118 - Content Marketing and AI with Katrina McKinnon


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In this episode, Gert discusses with Katrina McKinnon the potential of AI tools, ChatGPT for one, and its part in SEO and content creation, despite limitations and potential misconceptions. While AI can provide some answers, it cannot replace the need for human-generated content, and people will still rely on human-created content to learn about new products and brands.

People, universities and businesses need to look at and be cautious of what seems to be becoming more sophisticated fake content and focus on creating an authentic online reputation. Listen to this episode, episode 118 and get three important guidelines from Katrina on how to best handle new AI tools. 

Podcast Highlights:

00:00 Prologue 

00:49 Podcast INTRO

01:00 Introduction to the episode and the guest

02:06 Katrina's perspective on the use of AI tools 

05:38 AI tools, their limitations and the reliability of information

11:19 SEO, brand awareness, and creating an authentic online reputation 

14:56 Tell-tale signs of content created by humans vs AIs in creating a consistent story

16:55 What does it take for an ecommerce site to drive brand awareness? (...What is information gain and how does it surface content to be crawled as often?)

20:51 The best use for AI tools in content creation and SEO purpose

24:44 Embracing new technologies and working out how to use it with caution

26:44 What's wrong with universities with their conflicting stand on the use of AI tools? (...Similarly with Google's position on ecommerce promotions.)

29:13 Three guidelines as advised by Katrina in pursuing the use of AI in the following months.

31:26 Where to connect with Katrina McKinnon?

31:22 End

Connect with Katrina McKinnon

Website - https://copysmiths.com/

LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/katrinamckinnon/

Connect with Gert Mellak:

Website: https://seoleverage.com/

Email: [email protected]

Content Marketing and AI with Katrina McKinnon

Content marketing and artificial intelligence (AI) are two powerful forces. When combined strategically, these can enhance marketing efforts.

Content marketing is about producing and sharing relevant content. On the other hand, artificial intelligence (AI) is the application of cutting-edge technology to automate tasks.

In episode 118, Gert and Katrina McKinnon of CopySmiths explore the rise of AI tools in SEO and content creation, particularly ChatGPT. While AI offers certain functionalities, it’s crucial to remember its limitations.

A Practical Perspective on AI Tools

Artificial intelligence, or simply AI, is starting to become a part of modern business processes. The advantages AI offers businesses extend to marketing, sales, and customer support. 

Katrina McKinnon shares her perspective on the growing use of AI tools like ChatGPT for content creation. She highlights these key points:

  • Google has rejected the first website built with AI content from its AdSense program for quality issues.
  • People are requesting fixes for AI-generated content.
  • AI tools like ChatGPT democratize content creation to make it accessible to everyone.
  • AI tool’s ease of access can lead to a flood of low-quality.
  • High-quality content still requires human expertise and effort, just like a good logo needs a skilled designer.

Katrina compares AI-generated content to McDonald’s: it’s readily available and temporarily satisfying. But it lacks the long-term value and sustainability of high-quality, human-created content.

The Limitations of AI-Powered Information Sources

AI tools like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard are creating content quickly and easily. However, their limitations raise concerns about reliability and originality. Google’s rejection of AI-built websites highlights the importance of human expertise.

Moreover, AI models scrape existing information to make them unsuitable for unique brands or new products. Their “answers” can be inaccurate or misleading. This is shown by Gert’s experiment with Bard’s “top running shoe brands” list.

On top of that, maintaining a positive online reputation is important for brands in the age of AI-driven information. Negative reviews, even isolated ones, can impact AI-generated content and search results.

Katrina agrees that AI tools are valuable for initial drafts and analysis. However, human creativity and knowledge remain essential for high-quality, original content. Fact-checking and brand voice training are important for responsible AI use.

SEO’s Impact on Brand Awareness and Online Reputation

The game of SEO is changing. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing and cheap tricks.

Today, Google and AI prioritize brand trust to make authenticity the new gold standard for search rankings. Fake author profiles and bot traffic are being flagged. Thus, the focus has shifted to understanding who’s behind the content. 

This is where your unique voice and consistent brand message become your biggest assets.

SEOs need to partner with clients to build a credible online presence. This includes one that resonates with human audiences and AI algorithms alike.

Remember, it’s not just about getting clicks; and it’s about building trust and lasting relationships. So, embrace the shift and focus on creating a genuine online presence that reflects the true value of your brand.

Signs of Content Created by Humans vs AIs

In this discussion, Katrina and Gert share the importance of consistent brand storytelling in the age of AI-generated content. Here are some key points:

  • Consistent brand story. Weaving a unified narrative across all content is important for Google to recognize and trust your brand.
  • Human touch. There are subtle nuances in language and tone, like humor or personal anecdotes. This reveals the human touch behind content to distinguish it from AI-generated pieces.
  • Engagement and experience. Actively engaging with your audience, creating video content, and sharing customer experiences build authenticity and brand awareness.
  • Social media challenges. Balancing the need for video and stories with limited agency resources can make social media management tricky for eCommerce businesses.

How to Drive Brand Awareness for eCommerce Sites

Here are tips to drive brand awareness:

  • Focus on quality, not quantity. Create informative content about your products, not just churn out vast amounts of text.
  • Information gain is key. Google prioritizes unique information, so offer fresh insights and perspectives in your content.
  • Go beyond text. Utilize rich media like visuals, videos, and podcasts to capture Google’s attention and engage your audience.
  • Clean up your website. Remove low-quality content, especially AI-generated or spun material, to improve your overall SEO health.
  • Prioritize regular content creation. Fresh, high-quality content signals Google that your site is active and relevant, boosting your visibility.

Ways to Use AI Tools in Content Creation and SEO

Some tips for using AI in creating relevant content:

  • Quality over quantity. While AI can help generate content, focus on high-quality, intent-driven pieces that convert users rather than just chasing rankings.
  • AI as a collaborator. Use AI tools like Chat GPT for tasks like product comparisons, brainstorming ideas, and extracting key points from audio content. Think of them as assistants, not replacements for human writers.
  • Conversion focus. Don’t solely prioritize content creation without considering user intent and conversion mechanisms. Ensure your content guides users towards desired actions.
  • Repurposing with AI. Leverage AI to transcribe podcasts or other audio into written content.
  • Refine, don’t replace. Remember, AI-generated content needs fact-checking, editing, and human polishing before publication. Treat it as a draft, not a finished product.
  • The intern analogy. Think of AI tools like interns who can handle specific tasks but require human guidance and refinement.
  • Individualized use cases. Different content types and tasks benefit differently from AI. Define how you will use AI for each specific case and where human expertise remains crucial.

While AI offers quick content creation, it’s crucial to consider the potential risks, especially for established businesses. Don’t let the ease of AI overshadow critical thinking. Evaluate information sources and maintain control over your brand narrative.

Universities and Google’s Conflicting AI Positions

Universities struggle with AI to use it for research while banning it for student work. This inconsistency and lack of clear guidelines raise concerns.

Don’t panic about Google’s policies. They rely on e-commerce, and promotions will evolve, not disappear. Focus on adapting and using AI strategically.

Three guidelines for e-commerce success with AI:

  1. Prioritize your writing team: Don’t overwork writers or rely solely on AI. Maintain a human touch in creative content creation.
  2. Invest in visuals and rich media: High-quality images, videos, and unique digital assets still stand out in search results. AI can’t fully replace human creativity in this area.
  3. Be patient and consistent: SEO and content are like a snowball. Keep pushing and creating valuable content, and eventually, the results will snowball into success.


The integration of AI into content marketing enhances efficiency, personalization, and the overall effectiveness of digital marketing strategies. As technology continues to advance, AI and content marketing are likely to evolve.

If you want to know more about SEO, go over to SEOLeverage. With us, you optimize your content to make it rank higher in SERP.

It’s time to optimize your content with AI and SEO.

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