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Digital Marketing, SEO

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Mallory Cates

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Are Chatbots the Future of SEO & PPC Marketing?

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You’ve probably heard the chatbot buzzword thrown around the work place a lot lately. Marketers are anxious to jump in on this new trend which provides 24-hour automated communication with your customers, but others are more reluctant and are waiting to see if it’s just a phase. We’re here to break it down so you can decide if chatbot marketing is the right fit for your business.

Chatbots: What are they?

Chatbots are an online tool developed to give businesses an automated method for communication between their customers and their brand. They’re often used to answer customers’ questions or lead them down the marketing funnel to easily find products or services they’re looking for.

This friendly option to “chat” with the business makes people feel more comfortable on a website and can lead to more conversions. People are becoming impatient and want answers to their questions about a product or service immediately. Consumers no longer want to fill out a form on your website and wait two or three business days for a response. Additionally, they’re not as willing to give out their information in a form for fear of being bombarded with emails from a company they may choose not to do business with.

To maximize leads, chatbot marketing might be a great tool to invest in. But first, consider which type of chatbot marketing works well with your business strategy. The three common types of chatbots are:

Customer Service Bots

Just like you would expect from a live customer service representative, these chatbots can answer frequently asked questions within seconds and talk to the customer about basic service questions.

Marketing Bots

These bots are designed to get users to convert on your site. Chatbot marketing uses clues from a visitor’s questions to guide them in finding information or products they’re searching for.

Product-Specific Chatbots

This type of bot is on a mission to get to know how your customers use your products. Whatever data the bot can gather, it sends that information to your business team so they can improve product functionality.

Now that you know the basics of what a chatbot is and how it can be beneficial for some websites, let’s take a deeper dive into the more technical side of chatbots, their affect on SEO and how they can boost your PPC marketing efforts.

Chatbot Marketing Advantages

One of the obvious benefits for businesses to try chatbot marketing is the ability to have 24-hour communication with your website visitors. This helps you appear always engaged and ready to be there for your customers (even when you’re not). Chatbots don’t just ask questions, they also collect valuable data about your customer base that can be used to direct future marketing efforts.

Chatbots and PPC Marketing

We all know the goal of pay-per-click ads is to get potential customers to click and go to your website. But what happens once they get there? Oftentimes, those clicks don’t turn into conversions, but we’re not entirely sure why. Was the customer confused with the navigation of your website? Was the call to action not clear? Could they not find what they were looking for? These are the types of common questions a chatbot can assist with.

Chatbots help PPC marketing by directing customers where to go once you’ve won them over with a click to your website. The great thing about chatbots and PPC marketing is that they’re customizable! It’s a good idea to use different types of chatbots depending on what page you’re sending visitors to and your goals for that page.

For example, if your ad is leading visitors directly to a page with a list of your products, a chatbot could help users convert by tracking how they react to your products or which ones people commonly click on. Another instance could be a PPC advertisement for a rewards program that offers special benefits when you pay for the membership. These chatbots could answer questions about the program and explain the details of the rewards.

Chatbots and SEO

Although there’s no strict rules yet for chatbots and SEO, there are a few things your business can do to make sure bots are noticing your organization when people are searching for local businesses. Chatbots will most likely pull different results for a search like “restaurants near me” when compared to the list you get from a search engine. In some cases, chatbots are more strict because not only do they base results off of your location, they also judge the business’s rating and only showcase highly-rated businesses.

One of the most common places you’ll see chatbots is through social media, such as the Facebook Messenger app. There’s a few key factors you can optimize on your business Facebook page that will help you win over chatbots.

  • Location. We already mentioned one of the main contributors to chatbot results is where you’re searching from. If you don’t have your address specified in your profile, you might not even show up in chatbot listings!
  • Engagement. Facebook will always favor businesses that have great user engagement with their brand. After Facebook’s new algorithm, good user engagement is equated to meaningful conversations among your followers. If people are searching for your business or something similar, you’ll have a higher chance of showing up if you have positive user engagement.
  • Keywords. Chatbots follow SEO basics and need keywords to know what’s important. Your profile name and about section should tell users what your business name is and what type of products or services you offer. The chatbots will use this information to place your business in relevant searches.

Positive Experiences with Chatbot Marketing

Proof Restaurant

A favorite Downtown Des Moines restaurant, Proof, is centered around the customer experience, and their chatbot experience is just as wonderful! Their Facebook Messenger bots know the perfect way to keep you hooked by offering great deals and inviting you to watch cooking and company culture videos. We think Proof is doing a great job with chatbot marketing!

 

Domino’s Pizza

To make their online user experience as simple as possible, Domino's has a nice chatbot named Dom that will take you through your ordering process. Basically, it’s just like talking to someone in the store, but instead of calling in, you answer the same questions online. Offering customers another ordering option is a great use of chatbots by Domino’s.

  

Ready to give chatbot marketing a try?

We know that chatbots aren’t the right choice for every type of business, but they can set some brands apart from the competition! Does chatbot marketing sound like the type of strategy your business should try? Ask the Iowa web development team at Blue Compass if you have questions or would like more information!

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Digital Marketing, SEO

Blue Compass Digital Marketing Intern, Mallory Cates
Mallory Cates

Mallory graduated from Iowa State University with a double major in Marketing and Management. She is a Digital Marketing Associate at Blue Compass who writes SEO-focused content and executes social media and search marketing campaigns. Outside of the office, Mallory likes to explore new activities the Des Moines area has to offer.

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