New Zealand website builder Rocketspark has launched what is believed to be the first Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool on the market that creates text content for its website users, helping get their businesses in front of more customers online.
Cambridge-based Rocketspark, with funding from Callaghan Innovation, has developed a tool which enhances customers’ websites, by automatically generating content to improve their website’s search engine rankings.
The search engine optimisation (SEO) tool, called Flint, can suggest description tags, which give a brief website description when viewers do an internet search, title tags, which identify individual web pages, and it can even generate paragraphs of content for your website that are rich in key words.
Rocketspark Chief Executive Grant Johnson says Flint is a ground-breaking innovation, and gives Rocketspark a unique edge in the ever-growing tech industry.
“As far as we can tell there aren’t any other website builders offering this content generation as an SEO package. There are AI-powered SEO tools which provide audits and recommendations, but nothing that actually generates the title and description tag words for you, or creates basic text content for your page,” he says.
Grant says Flint was created because Rocketspark found small business owners really struggled to understand SEO, or how to make it work for their businesses’ websites.
“If people cannot find you online, then your website may as well be invisible. And if this is the case, it’s likely your site is not optimised with the right keywords,” says Grant.
“We would tell people how to do it but they still weren’t getting it so we decided the easiest way to make it simple for our customers was to automate it.”
With help from four Waikato University software engineering students, funded by Callaghan Innovation, they spent hundreds of hours training a computer model to interpret text from different industries that Rocketspark provides websites for.
Flint can now recognise the type of text which might appear on a certain industry’s website and then make suggestions for text including a website’s description, tag words and even simple paragraphs of text rich in key words.
Grant is careful to mention the paragraph content rich in key words, generated by Flint, is still basic in its delivery (after all, Flint is still learning), but he says it provides small business owners with a starting point to build from.
“Like anything using AI it is not perfect, it’s created by a machine and it’s an algorithm that’s driving it, but it’s a starting point to get people thinking. It might generate one sentence and then people can continue building the keyword rich content for their web pages from there.”
Flint was built over two consecutive summers between 2018 and 2020 after Rocketspark received Callaghan Innovation funding in the form of student experience grants. The grants funded four University of Waikato students to work with Rocketspark to develop the AI behind Flint, giving them experience in bringing AI and machine learning to market.
Grant says one of the students, Rhys Compton, has recently been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to complete a masters in AI and machine learning at New York University.
“I believe it is ground-breaking work we’ve done in developing the AI behind Flint, but it is just the first step for Rocketspark. We exist to help small business owners have a better life by harnessing their digital channels and we have a few other plans in the pipeline to continue making it easier for them,” says Grant.
Flint is available free to Rocketspark’s customers.
Headquartered in Cambridge, Rocketspark is a website building platform launched in 2009 by four University of Waikato graduates. Eleven years later, thousands of websites have been built on the platform by users throughout the world. Rocketspark is known for allowing users with only basic technical skill to easily build beautiful, functional websites including e-commerce platforms.