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Can you use AI to write your website copy?

Have you tried any of the AI tools like ChatGPT yet?

What about using AI to write your website copy?

Yes you can use AI to write your website copy, although you need to be cautious with how you use it to get something that is going to help rather than hinder your business…

AI (Artificial Intelligence) has, not surprisingly, now moved from an idea of the future in Tomorrow’s World into the real world. It is not going away. I think it is a “game-changer” potentially in the same way the internet or social media have been. The hype is justified. At least in my opinion. Forget the metaverse. I’m investing my time and energy into getting to grips with AI and how it can help my business (and my client’s businesses).

And before you ask, it won’t remove the need for humans. The computers are not taking over the world (at least not yet and not in the context I’m suggesting). And it doesn’t remove the need for creativity or do professional copywriters out of a job. Ok? Good to get that out of the way!

I do think the amount of content will explode though. Because AI makes it much faster and easier to create content. And that means you’re going to need to be even better to stand out in a bigger sea of mediocrity.

You may have heard of ChatGPT. ChatGPT launched less than 2 months ago at the end of November 2022. The likes of Microsoft and Elon Musk are financial backers. I think it has had about $2 billion invested in it so far – that’s a lot of money. It is already valued at US$29 billion according to the Wall Street Journal. This for a tool that is currently free.

ChatGPT is not the only AI content tool. Ads for Jasper have been popping up on my social media feed for months. One of the emails I subscribe to which has the “latest” digital tools has been promoting loads of different ones. And even Canva, yes the graphic design tool, is getting in on the act.

I actually used Canva to create 5 social media posts from a single question I asked it. It took less than 5 minutes. All I had to do was type in the question and choose a single Canva template. I showed this to members of my Marketing Membership. It completely blew my mind. I didn’t post the posts Canva created (cos they weren’t good enough out of the box). But it was fascinating to see what it could do.

You can ask these AI tools anything and they will give a response. They have been “trained” on a diet of data. Think of them a bit like Google, but instead of pointing you to websites with the answer, they will answer themselves. Of course, like most of us, they are only as good as their training.

So of course I asked ChatGPT if it could be used to write website copy…

This was the start of its response

“ChatGPT, a large language model trained by OpenAI, is a powerful tool that can be used to generate website copy. However, it is important to consider the potential limitations and ethical considerations before using it for this purpose.”

I think that is a pretty good start, albeit a bit dry. You can perhaps see why I’m not using it to write blog posts or podcast scripts. Yes a human has written this.

What was better though was when I asked it to write in the style of Amy Porterfied. Yes it did start with “Hey there, it’s Amy Porterfield and today we’re talking about whether ChatGPT should be used to write website copy.” It used a lot of the phrases Amy uses too, like “let’s be real” and “so there you have it”. But it also wrote it in a more personable style which I did like.

using ai to write website copy

What are the issues with using AI to write website copy?

Before you start rubbing your hands with glee at the thought of never having to write any more copy for your website, social media posts or blog posts, a few words of caution.

  • AI doesn’t understand you or your business. And therefore it can completely miss the mark with respect to your target audience. It may come up with copy that suggests the opposite of what you are looking for your audience to do. It has been trained on “data”, not on your business.
  • It won’t sound like you. AI has come on a long way and it does write coherent copy. You will say things in a particular way. You’ll use certain words and phrases frequently (I know I do). My experience of AI has been that it writes pretty formally. It certainly doesn’t sound like me (although it can sound like Amy Porterfield). The songwriter Nick Cave was sent the lyrics of a song that someone had written by asking ChatGPT to write in his style. His response? “With all the love and respect in the world, this song is bullshit, a grotesque mockery of what it is to be human, and, well, I don’t much like it.”
  • It may not be right. Not everything on the internet is factually correct… AI is only as good as the data it has been fed. If the data it was trained on contains inaccuracies or biases, it is not going to repeat those errors and biases. There are lots of examples where it has been asked something factual and answered incorrectly. I certainly wouldn’t want to rely upon it for anything health or safety related.
  • It will be the same as others. If you lifted the AI response to a question and copied it word for word onto your website and a competitor used the same AI tool to write their website copy you are likely to have exactly the same copy. Now, it may be that AI doesn’t always give the same response to the question (it is continually learning) but there’s certainly going to be a risk that it is the same or substantially the same as someone else.
  • Google has stated it will penalise websites where the copy has been generated through automated processes without regard for quality or user experience. So you won’t rank as highly when someone searches for a phrase you may otherwise have ranked highly for, unless you ensure the copy is good quality. More recently Google has stated it doesn’t mind whether the content is written by humans as long as it is written FOR humans.
careful with seo when using ai to write website copy

What are the benefits of using AI to write your website copy?

It’s not all bad news of course. There are some key benefits to using AI to write your website copy

  • The main benefit is speed. It can generate content quickly. Which might be useful when you need to write copy in a short amount of time. It’s particularly good if you’re staring at a blank screen or piece of paper with no idea what you’re going to write. Something that happens to all of us!
  • The quality is not bad. It does write like a human. And it writes better than many humans to be honest. So far I’ve also found it to be grammatically correct and I haven’t found any spelling mistakes (although it does use American spellings).
  • What I think is particularly good though is you can ask subsequent questions (at least with ChatGPT). This means that you get something that is much better and closer to being publishable
ai can help with writing website copy

How should you use it?

I actually think the new AI tools like ChatGPT are really exciting and could help us.

It can be particularly good for getting going if you’re stuck.

So, for example, I typed in to ChatGPT “write sales copy for a nutritionist” and this is what it said

“Are you tired of feeling sluggish and unwell? Are you ready to take control of your health and achieve your optimal wellness? Look no further! Our team of expert nutritionists is here to guide you on your journey to a healthier, happier you.

With years of experience and a deep understanding of nutrition science, our team will work closely with you to develop a personalized nutrition plan that addresses your specific health concerns and goals. We’ll help you navigate the often-confusing world of nutrition and make it easy for you to make healthy choices.

Our services include individualized meal planning, supplement recommendations, grocery shopping guidance, and ongoing support to help you stay on track. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, improve your digestion, or simply feel better in your own skin, we’ve got you covered.

Don’t let poor nutrition hold you back any longer. Let us help you achieve your optimal wellness and live your best life. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.”

Now that’s not as good as a decent copywriter would write. But it is better than I have seen from some clients (sorry!).

You could use this as a base. Rewrite it in your own words (removing the American spelling). Expand on the bits that should be expanded on. And remove anything unnecessary.

You can use ChatGPT to ask supplemental questions which you can use to expand this website copy. You can even feed it information about yourself as part of the original question you ask, which means the answer will be closer to what you want to say.

One area that I think it could be particularly useful for is thinking about questions a potential client might ask. I asked ChatGPT “what questions might a small business owner have before getting a new website professionally designed?” It came up with a pretty good list. I could lift most of those questions into a FAQ, writing the answers myself. Which is definitely better than staring at a blank screen thinking “what do people want to know”? And of course their list will trigger other ideas.

no more blank piece of paper

How else can you use AI in your marketing?

Where I think AI is going to be particularly useful is in other forms of marketing content, like social media.

By asking it questions you can come up with ideas for social media posts. I asked ChatGPT for “5 social media post ideas for an accountant”. One of those was to give tips for small business finances so I asked it for “15 social media post ideas about small business finances for an accountant”. I wouldn’t suggest using all these ideas but some of them are definitely good.

You could, if you wanted, get AI to write these individual posts. If you are going to get it to write posts do at least change some words to sound like you (or ask subsequent questions or for refinements – you can ask ChatGPT to make the copy “more compelling” or “in the style of…”). And of course make sure you create graphics which definitely look like yours.

Because AI makes it easier and quicker to produce content I think there is going to be much more content produced. Most of it written by AI and mediocre/not tailored. It’s going to get noisier and messier. To stand out you will need good content. So use it to help with the ideas, then make it your own.

small business owner relaxing after ai has been writing website copy

Conclusion

So in the style of Amy Porterfield, there we have it.

Seriously though I am excited by what ChatGPT and other AI tools can do for us. I may not use it for web copy, but I can definitely see me using it for social media posts and also potentially for blogs and podcasts. Not “out of the box” as such, but using it for ideas, asking more questions, refining the style and then looking and seeing how I can improve what is written.

It’s a tool. A helpful one. One that will only get better I’m sure (and whilst ChatGPT is currently free it may not always be so). But, to give ChatGPT in the style of Amy Porterfield the final words ” use it as a tool and not a replacement for human creativity and understanding”.