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Create SEO-optimised articles using ChatGPT in 7 simple steps
Changes at Google and Bing, along with the surge in popularity of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, means internet search is about to change in a big way. Until we know exactly what that looks like, the truth remains that many businesses rely on ranking well on search engines for target keywords to generate sales. With a little bit of knowledge, AI can make this process faster and easier, meaning more can be produced in the same amount of time.
Between them, two specialists in ChatGPT prompting and SEO have intel on how entrepreneurs can create SEO optimised articles.
One of them is Udo Gollub, CEO of 17 Minute Languages, a company that develops and sells language courses in 80 languages and has 40 employees. Because many of his customers come as a result of his SEO-optimised websites, Gollub has been exploring AI writing tools to improve his processes, and sharing what he learns in a community for content creators, which he started.
The second is Henry Purchase, founder of SEOSpace, the SEO plugin for Squarespace and Squarespace SEO experts that helps over 650 businesses rank on the first page of Google. Purchase’s plugin has a ChatGPT integration so clients can utilise ChatGPT and other AI tools to generate content at scale.
Gollub has been using ChatGPT to produce highly relevant articles with these seven simple steps, that you can copy for the same effect. Purchase is focused on making sure they are optimised for SEO from a technical perspective.
Prompt ChatGPT using “Come up with 50 highly SEO optimized blog post ideas on the topic of (topic). Write the headline and a one-sentence summary,” suggests Gollub.
This brings up a variety of headlines and summaries that you can sift through. See which immediately jump out as being articles you might want to read. If they stand out to you, they’ll stand out to your audience. Select your top ten and go ahead with these ones first, making sure there’s a variety of topics and angles in that first batch.
If you like some but not others, give that information to ChatGPT. Say, “these ones are good, can you give me 10 more like these” and go from there. Keep asking for iterations until you have a list that will work for your site.
“Good SEO titles should be 50-60 characters, include the main keyword you want to rank for, and be click-worthy,” added Purchase. “Ranking on Google is no good if your title isn’t intriguing.” Purchase’s tips include adding a date to the title, “in 2023” or making the title a listicle to improve clickthrough rates. You can request these amendments from ChatGPT.
The next prompt for ChatGPT, according to Gollub, should be, “This will be the topic for a highly SEO optimized blog article: (copy the headline and summary just generated). From this headline and summary, create a list of all the bullet points of what should be included in the article.”
You will now be presented with an article summary that you can scan through. Purchase suggests giving ChatGPT a character, by adding, “You are an SEO expert that knows how to structure SEO articles better than anyone else to rank them on page one of Google” to your prompt, as well as, “you should add engaging subheadings (H2s and H3s) that increase the likelihood readers will continue to the end of the article.”
Here’s where it’s more manual. Look at the bullet pointed list of the article information and check the facts. “ChatGPT sometimes makes things up,” explained Gollub. Don’t take it at face value because you’ll be spreading misinformation in your articles.
As well as facts, check the flow. Think about the pointers and their relevance for your audience. Cross reference the subheadings against the keywords you’re trying to get the page ranking for. Make sure the structure makes sense before proceeding any further. Purchase added, "ChatGPT isn’t able to effectively reference and add unique facts from other sources on the internet,” but this is something you need to boost your chances of ranking on page one. “Do additional research to add unique insight in these bullets.”
Create SEO-optimised articles using ChatGPT in 7 simple steps
Prompt ChatGPT in the following way next, advised Gollub. “Now write a (number of words) highly SEO-optimized blog article about this: (copy your headline and bullet points in here). Write as HTML code with basic HTML formatting. Use short paragraphs and write in this writing style:”
Here’s the writing style prompt you can use or edit as you see fit: “The writer's style is characterized by authoritative expertise, clarity, storytelling, and empathy. They break down complex concepts into digestible explanations. Their writing is accessible, avoiding jargon. They foster engagement and critical thinking, encouraging readers to explore new ideas. The writer's transparency and honesty, sharing personal experiences, adds authenticity to their content. They address the pain points of their audience, offering practical solutions tailored to their needs. Overall, the writer's concise and impactful style empowers readers with actionable insights.”
If you’ve followed the points so far, what should follow is an SEO-optimized article, with a compelling heading and summary, that expands on the bullet points you specified, presented in the correct tone and style for your site. You can always ask ChatGPT to edit parts of the article if needed. “For example,” said Purchase, “if you think the second paragraph could be more engaging, tell ChatGPT.” Don’t just write for SEO best practice, write for humans. “If readers don’t enjoy your article and leave, you’ll have a high bounce rate for the page, hurting your rankings.”
A mistake would be to hit the copy button and paste the article straight into your site. You need to edit further. One way is by adding another prompt: “Please can you rewrite this article but make it more (style),” perhaps asking for it more formal or informal or requesting less jargon. You can also specify the directness of the tone further. Perhaps ask ChatGPT to expand specific sections or be more succinct in others.
Another way is to edit the article yourself, which Gollub recommends. “Google can detect AI written articles and I predict that articles not written by AI will rank better.” Read the piece and adapt it some more. Insert lines that personalise it to your business, add stories from your personal experience, humanize it a little. This will take nowhere near as long as writing from scratch.
“A ranking factor becoming increasingly important in SEO is topical authority,” said Purchase, which means that, when editing your article, “demonstrate to Google that you’re the expert and have knowledge people can’t get elsewhere.” He said this will help you beat generic content on the internet.
Now you have your article, it’s time to create the accompanying image. Ask ChatGPT to tell you what that image should be. Gollub suggests using this prompt: “Now imagine an image for this blog article that attracts a lot of clicks, likes and shares and write a description for that image. Describe the main element of the image as well as the background.”
This prompt will create a description of the image you should use alongside your SEO-optimised article. To the end of this description, add, “photorealistic, award-winning photo,” and specify the dimensions it should have, for example 16:9. Keep asking for edits until you’re happy with the description, and if you need more than one picture for the article select, “regenerate response.”
Now’s where it gets really clever. Copy the image description from ChatGPT into Midjourney to generate a compelling image that finishes off your piece, in the exact style and format requested. Repeat the process for the second and third image that you will insert into the body.
Once you have uploaded the article and images for your site, take it one step further. You could ask ChatGPT for captions and alt text for the images, a meta description for the article, and a series of tweets or Instagram captions that will promote the piece. Ask ChatGPT to suggest 10 places you should share the article, and if you have the internet-assisted version, ask for 10 influencers who you should send it to as well as the message that should accompany your outreach.
Co-create with ChatGPT. Keep prompting it for ideas, headlines, subheadings, copy, image descriptions and promotion plans. Use it to spark ideas of what’s possible and expand your capacity for production. These seven steps are just the beginning of ramping up your output and growing your site.