How Chatbots Can Boost Your Site’s SEO
Did you know that ELIZA was the first chatbot in the world? Well, now, you do. Joseph Weizenbaum developed ELIZA at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1966.
ELIZA provided a pre-programmed response to the users by studying their entered keywords and phrases. Over time, how ELIZA operated laid the foundation for the chatbots that we interact with today.
Here’s an example of a modern-day chatbot:
A chatbot provides visitors to a website with associated information, including its products, services, and contact information.
The primary motive of implementing a chatbot on a website is to improve its customer service through quick responses and necessary support. A survey conducted by Business Insider revealed that 80% of marketers from the UK, France, South Africa, and the Netherlands have either been using chatbots or are planning to do so in 2020.
Another study revealed that 60% of chatbot users are from the age group of 13 to 19 years old. In that age group, most users are female.
However, chatbots can work beyond customer satisfaction and assist your site’s SEO. But, only if you know how to use them.
In this post, you’ll learn:
- What are chatbots?
- How do chatbots affect SEO?
- How to optimize your chatbots for SEO?
What Are Chatbots?
A chatbot is an AI-based software aimed at customer satisfaction. Websites use chatbots to assist visitors with convenient navigation. They pop up on a website and offer possible solutions to the visitors by studying and analyzing their entered query.
Chatbots operate on a predefined script and can only answer general queries. They cannot improvise during a conversation and go off-script. Therefore, the script is the most substantial part of the entire chatbot implementation process.
How Do Chatbots Affect SEO?
Implementing a chatbot on your website can affect the elements responsible for its search performance or SEO. Let’s get into the details about each of those elements and how a chatbot affects them.
IMPORTANT. All these elements are affected by each other. Basically, they share a domino effect – a cumulative chain of reactions set off by a single event.
1. Website Loading Speed
Website loading speed is one of the most critical factors responsible for your domain’s SERP performance. It has a direct effect on the rankings, conversions, lead generation, and growth of your business online.
47% of people expect a website to load within 2 – 4 seconds. Every second delay after that incurs a loss in customer satisfaction by 16%. Chatbots can be one of the reasons for your website’s slow loading speed. Therefore, you must use PageSpeed Insights and make sure that it isn’t.
PageSpeed Insights by Google examines your entire website and lists every issue affecting its loading speed.
Enter your domain and click on “Analyze”. Now, you’ll face a list of errors:
In the report, check whether the chatbot script has been highlighted as an issue or not. If it is, then you must examine it again and ensure that it is seamless.
You can use an external server to handle the working of your site’s chatbot. However, remember to implement the correct code specifying this.
2. Bounce Rate
Page loading speed has a domino effect on a website’s bounce rate and dwell time. If a chatbot is responsible for hindering a site’s loading speed, then this can increase the bounce rate and simultaneously reduce the dwell time.
What Is A Bounce Rate?
Bounce rate refers to the rate defining the percentage of people who left/exited a website after viewing a single page without navigating to other pages of your website.
What Is Dwell Time?
Dwell time refers to the amount of time a visitor spends on your website. This includes every action taken by the visitor, including navigation, purchase, and continuous access to just one page.
Google has collected data regarding the same. This data proves that visitors get more and more inclined towards bouncing off of a website with each passing second.
However, slow page loading speed isn’t the only reason behind a visitor taking an exit from a website. Sometimes visitors bounce off because they are unable to find a solution to their queries.
Webmasters must use chatbots to make the visitors stay and increase the dwell time since they are implemented to help visitors understand and gain knowledge about how your site operates and its numerous associated products and services. Plus, they can provide appropriate solutions to the visitor’s query. All of this can give the visitors enough reasons to stay and further explore your website, thereby increasing the dwell time.
3. Website Navigation & Usability
Is your chatbot upsetting your visitors by making your site difficult for them to operate and navigate? You can determine this by analyzing the session and bounce rate recorded in Google analytics.
Source: Google Analytics
If the session rate is low, and the bounce rate is high, one of the reasons behind this can be website navigation and usability. Improper implementation and placement of chatbot can affect the navigation of your website on both desktop and mobile devices.
When chatbots pop up abruptly while users are interacting with your website, it annoys them because they are unable to access your entire website as the chatbot masks the content.
Site owners must place chatbots on the right side (on mobile and desktop) without any abrupt popups. So, whenever the visitors need any assistance, they can access the chatbot at their convenience.
4. Online Reputation
Slow page loading speed, troublesome website navigation, and high bounce rate can all result in the falling online reputation of your business.
Users can post their experience with a domain on high authority review websites like Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc. and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Google considers these reviews as user-generated content, and the search engine highly values them. Getting negative reviews can result in falling rankings, but positive reviews can help improve your SERP position.
How To Optimize Your Chatbots To Boost Your Site’s SEO?
Now that you understand the impact chatbots have on your site’s SEO, here are a few tips to optimize it and improve your site’s SERP performance.
1. Provide Value To The Visitor
You must determine the purpose of your chatbot. You cannot just add it to your website even when it is not necessary. Include chatbots when it can help your audience acquire a better understanding of your products and services. If you can provide value to your audience with your chatbots, then you must use it on your website.
2. Understand Your Visitors
Chatbots can be used to understand visitors and gain insights about their preferences along with data about the number of page visits and their products/content preferences. Based on the collected data, you can upgrade your chatbot, make them more intelligent and provide relevant solutions to your visitors. Also, you can use this data to prepare marketing strategies with a high success rate.
3. Add it to your sales funnel
Optimize your chatbot and add it to your sales funnel to empower lead generation and sales. You can script your chatbot to direct visitors towards your conversion pages while helping them with the purchase and checkout. Even if visitors don’t purchase the products, they still become potential leads that your business and sales team can later contact.
If your chatbot does what they are supposed to do, then your search performance is bound to flourish. Moreover, they are one of the top marketing trends that are transforming businesses worldwide. They can improve:
- UX of your website
- The conversion rate of your landing pages
- Generation of quality leads
Also, chatbots can have a lasting impact on your website’s SEO. They can be an impressive addition to your site’s overall performance and customer engagement.
So, if you are planning to implement a chatbot on your site, you must determine whether doing so is useful or not. And if it is, the implementation has to be seamless enough to help visitors find relevant solutions to their queries.
Do you have any other suggestions to optimize the chatbots on your website and improve its SERP performance and SEO? Let me know in the comments below. I’ll be happy to extend the list.
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