It’s a hot topic. While SEO has ruled the search engine game for years, generative AI is turning the world of keywords and backlinks upside down. We’ve seen the “SEO is dead” and “AI can outrank your agency” memes, clickbait, and more. Let’s get to the facts.

Generative Engine Optimization (GEO) is the new kid on the search block, and it prioritizes a natural language approach to search. It prioritizes unique, context-rich answers based on high-quality content with engaging structure, expert sources, and statistical data. Understanding GEO is the key to future-proofing your search strategy. 

Here’s more on those reasons why your website won’t rank (along with how to make sure it does!).

Curious why? 

  • You developed content based solely on SEO keywords.
  • You don’t understand your target audience on a human level.
  • You’re writing to an entry-level audience.
  • You’re too focused on words on a page.

The idea that AI is the enemy of SEO is a big misconception. AI isn’t a threat; it’s a tool. It can help evolve SEO, however the human touch will always remain indispensable. How so?

AI can play a role in data analysis and automation, but it can’t replace the human ability to think creatively. Devising innovative content will still hold extreme importance. AI can’t suggest creative ideas…yet. We (humans) play a vital role in building relationships with clients. Understanding unique client needs, providing strategic guidance, and maintaining open communication are aspects that AI lacks. Red Thinking’s SEO team ensures that content is presented accurately and ethically, preventing the manipulation of search engines or the spread of misinformation. We actively monitor and adhere to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, prioritizing user experience and transparency.

So, where do SEO and GEO meet? If SEO is on your radar and GEO is not, it should be! GEO is generative engine optimization. Translated, GEO is when you optimize content to increase its visibility in the responses generated by AI-driven generative search engines. If Google is “Search”, GEO/Generative AI is “Answer”.

Where SEO relies on keywords, links, and analyzing analytics to rise to the top of search engine results, GEO wants to understand what will be valuable to humans and what makes sense in a given context. It uses natural language processing to develop unique, context-rich answers for each query. It’s not just a quick answer. It’s the full story, and it values content that can help provide that context.

Developing Content Based Solely on Keywords

Keywords matter. They matter for SEO, and they’ll continue to matter for GEO. But they’re going to be a little less cut and dry. You can use AI-driven keywords targeting for SEO, but to transfer that to GEO, you need to add more value. Keyword stuffing won’t work. They need to be used naturally and in a way that’s helpful for the reader. This is how we’ve always created content at Red Thinking because we believe ranking only matters if your content is valuable — but now the internet search engines agree.

Not Understanding How Your Audience Speaks

You know your target audience’s persona, but do you understand how they speak? With GEO, semantic SEO and generative models matter more than maximizing keywords. Because AI aims to answer queries in conversational, easy-to-understand language, it looks for content that is written in that same manner. We always look at your brand personas first, because, if you know how your audience speaks, then you can put the content in a more colloquial tone. That helps out the generative AI, which, in turn, prioritizes your content.

You’re Not Including The Facts

Generative AI engines want to see more technical, fact-based content that’s written at a 201 rather than 101 level. If you’ve developed content that speaks to a more general audience, then it’s less valuable to GEO. Adding citations, statistical data, numbers, and expert quotes all help GEO recognize your content as trustworthy and authoritative on the topic.

You’re Too Focused on Word Count

If you’re just trying to hit a word count and a specific number of keywords, then you probably aren’t carefully paying attention to the format or the syntax. But this matters for GEO. Use full, properly structured, engaging sentences, and utilize tools like bullets and headings to make your content easily readable. GEO wants to see content that prioritizes the reader experience.

Bottom Line – Quality over Quantity

Understanding and implementing GEO is crucial for staying ahead in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. Red Thinking is your eyes and ears to tracking SEO, GEO, and everything in between. We’re always up for a conversation on how to optimize your content for both SEO rankings and GEO to maximize your organic traffic with AI.