How to Incorporate AI Chat and Software into Your SEO Workflow
The author’s views are entirely their own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.
AI has been slowly weaving its way into the SEO industry for years, with search engines using AI in their search algorithm, machine-learning (ML) SEO tools, and computer vision improvements. But over the last 12 months, the speed of new AI options and applications to SEO has exploded. You’re not alone if you feel like you’re trying to drink from a fire hose.
The AI fervor might be calmer, but there are still critical applications for AI in your SEO workflow — making your work easier and getting you to impact faster. The SEOs that learn to prompt AI chatbots and use AI software will be more effective due to delivering recommendations quicker and more effectively. Like learning how to research topics vs. keywords, learning AI chat prompting is essential to an SEO’s professional development roadmap. I’m not alone in wanting more time back in my day. In the 2023 State of Marketing AI report, 77% of marketers are using AI to reduce time on repetitive tasks.
In this post, I will share various parts of my SEO workflow where I use AI prompts and software to speed up my deliverables and get more compelling content without paying for ML SEO software (like Jasper, ClearScope, MarketMuse, etc.). These can be fantastic tools, but some of my clients are new to SEO and don’t have the budget for software expenditures just yet.
Training my clients on AI prompting
I train all my clients on writing for searchers, and I’m convinced that reworking our SEO workflow with AI prompts is the future. I now also train my clients on my new AI-enhanced SEO process. I was inspired by Ross Simmonds’ Whiteboard Friday, where he walks through where, in the content creation process, human SEOs are still needed.
My clients are the subject matter experts, and I’ve trained them on the AI chatbot prompts they can use during the content creation process outlined below. I’m beginning conversations with them about how to provide AI guidance and ethics policies to their employees.
A few guardrails before getting started with AI
Before I get into my tested AI prompts, you need to be aware of a few caveats:
AI cannot count or do math well; it should only be quadruple-checked by other tools and the human eye.
ChatGPT mirrors your intelligence and education level; you must train it to write for your target audience’s reading level. I prompted AI to drop the reading level for one client to match their target audience. Most writers, by default, write based on their education level (this client was no exception), and the copy is not always readable to the audience you are trying to target, who may have a different reading level.
It can generate responses that are biased based on its training set.
Ideally, AI should only be used to partially generate content — a human’s expertise is still needed. And I still think that AI can ID a writer’s unique fingerprint. There’s an exhibit at the Planet Word Museum in DC that walks through how they have trained AI on a corpus of language, and it could tell that J.K. Rowling was also Robert Galbraith because every writer has unique language choices. Google has said that AI-generated content is acceptable if it’s “original, high-quality, and people first demonstrating qualities of E-E-A-T.”
It also makes stuff up, called “hallucinations.” Treat AI like you would a new-to-you intern and check every step, and you should be OK. You can ask your AI chat if it understands your prompts, ask for references, and review any references it provides. If the output is poor, you can turn it around and have the AI interview you with questions to craft the perfect AI chat prompt.
New projects should be started in new chat conversions.
Multi-chain prompts with the context of the goal, audience, and information about your business get the best results.
- When using AI, make sure to:
NOT share proprietary information
Have client permission to share their data with AIr
Review the outputs — the answer, the references, the logic
Be careful of copyright — don’t generate images “in the style of [artist’s name].”
What tools should you use?
Most of the real power of AI chat comes from using an AI Chatbot that:
You can use plugins (like ChatGPT4)
Access live links (like you can now with ChatGPT 4 and Bing Chat).
I’m going to start from the beginning, from a consultant’s perspective — focused on content creation or editing. You’ll notice that as I go, I use different AI software, chatbots (ChatGPT4, Bard, Bing, Claude.ai), or other tools (Capsho, Microsoft Designer, native Microsoft tools), depending on which I think works best for the task at hand. I have a list of SEO software saved in case I need it for a specific use case, but I default to finding free tools to get my work done, if possible.
Across the board, you can be most effective when you provide AI chatbots context about your brand, goals, target audience, and plans for the output. If I need the output in a particular brand voice or to mirror a person’s writing style, I also add that to the prompt (but as mentioned, be careful not to copyright.)
I use this language:
Analyze the text below for style, voice, and tone, and generate the output to match the style, voice, and tone.
Then, I paste an email/blog post/landing page/transcript in the tone I’m trying to mirror.
Here are some everyday SEO tasks and activities where I’ve been able to speed up my delivery, findings, and outputs using AI.
Speed up everyday SEO activities with AI
Know who you/the client is talking to:
Caveat: This is 1000% not as powerful as conducting research directly with your target audience via a client discovery session, user focus group, or a “jobs to be done” formal research session. Ideally, you confirm what you get from AI with human conversations with your target audience.
But if you’re lost as to who you are talking to, this is a better starting point than not thinking about your target audience. I’ve enhanced my basic prompt here with tips from Andy Crestodina to make it a chained set of prompts:
Build me a persona of a [job title] who works for a [company type] company. List the roles, goals, challenges, pain points, and decision criteria for selecting a [your company type] company.
What keeps that persona up at night?
What words does that persona use to describe his/her [service] challenges and solutions?
If you were [describe your persona], what online resources would [persona] read to help you be more effective at your job?
Topical research — What topics should you cover? What are your topical gaps?
Here are the titles of our published blog posts related to X content. What content is missing?
Based on the episodes in this feed, [feed URL], what topics related to “” have not been covered? The target audience is X, and the content is focused on X or helping X persona with x.
Know the main topics and subtopics that must be covered in your copy
Create a table with the semantically related subtopics of X topic organized by the stages of the searcher’s learning about the topic. The output should have one column for the learning stage and another with the keywords used in a search.
I saw this one shared by Aleyda Solis’s SMX Advanced presentation and have adapted it to my workflow.
Export a raw list of keywords and their search volumes from Moz Pro’s Keyword Research tool. Upload this list to ChatGPT and ask the AI tool to cluster the keywords into semantically associated groups (while maintaining the associated search volumes). Export this to a .csv file.
Create a hub and spoke model from a list of these keywords, consolidating those that are too similar and would be targeted by the same content to avoid duplicates.
Take their search intent into consideration to group them.
These will be used in the X section on our website.
The hub and spoke model should be in English and list each keyword’s search intent.
The target audience is [x], and this should attract and engage [name of the target audience here] for a [type of business/service].
List them in a table along with their specified average search volume in additional columns listed below.
Additionally, suggest titles and meta descriptions following SEO best practices for creating content to target them: [list keywords here].
Know your unique brand value and how to surface it in content
This needs to be executed with an AI chat with access to the internet (ChatGPT4 or Bing Chat) or ChatGPT with the BrowserOps plugin:
Based on these competitors [list competitors names & URLs], how is [your brand + URL] different?
Create written content with AI
Create a content brief
I like using the pre-set prompts in AIPRM, an add-on to ChatGPT. I particularly like the “Content Brief with Expert SEO Guidance.”
And here’s the output:
Generate an outline
Generate two different alternatives of outlines for a [#] word article called “[title here]. The article will be optimized to rank for [keyword here] and should include the semantically related subtopics necessary to rank for the topic.
Draft meta title and description options
You can prompt AI for each page.
Please improve the following meta descriptions to encourage the searcher to click and read. The target audience is x, and here are the titles and meta descriptions currently ranking in search for this topic [insert titles and meta descriptions].
This prompt is even more powerful when you add your brand voice (or copy for the AI to train on to understand your brand voice) and your target audience (and their reading level).
The real power I realized comes when you do this at scale. For a client, I was able to generate five different meta description options for 350+ podcast episode pages that did not have meta descriptions.
I used the GPT for Sheets and Docs plugin in Google Sheets and could hand my client options to fill in the empty descriptions on their podcast pages.
It’s not as effective as crafting a description based on the topic we want it to rank for (in this instance, we did not know that), but in this case, it was worth testing it rather than having it empty. You can see the output below.
You can also see the hallucinations, as I didn’t give it the podcast name, but it made up one.
Find internal links
I am constantly looking for an effective way to build internal links to critical pages at scale for sites that can’t host a plugin to do the job for you. I’m still testing out ways to execute this at scale.
Load the page you want to build links for in Bing Chat.
Provide Bing the prompt: Choose other URLs from [domain.com] that people might be interested in and find helpful if they saw the [target keyword] as valuable. Provide the exact URLs to me and write a contextually relevant paragraph that links to [the URL where you want to place links], but do not include a link to the page you are on [URL you are evaluating].
This prompt is one that I’ve shared with subject matter experts who write for my client’s websites.
Provide landing page editing suggestions based on copywriting best practices & formulas
I’ve used this one from Edwin Lima to create a landing page on my site.
Please write a high-converting landing page copy as if you’re one of the top conversion copywriters in the [add your industry] industry using the FOMO copywriting framework.
I want your main point to be: [Add the primary thought you want to share with your audience].
The topic is: [Add your topic in keywords you know your audience uses to speak about and search for your topic].
For an audience of: [Add a description of your audience, as specific as you can] who want to [add what you understand the goals of your audience to be] but who are faced with the challenge of [add the challenge of your audience as best you understand it], and who know [add the basic level of knowledge of your audience] but do not know [add what your audience does not know yet].
My goal is: [Add your goal with this Landing Page and, if possible, how it relates to your overarching marketing or business goals].
My offer is: [Add your value proposition regarding pains, gains, and benefits to your visitor].
Social proof: [Add the social proof, quotes, or numbers that explain why people should take you and your offer seriously].
My three supporting thoughts: [Add the three supporting thoughts that help make the case you’re trying to complete in your piece, preferably in the need, solution, result, structure.]
CTA: [Add your CTA]
The other copywriting formulas you can play with are:
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
AIDA: (Awareness, Interest, Desire, & Action) — AISEO.ai has a generator for you.
Improve your current blog copy
Because many of my clients are enterprise-sized science organizations, the first step for me to offer content optimization is understanding what they are writing about. I’ve found Curator’s Bulk Extract Topics from URLs helpful in quickly mapping out potential topics to pages for optimization. Here’s the output:
Then, I use this prompt:
“Provide a list of semantically relevant topics and entities that are missing from this, with the goal of this article ranking for [target keyword] for [target audience],” and paste the existing article below that.
Generate alt text options
If you’re on WordPress, plugins like Alt Text automatically generate image alt text for SEO and accessibility. For the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) purposes, these all should be human-reviewed to make sure they make sense.
Draft copy that will help you steal the featured snippet
This one I saw shared by Tony Hill, and I’ve added it to my frequently used list.
“I want to rank my article on Google for a featured snippet for the search query [insert the new query triggering the featured snippet]. This is the featured snippet from another website Google is showing for this query: [paste in all the text from the competitor’s featured snippet showing on Google].”
“Please write a featured snippet to include in my article. Make it better than the one above so that it’s more helpful, clear, and informative so that Google will rank it instead.”
“Which featured snippet is more likely to rank in the featured snippet position on Google for the search query [insert the search query I want to rank for] [paste in my competitor’s current featured snippet showing on Google] [paste in the paragraph ChatGPT generated from step 1].”
These are the human steps:
Rewrite paragraph B (the one it generated for me) so that it is better than paragraph A and would be more likely to rank in a featured snippet on Google for [insert the search query I want to rank for].
Then, publish the ChatGPT paragraph to your article with the query as an H2.
Create other types of content with AI
Generate podcast interview questions
“I need a summary of [book] by [guest]. What are the key takeaways? What can you tell me about the author?”
“[Paste YouTube transcript]
What can you tell me about [guest] from this show?”
“[Paste social media URL]
What can you tell me about the person on this account?”
“Develop [number] questions to ask a [subject matter expert] about [topic] on my podcast. Be sure to address how [topic] impacts [industry/audience] and use real-world examples to frame your questions where possible.”
Create elements of video text: titles, transcripts, descriptions, and thumbnails.
“Generate a video description and title for [insert YouTube link] that includes keywords [“Keyword 1,” “Keyword 2,” “Keyword 3”] and related phrases.
Make sure it covers these main points: [talking point 1] [talking point 2] [talking point 3].
Also, recommend related videos from [YouTube channel link] that I can include. Make it [number of] words and write in a [adjective] tone of voice.
Mention the key benefits and value the video provides to the viewer.
Keep the description concise (2 short paragraphs) while highlighting why someone should watch the full video. Provide relevant hashtags.
Here’s the video transcript [paste transcript or provide video link].”
This prompt type could also be set into ChatGPT for sheets if you have multiple videos to optimize.
Create social media posts, graphics, and promotional emails
Prompt option 1:
“Generate a series of [number of tweets] engaging tweets for a social media campaign promoting [product or service]. Please include [key features] and use a tone that appeals to [target audience].
Additionally, incorporate [hashtags] and a [call to action] to enhance the campaign’s effectiveness. Write it in the style of the provided example, capturing its tone, voice, vocabulary, and sentence structure. Example: [paste example]”.
Prompt option 2:
“I am looking for a subject line for an email about [the thing you want to promote]. The email will be sent to [the audience], whose goal is to [action desired from recipient]. Generate ten subject lines with [specific tone/style] and include [keywords/phrases].”
Prompt option 3:
“Develop a persuasive email that entices [job title] at [company] to sponsor my [newsletter/podcast/YouTube channel] that targets [audience]. Some reasons they should advertise with me: [audience size, niche, open rate/downloads/etc.]”
Pull together data for a content audit
I used the Advanced Data Analysis plugin with ChatGPT4 to create the content audit sheet. I had it combine sheets for the following with the URL as the key:
social shares data
“Can you combine these sheets for me? The key is the URL. I’m uploading sheet 1 of  now. Upload crawl data, Google Search Console data, backlink data, social shares data, and data from Google Analytics 4. Before uploading, ensure the URL column is labeled “URL” in all sheets.”
That prompt gave me a colossal sheet I could start from to look at patterns and spot areas for improvement.
You can also use ChatGPT to develop schema markup and generate Python code.
Graphics and presentations
I use various Microsoft AI tools, such as Microsoft Designer,which teaches you how to craft prompts and helps you create AI images. Here’s an example of one I made:
At some point, this functionality will be native in Microsoft 365 and Google Workspaces, so more of this functionality will be available natively in tools you’re already using.
These are just a sample of what I’m testing daily to help improve my SEO processes.
The future of using AI in our workflows is exciting. It allows us as SEOs to work more efficiently and offload time-consuming tasks so that we can focus on effectively delivering our client recommendations.
Using AI support will give SEOs extra time to provide client training and develop deeper client relationships — the soft skills part of SEO that only a human can tackle, which can make or sink our SEO efforts.