Website Strategy In The Age Of Generative AI

Categories
AI, Search Engine Optimization, Web Design

Disclaimer: This article was not written using generative AI.

Do you still need a website if AI is going to take over?

With ChatGPT, Gemini, Google AI, and Sora making headlines, plenty of businesses are wondering just how much value is left in an old-fashioned website. For now, though – you still need a website

Generative tools make it easier than ever to create sophisticated, high-value websites – but should they change your overall digital strategy? Maybe! How good is your current strategy?

The Impact Of Generative AI

There are a lot of guesses about how generative AI is going to change the world, but for now – no one knows the true long-term impact of these tools

Let’s take a look at some of the leading estimates. 

The minds behind JP Morgan Research recently shared a look at how generative AI could create the most immediate impact in content creation and coding roles:

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If generative tools are capable of translating text into production-ready code by 2030, then theoretically everyone can be a developer by the next decade. Given the current complexity of services like GitHub Copilot and ChatGPT’s ability to provide boilerplate code, it’s hard to dismiss these predictions. 

The predictions continue – Investopedia shared insights on how generative AI is also set to disrupt work and creative output in a variety of other industries, such as:

  • Healthcare
  • Finance
  • Transportation
  • Manufacturing
  • Entertainment
  • Retail

Goldman Sachs has gone so far as to claim that generative AI could partially automate about two-thirds of all jobs:

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All of this paints a dramatic picture – jobs will change, creative industries will be hard-pressed to compete with technology, and no industry will be exempt. 

What should you do with your website then?

Google has made it clear that they want to rank high-value content – however it’s created. For now, businesses still need a content marketing expert to help them generate content and speak to their audience. The difference between a great website and a “good enough” website is still talented professionals. 

What’s the key for businesses who want to revamp their website strategy? Focus on your website’s fundamentals so that you’re ready to adapt. 

Let’s talk about those fundamentals. 

The Basics Of Website Strategy

It doesn’t matter if you’re building a website on WordPress, Wix, Shopify, or anything else – the fundamentals of web strategy remain the same. Your goal is to provide information, incite action, and facilitate an exchange. 

Remember this sequence: 

Information > Action > Exchange

All of your website goals should center around one of these three elements (or all three). Here’s why:

Information

When a Search Engine’s crawler evaluates a site, it’s looking at code, website content, and interconnectedness. The websites that rank well (and sell products) capitalize on all of these elements. The core components are content and user experience – your theme code and internal links should be built to elevate helpful, true, and well-sourced information.

Sharing information online can be a sticking point for some businesses though, and for plenty of reasons:

  • Industry/Trade secrets may not be advantageous to share.
  • Competitor websites may already share the information you would like to share. 
  • Non-competitor websites (like Wikipedia or Reddit) may already share the information you would like to share. 
  • You may have tried sharing information in the past, only to receive minimal or disappointing results. 
  • The audience looking for the information you share may not be the right audience to make a purchase.
  • Fast-paced industries that experience frequent change require constant updates.
  • The amount of online “noise” feels like your content will be a single drop in a waterfall. 

The list can go on – but it doesn’t change the fact that search engines feed on information. 

What’s the takeaway, then? Unfortunately, nothing has changed about the earlier assertion:

Online success starts and ends with good information. 

That’s really all there is to it. 

If you struggle with how, where, and why to share – that’s different than the unimpeachable need to share. 

Sure – it’s more important than ever to make sure that your website (and the information you provide) can be crawled, rendered, indexed, and ranked by a search engine. But again, all of this is influenced by what you share and how you share it. 

Only once you’ve built that solid foundation can you start figuring out what basic actions you want your website’s visitors to take. 

Action

When website visitors scroll down a page on your website, they’re taking action. When they click a button or a link – that’s an action too. And yes, when they finalize a purchase, that’s an action. 

Confident web developers will create and build a website design that complements information with easy and intuitive action. This likely involves working alongside a UX designer and a content creator who can help you identify intermediary steps a person can take on your site – commonly called a “call to action”. 

By working together like line cooks in a restaurant, they’ll build an eye-catching design that prompts the user to interact in a specific way. Your website should encourage action on the basis of good information – complimented with great design and a good user experience. 

This is where web design comes into play, alongside market research, conversion rate optimization, analytics tracking, and the more data-heavy sides of digital marketing. 

The bar for action depends on your business, audience, and overarching website goals. When you’ve spent time identifying and crafting a website around these ideas, you’ll achieve the final fundamental: exchange. 

Exchange

Most websites facilitate a commercial exchange. That could mean selling a product or service, or it could be exchanging information for ad space. Our attention has immense value.

It doesn’t matter if your business’s end goal is to topple Amazon or build a simple online community. You need to know what you’re offering a website visitor – and your visitor needs to trust you and agree on the value of what you offer. 

The exchange should be fast, secure, simple, and easy to engage with. It should facilitate trust and a long-term relationship. 

What you’re exchanging shouldn’t be the most difficult aspect of your online strategy. It might even be where you started your business, and that’s perfectly fine. As long as you don’t lose sight of the basics of a fair exchange, you’ll be able to build a strategy that works long-term. 

Now let’s talk wrap with some closing ideas about how AI can help you get there. 

Generative AI Is A Digital Branding Helper

Generative AI has potential as a branding tool. In its current state (mid-2024), one of its most promising utilities is that it can shorten the content creation production cycle when used correctly. 

To put it more plainly – utilizing helpful generative tools to boost high-quality production is a winning strategy. 

Agility is still better than perfection

Don’t get hung up on perfection. You can always edit the content on your site, add new pages, remove things that don’t work, or try something different. 

Small efficiencies go a long way – scaling content is full of bottlenecks, so look for shortcuts that help you get valuable ideas into the hands of creatives. 

The right platform/agency/professional can do more than an army of bureaucratic processes. 

TL;DR

The future of websites may seem uncertain, but one thing remains clear: fundamentals still guide successful online strategies

While AI tools can enhance efficiency and creativity, they can’t replace the human touch.

Focus on providing valuable information, creating engaging user experiences, and facilitating meaningful exchanges. 

These principles, coupled with the adaptability to embrace new technologies, will keep your website relevant.

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