As a human-focused SEO copywriter, whenever I chat about my business (with strangers or friends) I’m invariably asked, “Will AI take over your job?”
No, I tell them.
Because AI for SEO copywriting is missing the key element that makes for sticky copy.
A year into the ChatGPT era, here’s my take on AI and SEO copywriting trends in 2024.
If you’re curious about my take on it back in 2023, here’s what I said when The Age interviewed me about ChatGPT.
AI is for answers
That’s why it exists.
Those answers are only given based on the data it has been fed. As ChatGPT told me in a query I submitted this week, that input “allow[s] me to generate human-like responses based on patterns and information present in the data.”
Before you huff and puff – yes, website copy gives your buyers answers but not the kind that ChatGPT generates.
AI can tell you how to fold a paper plane. Calculate your tax rate. Advise when to harvest pomegranates. How to de-husk corn so the silk bits don’t end up feeling like hair in your dinner.
But write website copy for an interior designer, ecomm coach or sex educator that sticks, nails the SEO keyword and has loads of personality?
AI Assistant Claude (it/himself?) confirmed:
Ask AI for answers. But leave the creative, human-centric copy to people this year and beyond.
SEO in 2024 = useful, humanised content
In Google’s most recent update, ingeniously named the Helpful Content Update, they shifted focus towards human-first content as a ranking factor.
"... a signal used by our automated ranking systems to better ensure people see original, helpful content created for people in search results."
Copy that’s written purely for SEO will do you no ranking favours in 2024.
Publish original copy that’s genuinely helpful, well considered, and easy for people to read.
Real experience is everything
Extra oomph in my argument for human-centric copy comes directly from the Goog. is that the EAT acronym we all know (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) in creating a website your buyers trust, has had an update by the Google gods themselves.
EEAT now includes an E for Experience. That second E is all about demonstrating your first-hand human experience with your subject matter.
So if your site retails big brand name child safe knives, write product descriptions that show your take on the knives. Don’t just copy paste what the manufacturer sends to you. Demonstrate your expertise, use video, 3D imagery, your own product photos.
Another way to show the new E in EEAT is having a rich, storytelling About page. Show your credibility, your journey and experience with a personalised About page that people really want to read. As a small business, your audience definitely wants to read it.
Side note – EEAT is not a ranking factor. It’s a but a factor used by Google Quality Raters to assess expertise of content creators.
Originality is human
Originality is borne from intimate experience with (and deep understanding of) your subject.
It’s not borrowed from a bot. Or pasted from a computer program’s data output.
Original ideas are human.
When it comes to copy in 2024, it’s nuance, wordplay, tone and cadence wrapped up in original ideas and brand vibe that make websites sticky, valuable and readworthy.
“If ChatGPT can write it with ease, it probably doesn’t need to be written”, as Kate Toon notes in this excellent podcast.
In the time it takes me to plug in a detailed prompt to Claude or ChatGPT, I’ve clarified my thoughts and come up with creative content myself. And that’s exactly where AI for copywriting is limited.
AI can only spit out what’s been programmed in – data that already exists on the internet.
So if you don’t have an original take on your website, and there’s little about your copy to disrupt my scroll, what’s to stop Google from generating its own AI answer for you? Website traffic will reduce, time on site drops and your ranking plummets.
That’s how I see AI and SEO copy playing this year. I’d love to know what you think – please drop a comment below.