My Top AI Tips for eCommerce Owners

by Jim July 25, 2023

Hey everyone! Sorry I’ve been gone for so long, but I’ve been busy down the AI rabbit hole seeing how I can use it to benefit our client’s businesses, and of course our own business. We’re starting to do more AI consulting for businesses now, so I thought I’d offer up my five tips for eCommerce owners to help them cut through the AI noise.

What I learned

  • AI is evolving rapidly!
  • My Chrome extension is now live.
  • Prompt creation is crucial.
  • Time to consider putting the brakes on AI?
  • Google seems to be lagging.

Transcript

Introduction and AI Consulting for Businesses

Hey, welcome back Rankers! It’s been the longest break in the history of the world, and I haven’t seen you for months. So, what’s been happening? We’ve been really, busy with AI, not only doing our own thing with marketing and analysis, but also starting to do some AI consulting for businesses. Some of it’s marketing-related, and other parts of it are not. It could just be looking at certain processes in a business and helping them understand where AI might be able to help. Some of the stuff that’s coming out is just fascinating, and I said at the beginning of the year, treat AI like a tool or like a better paintbrush. That’s still very true and, like a hammer, depending on who’s using it, it can create something beautiful or destroy something very, very simply.

Top 5 Tips for AI Implementation

I wanted to just go through our five top tips. Now, stay tuned; there will be a freebie at the end of this where I’ll send you a document that goes into the details of these tips and some steps that you can take in your own business. Some of the things that we’re seeing going wrong are lack of visibility on what we know are the basics of great user experience and a great site. To give you an idea of that, Google’s just come out and said that SEO fundamentals are so important. They’ve always been important; that’s what they’re fundamentals. But we’ve been saying that for if you’ve been following the show for the last 20 years, you’ll know that’s what we’ve been saying. That still applies, and we’re seeing real reasons to do that, not only for Google but for AI.

The reason I say that is that if you remember the beginning of the year, I said we’re going to have Smart assistants emerge which are going to look at your purchase history, they’re going to look at what brands you like, they’re going to look at all sorts of things about you. Well, that product’s out there now, that’s called multi-on. So, what does that mean as it relates to SEO? The fundamentals, the data that the AI looks at and receives, is helped by things like structured data, by things like heading tags, by things like page titles, and customer experience. And the reason I say that is because Google has been on about customer experience for ages, core web vitals, all those sorts of things, user experience. It’s even more so with smart assistants.

The Importance of User Experience and Embracing AI for Personal Use

I did an exercise where I went to Bard, and I’ll show you a screenshot in a second. I went to Bard, and I asked Bard where the best place would be to buy X, and I use the key phrase one of my clients ranks number one for in Sydney, and I tested the search in Sydney; we still ranked number one. I went and asked Bard, where would I buy this product, using the search phrase? Bard listed my client as number ten, not the first choice, because our free shipping threshold was the highest. It made me think, is Google looking at that? Maybe not, because we ranked number one. But they do ask for it, and we know ads are looking at it because that’s what Google Merchant Centre is always about – Advertiser excellence and all those ratings for our clients.

AI is going to look at that as well. Smart assistants are looking at those things too. So, you’ve got to signpost everything, as we’ve always said with SEO. Like you’ve always done, speed, good user experience, and of course, brand. Brand is going to be everything because if you’ve got those shoppers and customers connected with your brand, then the smart assistants of the future will know that and recommend it, maybe even to your friends, like what Google does with its own algorithm and entity search. But what Google was always trying to be and the other interesting thing happening with Google is it in a panic. We’re seeing a lot of stuff coming out of Google right now, a lot of talk about AI.

When you look at what Bard tells me about my client who ranks number one and has an ad, and you’re not recommending him, then something is wrong with your product. I think we’re going to see more of that. We’re already seeing some searches in keywords drop off, and we think they’re going to chat GPT or other AI tools because it’s quicker to get to the answer. Certainly, that’s the case with me, especially with Python searches. I’m not going to go and Google a function or a library. I’m going to ask Chat GPT. Second, content. You can create gobloads of content with AI. If you didn’t already know, you can create it in the tone of Shakespeare, your favourite writer, whatever you like. Make sure you write in the tone of your shoppers and your buyers and language that they respond to.

But don’t, for goodness sake, go to any of these tools and ask them, “Can you write me an article that will rank well in Google for this phrase and then stick it on your category page?” As I’ve seen some clients do, looking at you, you know who you are. I’ve told them, “What are you doing? Oh, I just tried it out.” No, because the reason for that, why that’s a bad idea, is you’re going to get junk content full of keywords because these large language models like Chat GPT learn from what’s on the internet and what they’ve consumed. If they’ve consumed garbage and that garbage might be sort of what you want, it’s going to give it to you. The content is not for Google if you’re writing content as an e-commerce business to try to attract more people from Google. That content is not going to convert, and most likely, it’s costing you more to create than what you’re making from it. That sort of content will bring traffic in, but it won’t convert. So, you need to have a look at that.

That’s why things like shops like Bunnings don’t have a library. They’ll have workshops to show you how to do stuff. That’s content. But they don’t have a library for you to come in and re-read how to build a table. It’s there for shoppers. The content is for shoppers, not for Google. So don’t use it just to create content. We put everything we do through a brand persona. Like you can say, “Hey, write it in the tone of Shakespeare.” We write it in the tone of our brand personas. We’ve got a tool for that now that allows us to have all these client inputs about their brand and who they’re targeting. That gives us a great idea of who we should be talking to and the language that should be used across all platforms. That’s EDMs, of which we’re doing a lot now, mainly using Klaviyo. If you’re using something else, let us know what it is. We love competition.

We’re using that template to make sure you get that consistency of voice across advertising, EDMs, category pages, all those sorts of things. So, you can use it well, and you can use it badly, just like a hammer. Make sure you go and do that test with Google Bard or ChatGPT with WebPilot switched on and ask them where to buy using your key phrase. If it’s wholesale green eggs in Sydney, make sure you put that in. See what comes back and ask why it made those choices. You might get some insights from that.

We’ve got a lot of tools that we use that just go and get that information now. It’s quite amazing. Analysis is what used to take me days and can now take a few hours to get the data I want. So, use these tools for analysis in your own industry. Have a look at data that’s out there that you can get your hands on, whether it be ABS data, government data, whatever it is. Start to think about how you can use that with these tools to enhance your business and enhance your growth.

I’ve got a tool on my desktop that’s an autonomous agent, basically. It uses ChatGPT, and I’ve adapted it so that it will go and take a search query from a user, check that search query in Google Trends, look for related queries around that query, and then come back and tell me of those top three related queries who’s ranking for those in Google. That is just a good time-saving tool for me because I use it for all sorts of things. We’ve got other tools that query other data sources, but there is so much that you can do.

One of the things that we did for AI consulting the other day using the tools that we’ve developed is a client said to me, “I’m trying to work out, I haven’t categorized my database at customers, and I’d like to know what industries they’re from because they’re B2B.” Yeah, we can do that for you. We can do that, and all the data that we would need is the email addresses, and we’ll work that out. Anything like that now, we just go, “How can we do this fast?”

And remember, the quality of your content or the output that you get from Chat GPT is only as good as the information that you give it. So, make sure you spend some time. There’s been some talk out there about GPT-4 becoming dumber, and it has a little bit. The prompt that I did earlier this year, where I got a Chrome extension from a single prompt, no longer works if you’re trying that. So, you’ve got to be more specific about the sorts of things that you want.

Conclusion

Finally, make sure you do your fundamentals. Make sure you don’t just use AI to write content for SEO; that will be a disaster for you. Make sure you use it for analysis, analyse your own customer experience, go and do that Bard exercise, go and do these things.
And just finally, about family and personal use, your family, my family, I’ve recently had two of my grandsons through doing work experience. I taught them everything there was to know that I knew at the time, and I’ll know a lot more now about AI and the tools. The reason for that is they weren’t learning any of it at school. I’m sure their parents are horrified, but my take on it is this: the sooner we all learn to use these tools and how they work, the better.

Some people say it’s quite expensive, but there are free ones out there. So, for your own family and for your own personal use, if you want to start playing with AI but don’t want to spend money, you can go to GPT-4-All. Just look that one up; you can either use Google or AI to find them. You can use a whole bunch of different models, and it’s free. You don’t get charged; you don’t even have to be connected to the internet. It’s advisable that you have at least eight gigs of RAM, but you’re probably better with 16. This is the Quora AI chatbot, and it has been reverse-engineered, so anybody can log in and have a variety of chatbots that they can use.

Now, there’s a limited amount of use that you get, but for most people, it’s probably enough at that free level until you start to get clever. So, there are several ways out there. Of course, Bing chat, which is GPT and plus, you’ve got your Bard and everything else as well. I’d love to know what you’re doing, but for us, this just opens so many doors. We’ve got a data scientist in our pocket, we’ve got an analyst in our pocket, we’ve got UX designers, human-computer interface professionals in our pocket now.

Love to know what you’re doing. Sorry about such a long show, but it’s been such a long time. And oh, the freebie! If you want a detailed walkthrough of these tips and links and all that sort of stuff, let me know at [email protected] and we’re going to send it out to you. Hopefully, that’s all folks. We’ll see you soon, maybe. Thanks very much, bye.

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