Marketing AI CEO Chats Welcomes Pankil Shah of Outranking.io
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John (00:02): Welcome to the AIContentGen CEO Chats podcast with AIContentGen, today Pankil Shah CEO, and co-founder at outranking.io will be joining us to talk about how their company is solving content teams, content strategy issues welcome Pankil How are you doing?
Pankil (00:27): I’m doing good. Thank you so much, John, for having me
John (00:31): I noticed in your background that you have an interesting space background aeronautical, does that mean that you’re you were looking to the stars?
Pankil (00:41): I was, yeah. At one point in time, right. <Laugh> when you’re growing up, you have different passion and when you are all grown and you know, where your true passion, like it’s like a totally different story, but yeah, I, my background is aerospace engineering mostly propulsion. So yeah, with looking to build aircraft engines at some point in time.
John (01:02): Great, great, great. And also you are still in technology though. You’re in the AI space and AI content generation. Tell us about a little bit more about yourself and also that AI journey.
Pankil (01:16): Absolutely. show my like right out of college, right. Like I was we were pursuing this idea that failed terribly eventually, right? Like, and we all learned from the mistakes and that lead to another one and that lead to another one. And that lead me to enterprise company where we had a different sort of problem. So I was leading growth for a enterprise database company and we were having issues scaling content because of the complex nature of the content. Like you need subject matter expertise and experts don’t often have time cuz they’re coding or they’re doing other things. And if you get it written outside, it will cost you a bond <laugh> so it’s how do you create a process that can help this engineers understand the value of what you’re doing? What sort of exposures will get them creating this precise guidelines that encourages them when they see that results like, oh my God, my topic is ranking on the first page and now all of a sudden they want to write five more.
Pankil (02:19): So those, you know, nurturing that kind of program and we’re able to really do well. So keeping that process in mind, we got into this this product which we wanted to build essentially around analysis of ranking pages and coming up devising a strategy that can help you create content, which has pre predictable rank. I mean, a predictable rate of success, right. You know, that it’s going to perform well, at least majority of the ones are going to perform well. So that’s what we were after. And then we started then that’s when like the AI all new and well, and we said, okay, how can we do this? So we can solve problems that our engineers had is not having base information to work from so that they can start adding value to it and, you know, reduce that time.
Pankil (03:14): So we were still doing all of that manually. So when we started this and the first thing that came to our mind when we implemented AI with, we don’t wanna generate block post in a minute, that’s not the point of it. And it can work for simple SEOs, but simple SEO stuff, but it can’t really work for complex things that we were trying to solve. Right. writing about databases and technology and products that just came about yesterday, AI is not trained to do that, right. So you need some form of research that goes behind it. And that’s how we evolve into the product that we are like, we are researched to writing platform for SEO. And yeah, that’s, that’s a quick story to the AI journey to our ranking.
John (04:00): Well, you’ve covered some of this next question, but could you tell the audience what your software does?
Pankil (04:07): Totally. So our, like I said our product is a research writing platform for SEO content. Right? So what did that really mean is when you’re writing content for SEO, there’s, you know, user intent that you need to satisfy. There are there’s types of pages and there are types of trends that make a particular page rank. So you wanna not only do analysis of that and give something digestible to the writers because they’re not SEO, right? Like subject matter experts might not be SEO. So you wanna come up with guidance that guides them enough. But with AI, what we’ve been able to do is look past that, perform some deep research and extract information, which is relevant to what you might be writing about, right? Like for each section or for each paragraph, or however you are guiding your content.
Pankil (04:55): And that adds extra layer of, you know information that might be 90% there. And 10% is up to you to add value and, you know, elevate that with your subject matter expertise, but getting to a point where you have amazing research extracted for you automatically about what you’re writing about. And I’m not talking about like bland paragraph, right? Like I’m talking about perceived research. And that’s what we do. So we build a workflow with this new AI in mind, which was not there. People still were doing things. They were going from writing brief generating, outline, generating content you know, getting different people involved to get approvals and then edit the content, published a content. The process is still the same, but what we got is an AI, which sits in the middle now a little bit, or at least people are trying to figure out how to use it.
Pankil (05:49): So what we’ve done is we build a workflow that still understood this process, but uses AI as a centerpiece in helping you facilitate all of these tasks super fast. So that the evaluation part, which is the list, that’s where you get the most amount of time. We’re not saying that you’ll the end result will be a thousand times, times saved, but we are saying it’ll be a thousand times better content, which will have predictable rate of success. And it’ll be a delight to read, right? Like it’s well researched. It’s well thought out and it has all the elements. So that’s what our software does is the research writing platform for SEO. And we help not only build SEO content, but strategize is at well. So like you can create a strategy around what topics you wanna execute and we, we help you prioritize this also based on AI. So using AI in a few creative ways and the same underlying technology GPD three, right. But instead of just writing, writing, writing, or template generations, we are using it to find trends in your ranking data and sort of come up with a plan that can help you rank even faster.
John (06:56): Great, great. My background is content strategy and SEO. And when I work with clients, the biggest question I always ask myself is what do I need to write? So it sounds like the software is really helping your clients to, to answer that question and, and produce the best content as a consequence.
Pankil (07:15): Absolutely. Right. Like there’s so many nuances to doing keyword research. And when you have your own side, old side, new side and with the different levels of expertise in SEO, not all companies can afford that. Right. So if you have a profit that you can adopt and reach to a go, you know, reach to an end point where you have an editorial calendar set for six months, that drives consistent result. That’s amazing.
John (07:41): Absolutely. Absolutely. What, what do you consider to be the strength of your software?
Pankil (07:49): It’s mostly research writing. We’ve developed a technology that can do some semantic searches identify information from ranking pages or even beyond and pull in and, and transform that research into fragments of information that is easy to write around. That is easy to include that is easy to elevate, right. Like, and add value upon. And that is how most people are creating content without ranking. Like, so you get to that first draft in 15 minutes, but then you can really start working that content and adding more value. So your time to writing content is significantly reduced. Not something very observed, but it’s reduced which gives you more time to add value to it. So people on our platform many niche sites owners, right? Like they’ve scaled at traffic, like these stories about them scaling traffic from 3000 to 45,000 in less than six months and things like that, but it, it takes consistent effort. So that’s what we’re doing.
John (08:52): <Laugh>, that’s great. That’s great. Let’s go through some quick fire questions. How do you support the client’s content strategy approach in the following areas, ideas and research.
Pankil (09:05): So in, in terms of strategy, right? Like the first strategy is what content do I go after? What content do I optimize and what content do I write new? Right. Like there’s three buckets that fall in that you have to figure it out. So we help them across all of these journey from handholding part, right? Like, so we’ll guide you to the entire process of finding the right keyword that you can build perceived authority around. And if you have your own strategy, you can blend that right in it can even read your websites vital and understand what is a gap in the content that you should be actually ranking for topical authority versus not. So it can help you prioritize this content and come up for an editorial plan of six months in which it can also suggest you pages that are low hanging foods that can drive you significantly more traffic.
Pankil (09:57): If you made a few tweaks not content tweaks, but other on page tweaks. And the last part is where you create content. And we help them create, you know, we have this entire workflow, which takes them from the start to end of publishing content, starting with a brief all the way to the finished content and publishing it on their website. So we’ve all this entire process said. So it’s all about content, right? Like how do we optimize and find the right content to optimize actually, how do we find the right keyword and how do we create new content around it?
John (10:30): Great. And then what about briefing those outlines?
Pankil (10:33): Absolutely. That’s the first step in creating content, right? Like, so a content creation process, we starts with a content brief. Then you have research or you have, you know, prepared guidelines for writers. If that encompasses in your brief, then that’s well, but then the editing happens or writing happens. And then the editing happens, right? Like proofreading happens and then publishing happens, right? So like three or four phases that you have, and we help you facilitate each of those phases. And if you, if you want, you use less of AI, you want to use more of AI, it’s all up to you. You can manage the process and build your own workflow that sets your team. So it starts with content brief and our content brief are extremely detailed, like to the detail as in we’ll create a plan for what needs to be written in each section using AI. So it’s partially human driven and partially AI, you know, generated. But it’s a perfect match because we can read through the re related keywords and the signals from ranking pages automatically and train the, you know, AI to perform some of this task in a very much efficient way. So it’s guiding you to the entire process of creating that brief, that most people who don’t have SEO knowledge can also perform just fine.
John (11:47): Well, that’s great. And then what about the writing? I, you know, I’ve used a lot of these tools in the last couple of years, and I, I think the number one tip I always give is think about writing in sections. What, how do you, you know, you mentioned earlier you, your intention wasn’t to write a whole blog completely, but to make sure that you have the research, what how, how does the writing work and, and, and what’s the best way to get the, the most out of it
Pankil (12:17): Probably be a little bold here and say that we came up with this process of section writing and the, the first thing that we launched around it was concepts. And what concepts are, is let’s say if I read through a thousand line of text and from those thousand lines of text, I am only trying to find information about out ranking features, for example, right. I, a human would have to read that 10,000 words grab a little fragments of information, compile it into a research and then create proper, you know, proper paragraphs, the proper sections around it, right? That’s what you call section writing. And humans have been doing this long, long until AI came and said, I’ll do right for me. And then I’ll build out the remaining part of it without thinking, right? Like, so let’s forget that what we do is we read this information, we know what you want to write about, and we can extract this fragments automatically past this fragments automatically to open AI or any AI and help you write around it with E so we, you see it’s mimicking the human behavior, not saying it’s going to replace it because still a great copy still needs a lot of additional facts and things like that.
Pankil (13:28): But what it does is that even if you take the state of the research, only that content to read is still a delight, because it only talks about information that is really solid like that. If I was to read a scan a page, and I just saw that and remove all the fluff out of it, right? Like I’ll be 10 times quicker. Is that, that’s how well the research is brought out by, you know reading through these existing pages. So then we use that to write sections after sections, after sections. So they’re, they’re, they’re factual. Like if, you know, AI tend to lie, right. But since we are influencing it with the research, it doesn’t lie. It stays on track. It writes about what you wanted to write. And while adding a little bit more of what’s already in the brain that we missed out to form proper, you know, structure.
Pankil (14:19): So that’s, that’s the process behind writing sections writing it’s still not cohesive, right. But because one section might not lead into the other and then the other and things like that. So that’s where a human comes in and makes that, you know, content flow naturally at the tone and that elements of surprise and the content that, you know, the, the user cannot stay away from. But yeah, that’s, that’s I, I would say that’s, that’s how content will be written. The moment you start thinking that I can write the entire blog in a continuous format using AI you are telling it to do a lot of processing that needs to be done in batches, but you are asking it to do it together, not going to work. If, if it works, the content produce will be great, but lacks like substantial facts. So it’s really not useful or it is very useful. It’s very short and you have to add so much other things around it. So it’s, it’s one way or the other, but continuous writing for AI and blog post will not, it’s going to be used mostly for ideations extracting research and writing better than what we found on the web.
John (15:33): Pankil, I think that’s a great explanation for folks you know, as they come to this type of industry and also specifically your product and, and try and understand how to use these tools, cuz I think it’s a big point that you make that. What about optimization? And what I mean by that is I’m, I’m probably really thinking like, although there’s, there’s a couple of instances there, but, but really I’m thinking of maybe a writer write something. They could have used AI content generation or not maybe they didn’t, but then they write it and they use the tool to, to, to make sure that it’s doing okay, you know, the content’s doing okay, what else they can do with that? How do you, how do you help folks and riders with optimization?
Pankil (16:16): So primarily for optimization there’s a few types of optimization that you might wanna do through your content, right? Yeah. one’s in terms of readability and integrate with Grammarly. So you can easily check all of those stuff right. In our platform, but in terms of SEO optimization as well, that’s important, right? Like if your content is not going to perform, then nobody wants your content anyways. Right? Like it’s gonna sit on the third pile. So what we do is we have the most, you know, comprehensive on page SEO scoring mechanism. And what that means is that it collects this NLP data entity data from the ranking pages, establishes a trend and then suggest a pathway and optimizing each of those elements as you go about writing your content. So whether that’s entity to include in your content related keywords to include in your content, how should you include it? Where should you include it? Right. And with suggesting all of this, not based on a wimp we’re suggesting it based on what we already see, what we’ve already established trends in. And we, you know, carve a better path for the writers to follow and optimize their content.
John (17:28): Great. What about what about expansion? So you might take it taking an existing article and then making it into different types of content. That’s probably one way to think about it. Yeah.
Pankil (17:44): Different types of content. You can transform it into summaries. You can transform it into social media blog post. We’re not doing social media blog post. We’re just doing SEO. So in in terms of expansion, you can also convert let’s say for example, a YouTube video script into an entire blog post you know, well written like things like that, it’s, it’s already available in the platform. But expansions, you know, that tend to, you know, gimme a thought of how do you help them expand into different content areas that they’re not focusing on and things like that. Right. So because we’re tracking their website because they’ve created strategy projects in out ranking, we can track all of these things and we can suggest ongoing improvements for new content creation for optimization of existing one to scale the traffic. So for expansion, to me, like it’s, it’s a little different. So about two to 3% of keywords for any website ranks in the top three. But there is a significant 40% that ranks between the, you know, the top fifth position to 38 position. Imagine if you can improve 10% of those keywords and elevate the value, right? Like, so that’s where we truly help again as well is how you can create or the processes around optimization of your existing content to expand your traffic matrix quite fast.
John (19:12):What about metrics? And, and here I’m sort of forward thinking and, and sort of mechanics for, or metrics for looking at content. And then, and you’ve said some of this already, I think, and what you just described, but sort of tracking how the content is doing and then coming back over time and, and, and seeing where it progresses. You may not have all of these elements, but it does sound as if you’ve got some of them. So,
Pankil (19:37):Yes. And one part about creating amazing con like you need to track it if you’re not tracking it, then what you did yesterday, if not producing results tomorrow, and you’re just sitting on it and you have no idea what to do with it. So what we do is we actively look into your Google search console data and we help you track this keywords that you’ve just published, right, for example. And as they move in search, you know we can suggest improvements to them. There is a possibility, not, not a possibility it’s always happened. You’re trying to rank for one keyword, but you tend to rank for three or four or a hundred or 2000 S more. And the term that you would essentially trying to rank might not be the most valuable you uncover other terms that you’re ranking for that are more valuable for the same keyboard, right.
Pankil (20:24):Even optimize better for them. So we even suggest those optimizations to help you improve your traffic. And the end goal is really revenue. So you need to figure out where I’m going to spend the most amount of ad spend and things like that. Even in the preliminary stage our tracking software can suggest that that this is how much you’re looking to save. And this is where your true focus needs to be in optimization, right. Things like that. But again, a human is driving it tools only help <laugh>. So there is still a significant part that is left for the brains to run and figured out.
John (21:02): Absolutely. so let’s end with sort of thoughtful question here. What’s the one thing that most people believe is true about AI content generation, but that you think is not true.
Pankil (21:20): Oh, it’s, this is controversial VR and AI software. So it’s, there’s actually a couple of things maybe. And, and the fir the first thing is that AI will help you speed up your content writing process. That’s, that’s totally true to a certain extent but because it lacks the value, the end result is essentially around about the same time it took you to create content. So now you use it to write better content in the same amount of time. That’s absolutely possible, but yeah, you go to organizations, right? Like you have single line written nonsensical. It’s not gonna float by, right. So there’s sign significant amount of work needed after that. So I think that’s one statement that people need to really understand it. Sure. You can do faster things. But the end goal, although the end result might not be really fast.
Pankil (22:19): Like you’re doing the entire process, you’re dividing it into two, you’re doing one task really fast, but that means that it’s giving you more time to do the other task. If you take shortcuts than, you know, people are writing good content, they’ll overtake you over the period of time, your content will not perform well. Even if it did right now, there will be a suitable replacement later on. So you know, you need to focus your energy on creating better content at the end. So I think that is not true. <Laugh> and the second part is AI will do all my SEO. It will do simple SEO. It will still help you create content for simple SEO, but complex things like I just talked about, right? We are talking about post skill technology. We’re talking about a can and camera that just came out yesterday. Things like that. It still requires human intelligence or research intelligence. And that is why AI cannot completely replace that either so
John (23:15): Well pen <laugh>. That’s great. That, that’s a great answer. I, I really want to thank you for joining us today on the AI content, Jen video podcast. We really appreciate it. I think you’ve done a great job.
Pankil (23:28): Thank you so much, John, for having me, it was a pleasure.
John (23:32): And I want to thank the audience for joining us and we’ll see you next time.