processes and collect more detailed information.
- Harnessing AI for Information Collection: We’re using AI to boost our efficiency in collecting and utilizing information, increasing the volume of information we gather from, and for, our clients.
- The Rising Value of Video Content: Video content is becoming increasingly valuable. We’re encouraging our clients to adopt the content-creation habits of an influencer, recording short videos about their business and industry.
- Multipurpose Potential of Video Content: Video content can be stored and repurposed in many ways, including transcriptions, social media posts, website content, and blog posts.
- Leveraging Google’s “Perspectives” Feature: Google’s new “Perspectives” feature shows videos and social media posts from experts in response to complex questions. This presents a great opportunity for businesses to increase their visibility.
- Thriving in the AI Era: Despite the rapid advancements in AI, we see them as exciting opportunities for small businesses to boost their online visibility. With our suite of services, we’re ready to help your business thrive in the AI era.
The Dawn of AI in Information Search
Modern AI, although still less than a year old, is rapidly changing the way we search for information, progressing faster than any previous technology. It won’t be too long before everyone has easy access to free, fast, intelligent AI that makes fewer mistakes than the average website. In that world, why would anyone sift through multiple web pages trying to find the one piece of information they actually want, when they can just ask an AI chat bot their specific question?
The Impact of AI on Different Types of Websites
There are really just two types of websites online, and they will each be affected very differently by this change. The first type are websites that exist merely to attract visitors. Blogs, news websites, affiliate websites, any site that makes money directly from visits to their site. This type of site is in serious trouble, as AI is going to start taking more and more traffic away from websites in general.
The Future of Business Websites in the AI Era
The second type of website is websites like our clients’. Websites which represent an actual business in the real world. While website visits may decrease due to AI, demand for products and services will remain, but the way customers find and choose businesses will be revolutionized.
The Power of AI Assistants and the Knowledge Graph
Imagine a world where we all have an AI assistant far superior to today’s virtual assistants. These AI assistants can tap into the vast data online to answer incredibly specific and nuanced questions. Think of queries like, “Which local automotive repair shops have certified technicians for electric vehicles, offer a loaner car service, and can perform a full diagnostic and repair on my car’s make and model within the next 48 hours?’ Or, “What are the best- rated vegan-friendly hair salons within five miles of my location, that use cruelty- free products and can provide me an appointment on Saturday afternoon with a stylist who has experience with curly hair?”
The Limitations of Current Online Information
But how will AI choose which businesses to present for these types of questions? Google already scrapes information from every high quality website online, including discussion forums and business reviews. They then convert that information into structured data, capturing key details about all online products, services, and businesses. This data is stored in a system known as the ‘knowledge graph,’ a kind of database that Google uses to enhance its search results
However, a lot of this information just isn’t available online… yet. Most companies don’t post their pricing online. Most companies don’t go into detail about their service offerings and all the options the customers have. Most companies don’t detail the specifics of how their business operates. There is very little information about specific cities and neighborhoods and how the industry might differ from other cities and neighborhoods. Therefore, Google and other AI assistants will be limited to presenting the small number of businesses which actually share this information publicly.
The Rising Demand for Detailed Business Information
Today, there’s not much pressure to share super nuanced details about your company and local industry online (although the pressure has already started to build). No one asks these questions, because they understand search engines can’t provide a good answer. However, as many more people start using AI chatbots and assistants, the frequency of these types of searches is going to start to rise.
The Need for Comprehensive Business Content
As these searches become more prevalent, businesses will be pressured to respond by sharing more details about their business. However, when you imagine every detail someone might include in a single questions – their location, their budget, their preferences, their level of understanding, their schedule, their history with the industry – businesses will have to create a huge amount of content about themselves and their local industry to give the AI what it needs to recommend their business for each of these unique questions. Businesses that wait until the demand arises might be surpassed by businesses who already have a head start.
Our New Focus: Comprehensive Resource Creation
That is the main reason we’re shifting our focus towards this project. We want to turn each of our clients’ websites into a comprehensive resource of not only their business but also of their industry within their city and neighborhood. We want to make sure that whenever someone in their area asks a question related to their services, their website will provide the answer.
The Shift from Broad to Deep Content Strategy
This isn’t new, per se; we’ve been focusing on high-quality comprehensive content for years now. What’s new is the depth of questions we expect to start seeing. Historically, our strategy has been to build one in-depth, high-quality page for each service before pivoting to blog content which addresses common industry questions. In the future, these common questions can be answered more and more easily by AI chatbots and assistants, without the user ever needing to visit a business’s website. Therefore, we are starting to focus more on nuanced questions for which we can provide a unique response. Questions about the company itself, questions specific to the area, questions about competitors, and questions for which the business can provide a unique opinion or perspective (more on perspectives in a bit). In short, instead of going broad with our content strategy, we need to start going deeper.
Evolving Content Creation in the AI Era
This evolving strategy will require an evolving approach to content creation. Historically, we’ve been able to gather some basic details from our clients, do our own research, and then have our client review the final page or post. This has worked well so far. However, we believe content in the future will have to be less generic; it will have to sound as if it’s coming directly from the business owner, with their years of experience in the industry.
Harnessing AI for Efficient Information Collection
One key benefit of this emerging AI technology is its ability to enhance our processes. But rest assured, we’re not giving total control to the AI. We’ve been working diligently to identify the tasks that humans excel at, and those that AI can optimize. As expected, a balanced blend of human and AI yields the best results.
One particular area where AI has significantly boosted our efficiency is in collecting and utilizing information. As a result, we’re increasing the volume of information we gather from, and for, our clients.
The Importance of Extracting Expertise from Business Owners
Information can come from many different sources. For example, we already collect data on all of our clients websites via Google Analytics and Google Search Console. However, the type of information that is recently becoming more valuable can’t be collected automatically. It’s the experience and expertise of the business owner and team members. There are several methods we can and are using to extract this information from our clients. Often, this requires some time and effort from our clients themselves, which we know can be a challenge, but we think it’s worth it.
Leveraging Existing Content and Extracting Expertise from Business Owners
The most accessible source of information is existing content. It’s now very easy for us to extract text from videos, audio files, PDFs, and printed materials. It’s important that all of this is shared with us so we can transcribe it and store it internally. However, existing content is unlikely to address all the questions we aspire to answer. To get all the information required for that, we need to interview someone from the business, preferably the owner, but it could be anyone who’s knowledgeable about the business’s operations and industry.
Our Comprehensive Information Gathering Process
We’ve developed and are continuing to iterate on a comprehensive list of questions which help us uncover information which might be relevant to a prospective customer. While clients are welcome to answer these questions via email, we find we get the most comprehensive answers on a video call. We can then record the call, transcribe the text, and organize the information so it’s easy to utilize as needed. Due to the ambitious nature of the project, we will need to spend 3-5 hours with most clients to get all the information we need (and it could be even more for clients with a large number of services). We are currently splitting these up into a series of 1-hour calls. The calls can be spread out as much as necessary, and we suspect that even after we’ve completed the process, we’ll want to periodically hold additional calls to capture any updates to the business and industry.
The Power of Comprehensive Client Information
We’ve already begun testing this process and are very excited about the results. This large collection of information can be used in a number of ways. Most importantly, we can use it to create robust pages and in-depth blog posts which feel like they’re written by the business owner. Combined with our processes for structuring and optimizing each page, this has massive implications not only for AI optimization, but for traditional SEO. It helps us create the exact kind of content Google wants to rank at the top of page one. Having this large corpus of information on each client also has other utility, some of which we’ve yet to realize, others which we’re just starting to test. For example, we’ve begun using this process to train AI chat bots which can go on your website and which we can use internally to answer any questions about your business.
The Rising Value of Video Content
We’re not sure what the future of AI will look like, but we’re confident that having comprehensive information on each of our clients in the form of text will give us a huge advantage over their competitors. That being said, text isn’t the only form of content that’s becoming more valuable recently. As you might have noticed, video is also exploding in popularity. Google, Microsoft, Meta, and every other tech company are currently pushing video very hard, and we don’t think that’s going to end any time soon.
Adopting the Content-Creation Habits of an Influencer
While it used to require a huge investment to create videos, most popular videos today are recorded with the subject’s own phone or webcam. Therefore, we’re encouraging all our clients to adopt the content-creation habits of an influencer. Don’t worry, you don’t need a big following for this to be effective. You don’t even need to invest a significant amount of time in it. Simply getting in the habit of pulling out your phone and recording a 1-minute video once a week could have compounding effects over the next few years. Find yourself sharing an opinion with a customer or team member? Make it a video. Have a message you want to get out to customers or your industry? Make it a video. Do something for a customer that you’re especially proud of? Make it a video. Don’t worry if the videos are terrible at first – they will be – just get in the habit. Send the video to us, and let us figure out how to use it.
The Multipurpose Potential of Video Content
The great thing about video is that it can be stored and repurposed 100 different ways. We can transcribe the text and store it with the rest of the information we have on your business. We can post it to social media (with your permission, of course). We can post it to the website. We can create a blog post which reflects your perspective. And that brings me back to perspectives.
Leveraging Google’s New “Perspectives” Feature
Google recently launched a new feature called “Perspectives”. If you haven’t seen it yet, you probably will soon. It’s mostly appearing on mobile at the moment. When someone asks a question for which there isn’t an obvious answer, Google is starting to show videos and social media posts from experts with opinions on the question. As this feature improves, people will start to ask more and more of these types of questions in Google, which means the amount of views you could receive is going to increase dramatically. There has never been a better time to start recording quick videos for your customers and prospects.
Thriving in the AI Era Envision’s SEO of Services
While these rapid advancements might seem daunting, there’s no need to worry. We see them as exciting opportunities for small businesses to boost their online visibility. With our suite of services, including personalized SEO strategies, dynamic content creation, and new services such as AI chatbot creation, we’re ready to navigate these changes and help your business thrive in the AI era. We hope you share our enthusiasm for the exciting future that lies ahead!
Envision Clients: If you’re ready to start preparing for an AI led future, let us know.
Not an Envision Client? If you’re interested in how we can help you rank in Google, now and in the future, contact us today and let us show you what we can do for you.