Chatbots have become increasingly popular, and for good reason. Not only do they offer you a more efficient way to engage with your customers & prospects, but a good bot can also impact your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. Today, we’ll delve into the key ways chatbots can affect SEO and how specifically to leverage them to improve your rankings.
What Are Chatbots
Surely, if you’ve made it to this post you’ve interacted with one, right? Right!?
Bots are showing up in more and more use cases, including customer support, lead generation, and customer success.
However, not many digital marketers are thinking about how they can also impact their website’s organic rankings with them. Search engines like Google consider user engagement and experience when determining a website’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). Since (good) chatbots provide a more personalized and efficient way to communicate with users, they can improve engagement and keep users on a page for longer periods of time. This can lead to lower bounce rates and higher dwell times (which are positive signals for search engine algorithms).
In the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into how chatbots can positively affect your SEO and how to leverage this tactic to improve your visibility and rankings.
Basic SEO Ranking Factors
It’s important to first understand the basic SEO ranking factors. These factors include things like website content, keywords, backlinks, website structure, and user experience.
Search engines use complex algorithms to analyze these factors and determine where a website ranks in search results. But that doesn’t mean that those are the only tactics at your disposal.
Connecting Chatbots To Organic Ranking
Chatbots offer an immediate way to improve the UX on any landing page, organic or paid. As most know, chatbots are great for personalized content recommendations.
But what also makes them great, beyond their sophisticated automation capabilities, is that they offer a lifeline to real-time visitors who’ve read something and have follow up questions. For example, if some of your highest ranking pages are blogs, you could set up a bot that offers a longer-form related piece of content (like an in-depth PDF or industry report) after a certain scroll percentage. We’ve deployed this tactic, and have seen a stream of emails and sales meetings begin to trickle in (where before there weren’t any). Additionally, if your page has video content, you could work with your development team to tie engagement behavior (% of video watched) to trigger a bot.
Using Chat Data to Augment your SEO Strategy
Chatbots can also have a significant impact on search engine optimization (SEO) by increasing user engagement, reducing bounce rates, and improving your website’s ranking on the SERPs.
There’s a treasure trove of voice of customer research buried away in your chatbots. We program most of our client’s bots with a “Something else / I have a question” ‘release valve’ of sorts.
What do you mean by “release valve”?
We’re glad you asked.
If a user can’t achieve their objective using the buttons we’ve pre-programmed in the bot flow, they can tell us in their own words what they’re looking for. After a couple of weeks / months (depending on your web traffic) you can then analyze those free text responses to inform SEO, Technical Docs and/or FAQs. Besides that, your bots can and should be used to gather data on user/company attributes (job function, number of employees, industry), which can be used to inform future personalization strategies.
Another important factor to consider is the integration of chatbots with other digital marketing channels, such as social media and email marketing. Specifically – for paid social campaigns – make sure you have a contextualized bot (referencing the ad/creative/CTA/offer) to make sure the ad and on-page experience are as aligned as possible. You can also implement this same approach for email campaigns.
By using chatbots to communicate with customers across multiple channels, businesses can create a more seamless user experience and improve their overall online presence.
Overall, the use of chatbots in your digital marketing efforts can have a significant impact on SEO, and businesses that leverage their capabilities can gain an edge on the ever-competitive SERPS. By providing personalized experiences, gathering data on user / company attributes, and integrating with other marketing channels, your chatbots can help improve your website’s ranking on SERPs and drive more traffic and sales activity on your site.