In 2022, 17% of marketers are integrating automation or artificial intelligence like chatbots and into their strategies. This is testament to the power of chatbots to generate leads and grow businesses, but it also calls for some strategic considerations when it comes to SEO.
When it comes to assessing Google’s algorithms and parameters for ranking your site’s relevance to different search terms, chatbots seem to be a blessing and a curse in equal measure. Site loading speed is a key factor that Google uses to rank sites, and many bots can cause sites to load more slowly.
On the other hand, bots can be a great help when it comes to ranking highly in other areas: by guiding users through the sales pipeline and being on-hand to answer specific questions, chatbots can increase the time customers spend on your site, the number of pages they view, and their general satisfaction with your site. After all, that’s what SEO rankings are designed to ensure!
Read on to discover the pros and cons of chatbots when it comes to SEO - and how you can work with Instabot to boost your rankings.
Site Loading Speed
The speed at which your site loads is a critical factor when it comes to where you show up on ranking pages. Google’s algorithm is designed to help searchers avoid frustrating experiences such as slow-loading pages.
47% of web users expect a website to load within 2-4 seconds, and even a second longer can lead them to look elsewhere - so running complex scripts such as chatbots can be a risk when it comes to maintaining an optimum speed.
Instabot’s chatbot script has been designed with loading speed in mind, and loads in a non-blocking manner. This means it will never cause your site to perform slowly, as it runs the script once the rest of your landing page has already loaded.
Subsequent requests are cached on the client-side to reduce unnecessary network calls. This all adds up to a streamlined user experience, which satisfies Google’s parameters.
Bounce rate and dwell time are similarly key to Google’s ratings. Visitors might exit your site for a number of reasons, such as slow loading speed or a lack of relevant information on the landing page.
Chatbots can increase the time users spend on the site by offering them an immediate answer to their question, or guiding them to the area of the site where they want to be. This in turn increases dwell time by adding value to the user experience, giving visitors more reasons to explore your site.
Another place where chatbots and SEO rankings can clash is website navigation. Google’s algorithm penalizes sites that have a disorganized user journey, as this is likely to cause confusion and frustration.
Your chatbot’s triggers and placement can affect this, as bots that pop up abruptly and cover the main content of the screen can cause significant annoyance and cause visitors to leave the site. By placing your bot on the bottom right side of your interface, and choosing triggers that don’t interrupt the flow of your UX, you can ensure that your chatbot is a help and not a hindrance.
The best way to optimize your site for SEO is by learning from data about user behaviors and preferences. Fortunately chatbots are an ideal way to gather data information directly from your site visitors.
By analyzing KPIs such as conversion rate and duration, you can continue to fine tune your chatbot and indeed your whole user journey to ensure that your strategy remains aligned with customer needs. This will organically lead to a site that’s set up for user satisfaction - which is exactly the kind of site that ranks highly on SERPs.
Chatbots need to be implemented carefully and with intent in order to boost your SEO rankings and not risk them. However, by choosing a non-blocking bot script like Instabot’s and considering how your placement, triggers and scripts add to the user experience, you can add your chatbot to your SEO toolbelt.
The goal of SEO is not simply to rank highly on SERPs, but to provide an excellent user experience. By designing a bot to guide your users through their journey, you can satisfy your customers and Google’s algorithm alike.