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5 ways AI can boost your online business

July 21, 2023

There has been an influx of new artificial intelligence (AI) tools in the market, with some, like ChatGPT, generating plenty of online debate. As a small business owner, you can rest assured that AI will never run your business for you or replace your team, but it can help you in numerous and surprising ways. AI tools can save you time, provide you with valuable insights about your customers and competitors, and take care of some of the smaller mundane tasks that often fall on your shoulders as a business owner.

In this article, we outline some of the core business functions that can benefit from AI and mention a few tools we think may help.  

Marketing

Digital marketing is a mainstay of any online business, and generating content plays a huge role. Whether you publish regular LinkedIn posts, blogs, or videos on Instagram and TikTok, you’re probably using content in some way to generate customer interest or boost your search rankings. If you don’t have a full marketing team at your disposal or are even taking on most of the posting yourself, you’ll know how time-consuming writing and creating high-quality content can be. 

AI tools for generating content can save you a lot of time and help you post more regularly. 

ChatGPT is perhaps the most widely known AI tool for generating content, but more and more are becoming available by the minute. Popular tools for writing copy include Copy.ai, Frase, Jasper and Bard. You can also use tools like Lately to generate social media posts and Synthesia for video creation. 

It’s important to note that some tools are free, while some of the more specialist tools only offer paid versions. 

If you’re using WordPress, RankMath is an AI tool that helps you optimise your content quickly for search engines. 

Business Intelligence

You’ll be surprised to learn that some tools you’re already using have AI functionality. If you’re using Google Analytics, you can use Analytics Intelligence to help understand your analytics data. You can ask it questions like “which channel has the largest conversion rate?” and it will provide you with an answer quickly without you needing to manually search for the data yourself. 

Google Analytics has always been a great tool for understanding how visitors use your website and digest your content, which is extremely useful for crafting content and messaging based on user behaviour. Analytics Intelligence helps you gain even more insight by using its machine learning capabilities to create accurate conversion predictions, audience profiles, and trends that can positively impact your business. 

Development

GitHub Copilot is a development tool that allows you to request specific code in plain language and it will write that code for you in the programming language of your choice. This is a great tool for small development teams (even better for a single developer) as it can be used to autocomplete code to build applications quickly. 

Please note that this is a paid tool with no free version currently available. 

If you’re using WordPress, the Elementor AI plugin can be used to generate custom code without needing to switch out of your editor.

Customer Service

Not every business is able to offer 24-hour support to their customers. If you’re just starting out, you might not even have a customer support team on board yet. Incorporating chat functionality on your website allows customers to find the information they need quickly, and have some of their questions answered without them needing to contact you directly. Most importantly, your website visitors can be assisted 24/7, irrespective of your business hours. 

You can also use your chatbot to capture contact information for potential sales leads or customers that want to be contacted personally. Popular chatbot providers include Intercom, Drift and Watson Assistant. For WordPress users, the free version of the AI Engine plugin includes a chatbot.

Here at xneelo, we have embraced live chat to further support our customers. Read how we use live chat to increase our service to our customers here.

Accounting

Xero is cloud-based accounting software designed specifically for small businesses that provides real-time access to your business’s financial information. You can use it for bookkeeping, invoicing, payroll and pay runs, purchase orders and most accounting functions. The software uses machine learning in various ways. For example, bank reconciliation (it uses machine learning to predict contact and account codes for transactions that cannot be matched to invoices), forecasting,  automated form filling, and credit note detection. Automating most of the tedious manual tasks saves you valuable time.

Taking advantage of AI tools can prove extremely useful for business website owners wanting to streamline or automate certain functions of their business and provide the intelligence needed to make important decisions. There is an abundance available, many of which are free to use. We hope you’ll find a few of our recommendations useful for your online business. And remember, at xneelo, whether you’re a WordPress, Managed WordPress Hosting or Web Hosting user, we provide the flexibility for our customers to leverage apps and plugins without restriction.

Just remember that with every technological advance comes equally advanced threats in the form of hacking, phishing and malware. Protect your business by keeping all security controls up to date and never pasting sensitive information into third-party apps. 

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