In the digital age, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) content writing has become a vital strategy for nonprofits to increase visibility and engagement. Yet this aspect of “new marketing” comes with its own learning curve, and related best practices are constantly changing. One buzzy new development involves the SEO applications of artificial intelligence (AI) models like ChatGPT. These tools have the ability to make SEO content development more efficient, though they are far from perfect. Expert human touch is still required to ensure that AI-assisted content is effective and meets quality and SEO standards. 

AI apps offer plenty of promising capabilities that can enhance writing strategies and save time. In fact, they can replace or partially replace many time-consuming steps in the SEO writing process. However, precisely because AI can be used in so many ways, it’s not a simple plug-and-play tool that can completely stand in for staff members with specialized skills, now or (likely) ever. Here’s how AI can revolutionize your SEO content marketing efforts — and why you still need SEO marketing and content experts to get the most out of it.

Why AI Can Be a Powerful SEO Content Marketing Tool for Nonprofits

Here are just a few ways that AI tools (such as ChatGPT) can make your content marketing creation processes more efficient and more effective.

Keyword Analysis and Optimization

AI algorithms can not only perform keyword research, but also analyze vast amounts of data to identify trending keywords and search patterns. This helps nonprofits to optimize content by using relevant keywords at optimal publishing times, improving their search engine rankings.

However, AI can struggle with context, extrapolation, and creative thought. It requires significant direction from someone intimately familiar with your nonprofit’s mission to guide its research and help it to return novel, valuable suggestions. Further, AI models’ findings can sometimes be dated or factually inaccurate, requiring (and often failing) secondary validation. It’s important to have an SEO specialist familiar with keyword analysis evaluating the research conducted by AI tools.

Content Targeting, Outlines, and Drafting

AI can segment audiences and personalize content based on user behavior and preferences. This enhances user engagement and helps in targeting specific donor groups. If you prompt AI writing tools to tailor content for a specific audience, it can help your marketing writer with almost every part of the creation process, including:

  • Topic ideas (especially when many relevant blog topics have already been exhausted, or you need suggestions for a particular audience, such as prospective volunteers or employees rather than donors)
  • Developing outlines
  • Synthesizing high-quality information from reliable, respected sources
  • Generating partial drafts
  • Refining tone, style, or any other aspect of writing 

However, in order to segment audiences and make specific tweaks to content and style, AI tools need to be given information about your existing audience and exactly what you are trying to do with a given piece. It’s essential to have a human SEO expert determining these factors and assessing them regularly in order to create quality AI prompts that produce usable content. 

Predictive Analytics

AI’s predictive modeling can forecast user behavior and content performance. This allows for proactive content adjustments to align with search engine algorithms, but once again, requires human thought, input, and verification. An SEO specialist’s insight into current patterns and goals is required to know what to ask AI regarding types of content and future performance. Without an intimate understanding of what these analytics mean and how to manually verify them, it is impossible to create an effective AI prompt or interpret its results.

Automation of Repetitive Tasks

AI can automate mundane tasks such as meta-tagging, link-building, and content scheduling, freeing human resources for more creative endeavors. However, one must understand these processes thoroughly in order to prompt AI to do them for you (at least, to do them well), meaning that the user interacting with AI must have extensive SEO knowledge to produce the best results.

AI vs. Human Brains: Why AI Is Best Operated by Human Writers and Marketers

AI Requires Input and Engagement

AI tools are undeniably powerful. Ultimately, however, they’re only as good as the algorithms they use and the input they are given. They require fairly close human guidance in order to establish and meet parameters for a given task. Writers who have been trained to use them know:

  • What exactly to ask AI for, what it excels at, and what it struggles with
  • How to formulate (and reformulate) prompts to get the best results
  • How to vet and use generated information

In short, expert SEO writers have the skills needed to translate generated data and copy into actionable insights and meaningful, optimized content.

AI Has Limitations (and Accessories)

Most AI apps are limited with regard to the kinds of data they can access from the internet and how they can synthesize it. Fortunately, third-party enhancements like plugins can help to minimize or eliminate these constraints. However, you need to know where to find these, how to evaluate them, and how to install them. Knowing when and how to use each tool becomes its own skill, one in which SEO professionals have a foot up, being familiar with similar tools in their non-AI-assisted work. 

Some apps also have customized settings that allow you to apply certain rules or standards to all AI-generated content. Writers know what these should be, how to apply the settings, and when to suspend them.

Need more proof of the importance of human ingenuity? Many free and lower-tier versions of AI tools can’t “surf” the internet at all, and may have other problematic limitations. Even tools with access to the live internet do not navigate it with the same level of experience that a tenured SEO writer and researcher does. Your trusty SEO experts, though, can conduct supplementary research and come up with creative workarounds for AI shortcomings, which allow them to get the job done (and done well), even on a tight tech budget.

AI Requires Quality Control

AI often returns anemic, irrelevant, uninformative, or inaccurate results. It will often make empty or potentially problematic generalizations for the sake of padding out a paragraph or section. To ensure that your SEO writing meets the highest possible standards of quality (and to avoid embarrassment for your organization), you’ll need humans to assess each output. SEO content experts know when and how to elaborate, fact-check, and refocus copy (often with the help of additional prompts) to ensure content quality and relevance.

AI Output Must Be Tailored and Polished

While AI can produce astonishingly useful results, it’s not a mind-reader, nor is it an expert on your organization or how you prefer to present your content. It takes thoughtful and eagle-eyed humans to tailor writing in ways that meet project specifications, such as adhering to house styles, citation styles, branded terminology, and more. In addition, although AI is capable of adopting various writing styles and tones, only your content experts can fine-tune these to hit just the right notes so that they resonate as much as possible with your target audience.

The Last Word: AI and Human Symbiosis in Content Marketing

Ultimately, there’s no denying that AI offers valuable tools to enhance SEO writing for nonprofits, from keyword optimization to content personalization. However, it cannot replace the complex human knowledge and experience of your content staff. Expert SEO writers and marketers play an indispensable role in guiding and troubleshooting AI, ensuring (and improving) quality, understanding and managing plugins, fine-tuning content, and maintaining brand voice.

Embracing both technological innovation and human creativity ensures that nonprofits can leverage the best of both worlds to achieve their mission.

Are you looking to improve your nonprofit’s marketing and content efforts? Our experts in SEO and digital marketing are here to help. As the leader in Google Grant management for nonprofit organizations, Nonprofit Megaphone understands how valuable high-quality content is, which is why we offer professional SEO content writing services to create blog posts and landing page content. Let us know how we can help you. We love to help nonprofit organizations succeed!