Marketing Insights

Web Designers & Agencies Using AI in Regional Australia

Written by
Jason Greenlees

While chat GPT leads innovation and it becomes a more accepted time saving method to achieve results I’m often taken back on what local agencies try to get past on Google with minimal to no effort.

It’s true, also guilty, I have in the past used ChatGPT to compile articles like this one but it’s often a start point. I’ve also tested out the idea of a spreadsheet of articles and pushing out some ChatGPT article automation to my website creating and publishing articles. There’s only so much time in the day to all the things you need to do regardless if you’re a small agency or you’re a one man band freelancer.

Detecting the AI in articles & website copy

Working with an global digital agency group about 6 months ago one of my group recommend Quilbot for detecting AI. If quilbot can detect AI content then is it really a good idea using it to attract traffic and boost your ranking? The article below was taken from a competitor website blog released today from the Riverina area.

Web Design Agency running Chat GPT

I don’t know what AI program or version of ChatGPT was used to generate the above article but I thought I’d try to do the same with ChatGPT 4 (Paid).

Testing out GPT 4

No cigar. Honestly, Chat GPT is a great start point for articles but don’t copy paste. It does save time if you treat it correctly and in addition to generating text as a start point and maybe you read what it generates and say “looks good”. Still you’re running a risk of being penalised. The next Google algorithm is coming and it has your website in it’s sights. The preference will always be for personal quality content over AI generated content.

What can web designers use ChatGPT for then?

Writing Code

As a developer I was sceptical but after generating code by using specific instruction I’ve saved hundreds of hours. I really didn’t think it would work or it would give me something as good as doing a google and copying and pasting but wow as you build the chat and information with ChatGPT it get’s smarter about what you’re after and the code get’s more refined.

An example

Trailer quote form – I needed a form to allow customers to choose a quote item for a product but the form needed to have the options available dynamically. We use Gravity forms for our forms and because it’s one of the most popular form builders I figured I’d just Google it. After 3 hours and some testing and adjusting I still did’nt quite have it. I then spent 10 minutes refining in ChatGPT the same questions I’d asked in Google and guess what, it generated code just as good as I could. The main surprise was it needed to write multiple functions that would depend on each other.

Generate Code using ChatGPT

META content

Again I think this is a little risky but it gives ChatGPT detectors way less in the way of pattern recognition to figure out if two sentences were generated by AI. I use the ChatGPT API to generate META and then I tweak it. It saves quite a bit of time and you can do hundreds at a time if you come across a site with no meta.

Generating images & diagrams

These are easily recognisable if you know what you’re looking for. When you’re short on images for use with websites you now have three different options:

  • Use original photos from your photographer
  • Use quality stock from a high quality library like iStock
  • Generate some AI images using midjourney or even ChatGPT

The first option is clearly the best for authenticity even if the quality isn’t as good as it could be. When starting Get Leads I used a bunch of stock which unfortunately you can tell. I then started to use some authentic originals from my photographer but haven’t gotten around to spreading these throughout. Lastly I have unfortunately used one AI image on my about page which is my portrait. I don’t think it’s too bad and close enough in likeness still some will disagree. I’m not Tom Cruise but at the moment I’m waiting on a new flash for my camera before I take some new shots down at the local council building. For now AI will work and I don’t think Google will penalise me for a single image.

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Generated with Midjourney AI

Not a great photo but it’s original

People in the industry are very protective to their skills

Designers talking up no-code builders

This is funny, years ago, and I mean probably 5 years ago I was threatened by the idea of “no-code” builders such as SquareSpace, Wix and other builders but it wasn’t long before I realised this is just made up term used to try to give confidence to customers of these platforms. It restricts designers and the only way to level up really was to add some custom css.

You see there’s a dependency of a designer on a developer to build quality sites and so anything that can make their life better and optimise their ability to run their own business without a developer seems like a good idea.

Copywriters are not fans

Copywriters also continuously talk badly of ChatGPT and for good reason as you’ve seen above the copy generated was easily recognised by Quilbot. There’s still a place for copywriters and developers.

Designers are definitely not fans

Like the designer that told me once upon a time that I should be concerned about no-code builders I now say I’d be concerned about ChatGPT. I’ve had quite a play in this area to generate concepts and mockups using Open AI and Midjourney. Not bad but again it’s a starting point not a copy and paste solution.

What about Strategy?

Here’s where I think ChatGPT may come into it’s own. There’s something called a GPT baby, these are being developed by agencies to have the write a template set of questions asked to the strategist to build up a strategy. It’s not going to do a good job straight away but after asking 20-30 questions ChatGPT now has context and learning that can carve you out something that might not be perfect but it can get you close. I’m excited about this.

So should we or shouldn’t we use AI

I think it all depends on the quality and if there’s more value for the end client to use AI compared with authentic original content then maybe it’s worth a try. If you’re doing it just for SEO juice though I’d say don’t risk it.

For code and images absolutely there are use cases here for both. For copy it’s a start point and if you write as badly as I do I need something like AI to create the structure for me and fill in the gaps with original content I can then copy to my writing app prowriting aide and clean things up to be customer ready.

Wagga Web Desgin

Jason Greenlees

Jason is the CEO of Regional Web Developer, one of the original founders of Angry Ant Web and a passionate WordPress educator. If you're interested in learning directly from Jason, you can book him for a one-to-one session.

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