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ChatGPT is quickly becoming a hype in digital marketing and SEO. But can ChatGPT replace keyword research tools, and should it be considered a threat?
If you’re wondering what the most popular AI tool is today, then the answer will probably be ChatGPT. It has become the hype of the Internet, and everyone, from basic users to professionals, is looking to test its capabilities.
There is no doubt that, in time, AI will be a dominant force in task delegation and automatization, and it may even replace humans. People are starting to use it on a massive scale to save time and be more productive.
Keyword research is one of the areas of digital marketing that is greatly affected by this innovative AI tool. Can ChatGPT replace keyword research tools, and how will it evolve?
Let’s find out in the sections that follow.
Can ChatGPT Replace Keyword Research Tools?
ChatGPT is undoubtedly becoming the new hype regarding improving content and SEO. Even though many SEO and keyword experts are using this revolutionary tool as a keyword researcher, it still has a long way to go before completely replacing keyword research tools.
There are multiple arguments why ChatGPT is still unable to replace keyword research tools. That’s not to say it isn’t a fantastic helper in locating keyword and topic ideas.
It saves both time and effort in terms of keyword and topic research, but it lacks the emotional analytic capabilities that a keyword research expert will possess.
That being said, let’s look at this topic from both perspectives. We will analyze why keyword research tools are essential for SEO and how ChatGPT is also trying to gain traction in this regard as well.
The Power of Keywords and Keyword Research
Keyword research is the backbone of SEO and content creation. It's even more relevant today than it was in the past.
The way people search for helpful information online is by entering specific keywords. These keywords serve as clues on a map, which, when connected, become entire structures of topics and content that search engines can identify.
Keywords evolve into topics, and mastering topics is what provides topical authority.
A topical authority is how modern-day search engines and their algorithms recognize your website’s expertise in a specific niche. That is why many digital marketing agencies, like CLICKVISION Digital, offer topical map services that boost topical authority and better rankings.
The problem is finding the right keywords to help your website rank at the top of the SERPs. This is where keyword research tools are vital for the best SEO rankings.
What do keyword research tools do?
Keyword research tools are often SaaS-based software tools that help you research and find potential keywords based on specific algorithms and processes.
The main objectives of keyword research tools are to provide analysis that:
- Uncover relevant keywords
- Show the level of search volume
- Show how difficult a particular keyword is
- Provide long-tail keywords or topics
- Cluster similar and related keywords together
- Provide insights on competitor rankings.
The first objective of keyword research tools is to discover and identify the most relevant keywords for your niche.
The second objective is analyzing the search volume and estimating the number of searches for a particular keyword.
The third objective is to show you how difficult it is to rank for a particular keyword based on competitive analysis, search volume, and PPC.
The fourth objective of keyword research tools is to provide you with long-tail, low-competition keywords to rank for.
The fifth objective is to efficiently group similar keywords and topics to structure your website into pillar pages and content clusters.
The sixth objective is to provide insights into what keywords your competitors rank for and why.
How Is ChatGPT Affecting Keyword Research?
How capable is ChatGPT?
Open AI introduced ChatGPT at the end of November 2022.
ChatGPT is short for chat-based generative pre-trained transformer and is based on the architectural model of GPT-3. It is a language prediction model capable of answering complex topics and generating related answers to inquiries like a human being.
The level of data analysis that ChatGPT can perform is revolutionary. It has surpassed all limitations that previous AI software has set.
ChatGPT’s levels of efficiency make it capable of composing poems, performing research and analysis on numerous topics, and even creating programming code.
What effect does ChatGPT have on content creation and SEO?
ChatGPT is already starting to have a significant impact on keyword research. Many keyword and SEO experts utilize it to:
- Quickly create content
- Find keyword and topic ideas
- Develop basic content marketing strategies
- Understand keyword and search intent
- Generate convincing titles and headings
- Discover ranking opportunities and manage analytics reports.
As you can see, people have already started using ChatGPT’s unique capabilities to help them improve their SEO and content rankings.
You have also noticed that we mentioned people using this software to find keywords and topics within their niche.
Does this mean that ChatGPT will replace Keyword Research tools for good?
Not just yet.
Is ChatGPT Helpful for Keyword Research?
Even though it is a powerful creative tool, ChatGPT cannot replace keyword research tools. It lacks several vital components that would render it capable of such a feat.
That doesn’t mean that it can’t prove helpful for keyword research. In fact, SEO and keyword experts have already started utilizing it as a helpful sidekick when it comes to generating keyword and topic ideas.
Let’s look at how ChatGPT can be helpful for keyword research.
What Can ChatGPT Do in Terms of Keyword Research?
We’ve already explained six of the main capabilities of keyword research tools.
In this section, we will compare ChatGPT to these six abilities and see how well it performs against keyword research tools.
Namely, we will use ChatGPT for:
- Identifying keywords
- A search volume analysis
- A keyword difficulty analysis
- Long-tail keyword research
- Keyword and topic clustering
- Competitor analysis.
Discovering new keywords
ChatGPT can provide related keywords based on one primary keyword that you provide.
For example, if you input a phrase like “Generate ten keywords for ‘Dog Training,’” it will come up with ten related keywords to dog training that you can then use and analyze in a keyword research tool.
Example keywords that ChatGPT will generate, based on the “Dog Training” keyword:
- Puppy training
- Obedience training
- Behavior modification
- Leash training
- Potty training
- Socialization training
- Clicker training
- Trick training
- Aggression training
- Separation anxiety training
You can ask ChatGPT to expand the list further, for example, by asking it to revise them and include more specific subtopics.
As you can see, the level of flexibility that ChatGPT offers in terms of keyword discovery is surprising. Imagination is the only limit when using it to brainstorm keyword ideas.
But however flexible it may be, it only demonstrates that its main ability is finding new keyword ideas without additional information.
Keyword research, for many experts, is all about speed. This means exporting large keyword lists in spreadsheets for further analysis, which is something that ChatGPT cannot do. Going back and forth between keywords consumes both time and effort.
Takeaway: ChatGPT is excellent for discovering new keywords. Nonetheless, it cannot export keyword lists to spreadsheets for quick analysis.
Analysis of keyword search volume
ChatGPT can’t keep up with this feature of keyword research tools. It is unable to provide search volume data for a specific keyword that you provide.
When asked to do so, it will tell you that you should try to use a different tool.
Search volume is data assembled by keyword research tools based on multiple statistical factors like location, language, and demographics. It is also a parameter that is susceptible to constant change. This is why only keyword research tools can provide information related to it.
Takeaway: Currently, ChatGPT has no keyword search volume capabilities of any kind.
Keyword difficulty analysis
Similar to the search volume, ChatGPT is also lacking behind when asked to provide a keyword difficulty analysis on specific keywords.
This is because it doesn’t have access to real-time search data like keyword research tools do.
Keyword difficulty is partly derived from search volume, which indicates the inability of ChatPT to provide this information right from the start.
Instead, when asked which of several keywords is the most difficult to rank for, ChatGPT replies objectively.
It tries to explain how a particular keyword, for example, “dog training,” is considered a broad and highly competitive one because more websites are likely to compete for it.
In other words, it defines a high-volume, difficult-to-rank keyword instead of providing real-time data about it.
Long-tail keyword research
Long-tail keyword research is something that ChatGPT does quite well. It can provide logical long-tail keywords quickly based on an indicated primary keyword.
By inputting a prompt like “make a list of long-tail keywords based on the primary keyword ‘dog training,” ChatGPT will generate over ten long-tail keywords that you can later work with in another keyword research tool.
Example long-tail keyword based on the “dog training” keyword:
You can also ask it to alter the generated long-tail keyword results and develop different versions, expanding them into unique topics.
Takeaway: ChatGPT is an excellent helping tool for generating long-tail keyword ideas.
Keyword and topic clustering
Keyword clustering is another task that ChatGPT performs quite well. It can take a list of keywords and sort them according to your specified parameters.
For example, it can cluster a group of keywords based on their semantic relevance, grouping them in a logical list that it thinks is relevant.
Another example of ChatGPT’s keyword clustering abilities is helping you narrow the search intent for specific keywords. It will create a visual table in the results console, which you can copy and use for further research.
Even though these examples seem practical, they can only be helpful in clustering keywords for smaller projects.
SEO and keyword experts often need to analyze and cluster hundreds of pages worth of keywords. Using ChatGPT is time-consuming, as it cannot export files as keyword research tools do. This is where tools like KeyClusters, Keyword Insights, and Keyword Cupid come into play.
Takeaway: ChatGPT is an excellent tool for small groups of keyword clusters and projects. However, it would be more time-consuming when analyzing and clustering large amounts of keywords and topics.
We've already discussed that ChatGPT does not have access to analytical data like keyword research tools. This makes it unable to provide competitor analysis reports, which many high-end keyword research tools like Ahrefs do, for example.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that ChatGPT is completely paralyzed in this regard. Keyword research experts have devised the idea to use it as a form of “keyword extraction” tool. Namely, they copy and paste a competitor’s text or article into the ChatGPT console and tell the tool to extract relevant keywords.
This strategy is helpful because it helps to find keywords that even high-end keyword research tools may miss.
The downside is that it is time-consuming to process long articles and texts one by one when you can perform a competitor analysis based on keywords that they rank for on the SERPs.
Takeaway: ChatGPT can extract relevant keywords from competitor articles and texts. However, this is time-consuming compared to performing a keyword ranking analysis of competitors in a keyword research tool.
Where Is ChatGPT Lacking When It Comes to Keyword Research?
However powerful ChatGPT may be, it is still a technological wonder in the making. It needs time to learn, analyze, and evolve just enough to replace keyword research tools completely.
For the time being, its capabilities are limited to machine thinking, which is only one of many criteria that make the ideal keyword research process.
Besides data analysis, the emotional factor also plays a part in keyword research. This factor is based on years of trial and error, understanding user problems and goals, and identifying how to add value to content.
This is the aspect of keyword research that ChatGPT will not beat because it doesn’t understand what prompts searches for specific keywords beyond logical and analytical thinking.
ChatGPT is also not a tool that provides statistical analysis like keyword research tools. It can’t be used by experts to visually see how keywords rank, their value, and the search volume for each keyword.
This is why ChatGPT will not replace keyword research tools.
ChatGPT is undoubtedly one of the AI tools that will become a relevant threat to the future of keyword research tools. As it evolves, it will become even more aware of certain mechanisms and get close to the analytical capabilities of keyword research tools.
But for the time being, it’s far from being a threat and a real competitor to most high-end keyword research tools available online.
What do you think? Can ChatGPT replace keyword research tools, and what is the future of this AI software? Feel free to comment below.
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