AI-powered chat tools, particularly those with real-time web access, can help with keyword research for search engine optimization.
OpenAI’s ChatGPT has generated tremendous interest in artificial intelligence and natural language software since it launched last year.
Now, seemingly every writer and marketer is assessing the benefits of conversational AI. There are multiple SEO possibilities, including:
- Keyword ideas,
- Query intent,
- Keyword entities,
- Search volume and competition, and
- Analysis of search results.
To evaluate each of those, I used ChatGPT and Jasper, another AI tool. But many keyword research tools can tackle similar tasks — AI-driven Copy.ai comes to mind. Others, such as Semrush and Ahrefs, are possibly more effective.
My aim here is to demonstrate how AI chat can help with keyword research, not to advocate for its use. Instead, try a few AI tools and compare the workflow to how you develop keyword targets now.
Generate Keyword Ideas
Generating keyword ideas is a straightforward use of AI-powered chat. Ask the chat tool, “what are some related keywords for ‘online shoe store’?” and it might suggest terms such as “buy shoes online,” “discount footwear,” or “online shoe deals.”
You could also give the AI tool a copy block, asking it to recommend keywords. And a tool with real-time internet access could generate keyword ideas from entering a page’s URL.
Understand Keyword Intent
Analyzing actual search queries, natural-language AI chat tools can identify patterns that shed light on the user’s intent.
SEO practitioners use search intent to optimize content for those needs, resulting in better search rankings and more traffic to a website.
ChatGPT can organize keywords by search intent. But ChatGPT is not an SEO-specific tool, so it may not organize these in the same way as Google or any other search engine.
Nonetheless, as contributor Ann Smarty noted in “5 Ways to Use ChatGPT for SEO,” the tool quickly sorts keywords by intent.
Compare the result from ChatGPT or Jasper to SEO-specific tools to assess accuracy.
Identify Keyword Entities
In SEO, an entity refers to an object, person, place, or thing unique and identifiable by a name, description, or characteristic.
For example, in the search “red running shoes,” “red” and “running shoes” may both be entities, as they are unique and identifiable concepts. Entities can also refer to brands, products, or services and can help search engines understand the content of a web page and its relevance to a query.
AI chat tools such as Jasper can access Google and use the search results in the response. Thus the tools can help identify SEO entities. As with intent, there is no guarantee that Jasper is correct, but the suggestions point the search optimizer in the right direction.
For example, you can ask an AI tool to generate a list of entities that appear in Google’s knowledge graph. Just remember you are getting an opinion.
Assess Search Volume, Competition
An AI chat tool with internet access can evaluate the popularity and competition of keywords related to your products.
For instance, you could ask Jasper, which has web access, “What is the search volume for ‘running shoes for women’?” or “How competitive is the keyword ‘affordable fitness wear’?” Jasper could then provide insights from sources such as Google Ads’ Keyword Planner.
It is worth mentioning that I had to ask Jasper twice about search volumes. The first response was it could not help me. But after I rephrased the question, it estimated 60,500 monthly searches for “running shoes for women.”
In this case, Jasper merely checked a source anyone could access. The advantage is convenience in the context of a chat workflow.
Any AI-powered chat tool with internet access can analyze — in the most basic sense — the search engine result pages associated with a keyword phrase.
Ask something like “provide a SERP analysis for the phrase ‘men’s barefoot shoes,’” and Jasper or a similar tool will list the top-ranking pages on that topic — helpful insight into high-performing content.
Ensure you have turned on Jasper’s “Include Google search data.” The tool knows nothing about SERPs otherwise.
ChatGPT and Jasper did nothing difficult in my examples. But the tools did offer a new workflow to identify keyword phrases, including questions about SERPs, intent, entities, and more. The next step is content creation. Having identified target keywords, one can ask the AI tool to outline and draft content around them.