Let’s see! How Chatbots influence the SEO of your Website
Chatbots are the latest ‘in’ thing. They are like a regular chatbot on a web page; except instead of talking to a person – you’re talking to a robot or a bot. These bots are preprogrammed with a set of questions and their corresponding answers.
In times of social distancing where people are afraid to step out – bots come in super handy in answering people’s questions, alleviating their grievances, and offering a way for customers to get some ‘digital self-service’.
Bots make things easy in a ton of ways. For example:
- They help to answer questions about a product being shipped, its shipping status, etc.
- They help to make appointments
- They answer queries related to products/service and business hours
- Give contact information
- Help to file complaints
Among other things…
Chatbots are a quick, contactless way to answer people’s questions and concerns.
But, a lot of people have a valid concern – “Do bots affect the SEO of a website?” That’s exactly what we look at in this post so you can decide ‘to bot or not’.
Simply put – ‘Chatbots, as such, do not affect your rankings. Search engines like Google do not automatically penalize pages that contain a bot. So, that’s the positive news.’
In fact, chatbots can influence the site, overall user experience, and rankings positively. Based on the customer experience of a page – Google receives an indication. Based on that indication, it decides where to place that page ranking-wise.
Rankings Signals by Bots To Google & Co.
If a chatbot is designed in a way that elevates customer experience, then Google looks at it in a positive light. It thinks that the page is adding value to users which is what search engines aim to offer. Accordingly, the page is given a higher position in SERPs.
In this way, chatbots can positively influence SEO strategy for technology companies. It’s actually beneficial for the site. However, there’s a flip side to this view as well. If the chatbot is poorly programmed, annoys the users, and is too intrusive, it could lead to a bad user experience.
The person may feel frustrated and leave the site within seconds. Ultimately, this could lead to a poor ranking signal. A higher bounce rate is ultimately bad for any site.
Influence on the Loading Time
Google looks at loading time as one of the most important factors when it comes to ascertaining user experience. It’s common knowledge that a slow loading page annoys a visitor quickly.
If you do decide to deploy a chatbot on your page, you must keep an eye on how it’s affecting the load times of your page. To that end, Google’s Pagespeed Insight tool can be of immense value.
Perform a comparison between the mobile and desktop versions of the website and see how quickly they load. How satisfactory are the results?
Take the Core Web Vitals into account which are 3 indications recently talked about by Google:
- LCP or Largest Contentful Paint – This particular metric calculates the perceived loading speed of a page. It indicates the loading time during which the main contents of a page get loaded. Strive for an LCP of 2.5 seconds or quicker.
- Cumulative Layout Shift – This metric measures the unexpected changes and the visual stability of a page’s layout and its content. Any value less than 0.1 is supposed to be ideal.
- First Input Delay – This one looks at how quickly a site is able to respond to any user input. Anything less than or equal to 100 milliseconds is supposed to be ideal.
You can find all of this data in a report in Google Search Console.
As you can see – having a chatbot is like a double-edged sword. It’s all about how well you design it. Based on that it can both be in favor or against your site’s SEO health.