How to Prepare Your Business for AI Search with Semrush
How to Prepare Your Business for AI Search with Semrush

How to Prepare Your Business for AI Search with Semrush

Google and Microsoft have added AI search features to their products. Also, Apple recently integrated Chat GPT into its OS, Apple Intelligence. And there is no time soon for this to revert; quite the opposite: more and more companies will integrate AI search capabilities into their products.

Read this guide to learn what an AI-powered search is and how it differs from a traditional search. I will also show you how to prepare your business website for AI search using Semrush, one of my favorite SEM tools.

What exactly is AI-powered Search?

The days when you had to switch between multiple query searches and web pages to find the needed information are almost gone.

With generative search AI, search engines use artificial intelligence technologies to look for information from thousands of results, combine results, summarize the findings, and provide an answer to the user.

A few search engines already use AI, including AI Overviews, which uses Gemini from Google, and Microsoft Copilot, which leverages Chat GPT.

Ai Overviews is now only available for the US market and is gradually being introduced to other markets, including Europe. Gary Illyes, an analyst at Google Search, stated at SERPConf, Bulgaria, that due to the implications related to GDPR in Europe, it would take some time for AI Overviews to be implemented.

How is AI Search different from traditional search?

We currently use our favorite search engines—Google, Bing, or others—to discover what we want to know. The search engine returns a series of results, and we visit a couple to find the desired information.

Instead, with AI Search, we ask the AI ​​assistant what we want to find out. The AI generates the answer to our question. We evaluate the answer without visiting any site. If satisfied, we ask the assistant another question for clarification, visit a suggested site, or stop the search.

So visitors no longer have to consult the sites suggested by the search engine and evaluate the information until they are satisfied; they receive the information automatically and synthesize it with the AI ​​assistant. Visitors will only visit the suggested sites if they want more details.

Check the video below from 9to5Google to find out more about AI Overviews and see how this is different from traditional search:

If the AI search assistant does not suggest your website or your products or services, the buyer will not see it nor be able to consider them for purchase. Trusted sites and strong brands in a particular area or niche will attract even more visitors/customers, while new ones must invest more in SEO or alternative channels to grow.

How to Prepare Your Website for AI Search with Semrush

As you can see, search engines change tremendously, so business owners need to stay current with trends and make the necessary changes to attract traffic, leads, and sales from search engines.

Here comes my favorite digital marketing suite: Semrush. If you haven’t heard of it, Semrush is an all-in-one tool suite that helps small and medium businesses boost their online presence.

Semrush offers a variety of digital marketing tools to help with tasks like:

  • SEO: Improve your ranking by researching keywords and backlinks, auditing your website, and tracking your progress.
  • Competitor Analysis: See what your competitors are doing right (and wrong) to gain an edge.
  • Content Marketing: Plan and create content that resonates with your audience.
  • Social Media Marketing: Manage your social media presence and track its effectiveness.
  • Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: Run and optimize PPC campaigns for better results.

If you want to work hands-on while you read our guide, grab yourself a FREE trial account of Semrush by clicking the banner below:

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Next, I’m going to show you six ways you can use Semrush to improve your business website for AI search:

1. Discover revenue-driving keywords

Search keywords are the terms and phrases visitors use to search for information, products, or services in search engines. It’s mandatory to start your AI search optimization with the right keywords; otherwise, you will spend a lot of time and resources ranking for keywords irrelevant to your business or not driving revenue.

To select the right keywords for your business, we have to consider the following:

  • The estimated volume of monthly searches. There is no point in optimizing for keywords with low search volume.
  • Consider the competition for that keyword. If strong sites are in the first positions, you may be unable to beat them, and we will not receive visitors.
  • Search Intent. Getting sales from informational or navigational terms means low conversion volume.

You can discover revenue-driving keywords using the Keyword Magic Tool. Semrush lets you find profitable, popular keywords that are easy to rank for.

Keywords returned by Semrush Keyword Magic Tool
Keywords returned by Semrush Keyword Magic Tool

Another option to identify the best keywords for your business is to use Keyword Gap, a tool from the Semrush suite that helps you compare your keyword profile with those of your competitors. This will quickly reveal which keywords your competitors rank for and which you don’t.

Actionable steps to identify revenue-driven keywords:

  • Make a list of the keywords you identified with traffic and sales potential for your site and what search intent you are targeting.
  • Depending on the search volume, intent, and difficulty/competition, you should prioritize the ones that bring the most benefits.
  • We also add our brand to the list because we will optimize the site for it.

2. Create high-quality content

To be relevant to Search AI, our content must be unique, on-topic, and concise, and it must answer visitors. In addition to quality, we must consider the authority, expertise, and experience of the author and the site. We must ensure the author, site, and content are aligned and correlated.

EEAT stands for Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. It’s an essential concept because it helps search algorithms evaluate the quality and credibility of your content.

  • Experience: Google wants to see that the author of the content has relevant knowledge about the topic covered. It is vital for YMYL content.
  • Expertise: The author must demonstrate expertise in the field. Either publish on a site with a solid reputation in the field or demonstrate relevant credentials.
  • Authority: The site must be an authority in the field. This can be done by getting links from authoritative sites and appearing in reputable publications.
  • Trustworthiness: The site must be trustworthy. It must provide accurate and verifiable information, avoid misleading content, ensure data security, and refrain from engaging in questionable activities.

Fortunately, Semrush can help you ensure we match EEAT factors when we create content.

Tools in the Semrush suite help us create high-quality content for our website:

  • Topic Research that enables you to generate ideas for engaging content.
  • SEO Content Template that generates actionable briefs for SEO-friendly content with just a few clicks.
  • SEO Writing Assistant is an intelligent writing editor that helps you optimize your copy for engagement and SEO.
  • ContentShake AI offers weekly trending content ideas and generates unlimited ready-to-rank articles and high-quality AI images.
Optimizing this article for SEO using SEO Writing Assistant from Semrush
Optimizing this article for SEO using SEO Writing Assistant from Semrush

The world consumes content differently: some prefer video, text, and a chatbot to answer questions. It is good to cover the most common ones used by customers.

Actionable steps to create high-quality content for your website:

  • Research the topics in which your clients are most interested.
  • Use SEO Writing Assistant to create high-quality, on-point, and actionable content that answers their questions and sends strong EEAT signals.

3. Do Competitive research

In such a competitive business climate, it is essential to monitor the competition. By doing active competitive research, you will gain valuable information about the keywords they target organically (SEO) and pay (PPC), their content strategy and plan, content ideas, traffic sources, opportunities to get links or digital PR, etc.

By entering your website into the Semrush domain overview, you will get a list of the leading organic competitors and SEO information. The Semrush Domain Overview tool provides a complete picture of domain visibility.

Semrush Domain Overview
Semrush Domain Overview

If you need more details, including ways to identify more of your competitors, you should head to the Competitors tab of the Organic Research tool.

Tools in the Semrush suite that help us do competitive research:

  • Semrush Domain OverviewIt reveals organic information about your competitor domains
  • Organic Research tool Get extensive details about top keywords, position changes, top pages by organic traffic, subdomains, main organic competitors, and the competitive positioning map.
  • Keyword Overview – Besides keyword volume and ideas, you will get a SERP analysis to identify competitors that rank for this keyword in the Top 100.
  • Backlink Gap tool – Identify backlinks and digital PR opportunities they already secured and you didn’t.
  • Keyword Gap tool – Identify keywords your competitors rank for and you don’t.
  • Traffic Analytics tool – Uncover successful channels and see where your competitors get the most website visitors.

As you can see, Semrush offers plenty of tools for competitive research and spotting the competition. A basic rule is not to copy what the competition does but to identify the good things they do (winning moves), improve on them, adjust them, and use them.

Actionable steps to research your competitors and identify winning moves:

  • Make it a habit to research your competitors at least every few months to identify their winning moves.
  • Adapt, improve, and implement these winning moves into your business and measure the success.

4. Do a Site Audit

An SEO site audit is fundamental to the search engine optimization strategy. A website with technical issues will not perform to its full potential in search. Thus, SEO efforts will be in vain if site issues remain unresolved.

A good site visitor experience is essential to Search AI because it sends necessary signals to the algorithm about site relevance, increased user satisfaction, more time spent on the site, and better social signals. If these signals are positive, they contribute to a better site ranking.

Semrush Site Audit checks any website for 130+ technical issues in minutes. The technical problems I mostly identified in the audits included a lack of Google indexing, missing pages and images, broken internal and external links, duplicate content, slow site loading speed, hard-to-read text, etc.

Actionable steps to do site SEO audits:

  • Identify and fix site issues with Semrush Site Audit to help your website rank higher in Google and improve user experience.

5. Leverage Local SEO

Optimizing your company search positions on Google and other business listings on relevant websites in directories in your niche is mandatory to prepare your business for AI search and improve your local SEO.

Semrush offers a couple of tools for local businesses:

  • Listing management – Stay visible with business listings in top directories and do automatic NAP Management.
  • Map Rank Tracker – Check your business ranking on Google Maps and produce a heatmap report with your business rankings for every map pin.
  • Reviews management – Monitor your reviews across multiple platforms and respond quickly to them, resolving any issues that affect your reputation.

Maintaining up-to-date business listings gives AI search the necessary trust signals to showcase your business. It also helps your customers find and contact you more easily.

With Semrush’s Listing Management Tool, managing your business listings is easier. You can edit your information using Semrush and automatically distribute your updates to top local USA directories and worldwide.

Remember to monitor your reviews, as AI-powered search engines can analyze thousands of customer reviews. The search assistant will not recommend your business if the complaints remain unresolved or the buyer’s buyer’s experience is unfavorable. And this is something you really can’t afford to happen.

Actionable steps to leverage local SEO to improve your presence in AI search:

  • Manage your business listings and ensure the details are correct and up-to-date.
  • Monitor your reviews and respond quickly to issues affecting your business reputation.

6. Get quality backlinks

While on-page SEO focuses on optimizing the site’s content and structure, off-site SEO refers to techniques implemented outside the site to improve its credibility and authority: links, Digital PR, and citations.

It should be noted that off-site SEO techniques cannot replace a site’s on-site SEO problems, so you should run a site SEO audit and fix the issue. However, they enhance even more excellent on-site SEO.

Good backlinks!

Those backlinks are obtained naturally on sites with authority in your industry, frequently updated with relevant content, high SEO metrics, and relevant traffic on pages with links.

Bad backlinks

Not obtained organically but purchased on websites without authority in the field, not updated, without relevant content and traffic, on orphan pages, or pages with many other links.

Semrush tools suite can help us ensure our backlink profile is in good shape and spot quality backlink placements and digital PR opportunities.

Check how easily it is to spot toxic backlinks using the Semrush Backlinks audit tool:

Screenshot of the Semrush Backlinks Audit Tool
Screenshot of the Semrush Backlinks Audit Tool

Backlink building and management tools available in Semrush:

  • Backlink Analytics – Quickly evaluate and compare link profiles in-depth using their backlink checker;
  • Backlinks Audit – Run advanced backlinks audit to identify toxic backlinks or those lost and gained. It also categorizes backlinks based on authority score, industry, or anchor type;
  • Link building  – A powerful tool to quickly and easily build backlinks by researching backlink sources, identifying website owner contact details for outreach, and tracking the progress;
  • Bulk Backlink Analysis & Backlinks Gap – With these two tools, you can quickly analyze your competitors’ backlink profiles to identify opportunities.

Actionable steps to have a strong backlink profile:

  • Run periodic backlinks audits to ensure a healthy backlink profile that does not jeopardize your SEO efforts.
  • Getting links should be done by following a Digital PR acquisition strategy, not purchasing links.
  • Fewer quality links are better than many irrelevant links. Garry Illies, an analyst at Google Search, stated at SERPConf Bulgaria that Google needs few links to rank a site.

7. Branding Signals

A strong brand conveys trust and credibility, and AI Search engines consider this when ranking search results. When shopping online, would you choose a reputable and solid brand or one susceptible to fakes?

Branding helps Search AI differentiate entities in search results by prioritizing sites with a strong brand. In practice, we have noticed that Google prioritizes sites with many searches for the brand name, signaling that people appreciate the content.

To build a solid brand online, you should ensure that your business website has a strong authority score (you can check it in the Semrush domain overview) and has strong backlinks from quality, related websites, etc.

Actionable steps to improve your branding signals for better AI search coverage:

  • Don’t ignore branding; build a strong and differentiated one from the competition through content, visuals, media appearances, etc.
  • Take care of business reputation by constantly asking for feedback and monitoring reviews and reviews on local listing sites.
  • Consider media appearances.

Conclusion

It’s important to remember that when using AI-powered search, visiting a website to get the search result is optional, and most of the time, the assistant delivers this result directly. It’s mandatory to make the most you can to make your business recommended by AI search assistants.

To ensure that your business is considered by AI Search and present in the search response, you must provide several factors, including relevant content that answers visitors’ intent, that the author and the site are trusted and seen as authorities in the field, and that it has solid branding, up-to-date business listings, and positive reviews from customers.

Fortunately, as a small and medium business owner, you can use the Semrush suite of tools to prepare your website for AI-powered search, get ahead of competitors, attract new customers, work faster with the help of AI, and save time and money.

Grab yourself a FREE trial account of Semrush by clicking the banner below:

--> Grow your SMB with the right marketing tools
–> Grow your SMB with the right marketing tools

Affiliate Links Disclosure: We independently review the products and services we use and recommend. Monetize.info is registered as an affiliate in the Semrush affiliate program, so we may earn a commission when you start a trial or buy a product through our links.

About Daniel S.

Daniel is the founder of Competico SEO & CI agency and co-owner here at Monetize.info.Since 2005 he helps online business owners to establish a presence online and win the digital race.

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