September 14, 2022

Do You Need an AI Content Generator?

By: Mary Hiers

What if a machine wrote the content for your website and blog? Would you soar to the top of the SERPs effortlessly? Or would Google penalize your content so no one would see it?

Truthfully, either of these could happen, depending on what your website is about, the purpose it serves, and how AI is employed. 

Nobody Knows Where This Will Go

Search Engine Land provides daily news on digital marketing technology, especially SEO. It’s a go-to publication for SEO specialists who want to keep up with the industry.

A June edition of Search Engine Land has an article with the subtitle “AI will completely change SEO as we know it. From optimization to link building, it will significantly impact every aspect of SEO.”

An article in the same publication from two months prior was titled “Google doesn’t want your AI-generated SEO spam content.” 

Both of these things are currently true and accurate. AI content creation has the potential to revolutionize SEO. But Google has tools that can detect and penalize AI-written content. What is a small business to do?

An AI Content Generator Can Help with Scale and Speed

If, say, your business added dozens or hundreds of new products in a short time period, you would need product descriptions for all of them. Naturally, you would want them on your website ASAP so you could start selling.

An AI content generator could help tremendously. Armed with a product name and a few keywords about it, it could create product descriptions rapidly. 

Alternatively, suppose you identified a trending concept early and wanted to dominate the SERPs with your content about it. Your SEO writer could use an AI content generator to outline blog posts and articles quickly. 

If your SEO writer had a sudden bout of writer’s block while doing this, they could use the AI content generator to write a sentence or paragraph to jump-start the writing process again. 

Likewise, if you want your brand-new website to go live as soon as possible, you could use an AI content generator to create topics, evaluate keywords, and even write web pages for you. However, you would still need to fact-check and edit the content thoroughly before publishing it.

It Can’t Write Everything for You (Yet)

While theoretically, you could use AI to write all the content on a website or blog, it’s not a good idea. AI content generators are simply not that good at writing high-quality content. 

They can usually write passable content, and you may be surprised by how “organic” it appears. For example, the next paragraph is AI-generated. It was one of several short paragraphs the tool created to choose among.

“AI can learn from experience and adapt. It’s not like a normal computer program. Instead, it can analyze information and make decisions in a way that resembles human thought.”

Copy.ai is the tool that generated the content. Here is the input it used:

It was fast and easy, and the result was good. Clearly, AI tools are helpful.

When an AI Content Generator Is Useful

You can put an AI content generator to work in situations where you need content fast. It can also help you out when you collect a lot of information and want to organize it into an outline before writing about it.

Also, an AI content generator doesn’t experience mid-afternoon sleepiness. That makes it perfect for overcoming writer’s block in ongoing projects that need to show progress.

In short, AI content writing works great in terms of increasing productivity. It can help a writer produce more content in a shorter amount of time. 

As long as the writer fact-checks, edits, and checks the content for plagiarism, the results can be impressive.

When an AI Content Generator Falls Short

Technically, you could write an entire book using AI tools. Some tools exist that specialize in long-form writing. Likewise, you could make a fake online person who chats with others and learns from those conversations.

But just because you can doesn’t mean you should

Unfortunately, even AI generators that “learn” from hard data also ultimately learn from the people who initiate that hard data. And people are imperfect.

As a result, sometimes AI-generated content can go horribly wrong. Use AI to write an outline or the occasional writer’s-block-busting paragraph, and it’s easy to spot mistakes. Give an AI content generator free rein to write your entire website, and you could unwittingly post very bad content. 

A Lone SEO Content Writer Can Benefit

If you have a content writer or contract with one, you may find yourself at a crossroads as your content needs increase. You may be wary of overloading your writer with work, yet you can’t afford or justify hiring another writer. 

AI content generation tools can be an excellent stopgap measure. They can enable your writer to handle increased content demands without being overwhelmed.

Likewise, if you experience a significant but temporary increase in workload, an AI content generator can help. It can empower a content creator to temporarily boost productivity without harming content quality. 

When using AI to increase productivity, users must understand the limitations of AI and the necessity of checking the work. Lower quality can quickly undermine increased productivity if your content creator isn’t diligent about checking quality.

You Can’t Replace a Lone Content Writer

As of late 2022, you can’t replace a content creator with AI tools. Rather, you can, but the time and effort you spend fixing mistakes can make it a poor investment. 

Google’s recent Helpful Content update emphasizes the importance of creating content for people and not search engine algorithms. AI content generation is currently not up to this standard.

There’s no reason for your content creators not to use AI tools, however. They offer features that can boost productivity and make a good content writer better. 

Ways You Can Use an AI Content Generator Right Now

Search Engine Journal discusses several ways your content writers can use an AI content generator to work faster and smarter. They can use the tools to

  • Create topic ideas for blog posts
  • Write introductory and concluding paragraphs
  • Outline blog posts
  • Write SEO meta descriptions
  • Personalize marketing emails
  • Write marketing copy

Why You Must Fact Check and Edit Everything

The old axiom “Garbage in, garbage out” may never have been as relevant as it is with artificial intelligence. AI tools “learn” from what’s on the web, and some of what’s on the web is false.

One guideline you’ll see repeatedly is that if an AI tool spits out a statistic or numerical value, you must fact-check it. If the information cannot be corroborated by at least two reliable sources, you should probably leave it out.

Another thing to watch out for is any AI-generated content that could be interpreted as the result of a “scrape and reword” approach. Google has long penalized such content because it is not original.

In fact, after editing AI-generated content, you should run a plagiarism detection algorithm on it. Google does not like duplicate content, and AI tools are sometimes guilty of producing it. 

AI Tools Can Help. So Can We.

AI tools will undoubtedly revolutionize many aspects of modern life. Even advanced medical practitioners are learning to use AI to diagnose illnesses. 

It makes sense that AI can help small businesses improve their web presence. Tools already exist for these purposes, but they must be used by people who understand the tools’ limitations. 

If your small business needs help with SEO, digital marketing, or even the creation of a website from scratch, give us a call. Every site we build comes with SEO-enriched content, and our digital marketing services are also built on SEO and SEM best practices. 

Let us help you boost your website’s presence on SERPs and bring more customers through your doors. 

 

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