How to Rank Your Website on ChatGPT
ChatGPT is one of the most popular sites in the world.
According to SimilarWeb ChatGPT is the 28th most popular site in the world.
It generates 1.4 billion visitors a month and people are using it to ask questions or even perform tasks as basic as writing content or as advanced as creating code.
But did you know that people are using ChatGPT to help find and evaluate companies to hire?
Just look at the message I received earlier this year that opened up my eyes to the power of ranking on ChatGPT.
Now before I go into what you need to do for ChatGPT to recommend your company, keep in mind that their model is trained already. But as they make future updates and dataset becomes more “realtime” you have a good chance of showing up in future versions.
But lets look at why ChatGPT recommends my ad agency NP Digital. This way we can dissect how they make recommendations.
Who does ChatGPT recommend?
I first asked it “What ad agency would you recommend for me to hire?”.
And it didn’t give me a recommendation because my question was too generic.
So then I asked a more specific question to see if they would recommend an agency for SEO services.
Their list wasn’t 100% accurate but it’s a start. 2 of the top 4 results… Moz and HubSpot are software companies and not ad agencies. They don’t really offer services.
When I asked how ChatGPT came up with the list of recommended agencies it came back with this:
And then I dug deeper to figure out how it knew those agencies had a good reputation.
And then I did the same thing to figure out how it knew they had a good “track record”.
The obvious lesson learned
Well based on the above responses it is clear that they really aren’t using all of those factors to really come up with a list of recommendations. If they did, Moz and HubSpot wouldn’t be on the list because they aren’t service providers.
But, yes we have a good reputation and a proven track record, but you can’t find a lot of that online.
Sure we publish some case studies and testimonials, but typically the way most ad agencies get their customers is through RFPs, client referrals, and employee referrals. It’s also how we get most of our clients.
So how does ChatGPT rank websites?
I tried to ask it a lot of different questions to find the answer from the source, but it didn’t come up with anything actionable and useful. So instead, I decided to ask it 100 plus random questions so I could see the kind of recommendations it produces. This way I could analyze for patterns.
Here are some of the random questions I asked:
- What’s the best laptop for college students?
- What’s a great credit card when you have a low credit score?
- What’s the best electric SUV?
- What headphone brand should I buy for watching movies?
I then took the questions and answers and I gave it to a statistician and data analyst to see if there were any patterns.
They analyzed 82 factors but found 6 of them to have a strong correlation.
Here’s what we found matters to ChatGPT:
Just to give you an overview of what those 6 factors mean:
- Brand mentions – how many times was the brand, or product mentioned around the web? The more often it was mentioned we found the more likely ChatGPT recommended it.
- Reviews – not only do reviews matter, but the more the better as well as the rating. So if you find a lot of people reviewing your company whether it is on your own site or on sites like Trust Pilot, Amazon, or even BBB, it helps (assuming the reviews are good in general).
- Relevancy – there was a big correlation between the keywords in the question we asked ChatGPT and the products and companies it recommended. What we found is those keywords in almost all cases existed on web pages around the web mentioned the product and service mentioned.
- Age – was the product or company recommended old or new? We found that older products or companies were recommended more often.
- Recommendations – were other websites recommending the product or company? What’s funny is a lot of the suggestions that ChatGPT provided were pulled from sites that break down things like “the best credit cards for college students”. You know, those sites that list out products and make money from affiliate commissions? Funny enough it seems as if those sites are influencing the recommendations on ChatGPT even though they are really based on which company is paying the most affiliate commissions versus actually having the best offering.
- Authority – What’s the social following of the companies recommended? What’s the domain authority? What type of sites are talking about the product, service, or company? Typically, the more authoritative the company is, the more it is recommended.
The one big issue with ChatGPT
Yes, you need to optimize your products and services so ChatGPT recommends your company. If you don’t, you are missing out on 1.4 billion visitors potentially buying from you each month. That’s how many people use ChatGPT on a regular basis.
And the way you optimize is by focusing on the 6 factors above. Just like how you would do traditional SEO, you would do something similar for ChatGPT.
It’s super effective. We actually get a handful of potential companies hitting us up each month from ChatGPT. And a portion of them close, just like what would happen from any other marketing channel.
But there was one big issue, other than ChatGPT’s index not being updated in real-time (which will eventually get fixed), a lot of the responses were inaccurate and off.
From all the questions we asked, 27.41% of the responses were off. In which they weren’t a real solution to the answer. Just like how ChatGPT recommended people to hire Moz as an SEO agency, even though they aren’t one…
SEO is great, but it doesn’t stop with Google or Bing. You can optimize for Instagram or TikTok and even ChatGPT and Bard.
Use the factors above to maximize how many times you get recommended by these AI platforms.
Keep in mind it will take time before you show up as you will have to wait for them to retrain their models… But when they do we see that the big 2 factors to focus on are brand mentions and relevancy. With relevancy, you need to focus on keywords just like with traditional SEO. You can use tools like Ubersuggest and Answer the Public to help you out with that.
And with brand mentions, the more sites talking about you, the better. You can also leverage PR to get more brand mentions.
So have you started to optimize for ChatGPT?