How Chatbots Are Driving the Future of SEO and PPC Marketing

Chatbots are quickly becoming a talking point. Thanks to the wide range of use cases in many industries, they’ve become a major communication channel with customers in many companies. Heck, even the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has one named Chip, and it helps them with the recruitment.

People seem to love communicating with and getting new information from chatbots, so having one is quickly becoming a must for online businesses today. Google is paying attention to the rise of chatbots, too; in fact, the recent mobile indexing update is a direct result of the increasing use of smartphones and voice search.

How Chatbots Are Driving the Future of SEO and PPC Marketing

The proliferation of chatbots in digital marketing raises a lot of questions: are they important for SEO? What about PPC marketing? Are they worth the effort and investment?

Let’s answer these questions in this article.

Chatbots and SEO

User-centeredness is at the heart of everything that Google does. Every update rolled-out by the search giant aims to improve the search experience of users by adapting to the latest trends and technology and increasing the quality of results. The above mentioned mobile-first update wasn’t an exception.

With the size of mobile traffic exceeding desktop traffic now, it makes perfect sense to adjust search algorithms to prioritize mobile-friendly and responsive websites. That’s exactly what Google did, and many of its users were delighted, as they prefer to browse websites from smartphones.

There’s another trend that has been rising with the size of mobile internet share: the use of chatbots. The chatbot market is projected to reach more than $1.25 billion by the end of 2025, which points to a lot of interest from online businesses.

Indeed, a lot of them are interested in taking advantage of this technology. An article on Business Insider states that 80% of business decision-makers either used or were planning to use chatbots by 2020.

Of course, the folks at Google are aware of that. Since people love chatbots so much, technology will have a profound impact on digital marketing.

So how exactly chatbots affect SEO?

4 ways chatbots impact SEO

Although one may think that chatbots aren’t that important for SEO, the reality is pretty much different. Chatbots directly or indirectly impact the following factors that Google takes into account to rank websites:

  • Visitor dwell time
  • Site usability (also contributes to dwell time)
  • Bounce rate
  • Website speed.

Now, let’s talk about each of these factors in more detail.

1. Visitor dwell time

Google has made it very clear that it favors websites that demonstrate a high level of authority, trustworthiness, and expertise in their respective areas. One factor that shows if a site meets these criteria is the dwell time.

Dwell time is the amount of time that an internet user spends on a webpage before exiting it. Higher dwell time represents to Google that the page’s content resolves the visitor’s query.

That’s why providing useful content to visitors helps improve a site’s SEO. And what could be more helpful than static content?

A chatbot!

Providing 24-hour service and resolving simple questions with instant responses are some of the most important benefits of this technology, according to the 2018 State of Chatbots report.

Credit: 2018 State of Chatbots Report, Drift

By engaging your visitors with a truly helpful and functional chatbot, you can improve dwell time, thus sending Google a clear signal that you meet the requirements of trustworthiness, authority, and expertise.

For example, one way to improve dwell time, as well as lead generation is to have a chatbot on a landing page. A lot of visitors require additional information and help with products and services before making a commitment, so a chatbot could be an excellent tool here.

2. Site usability

This also has great value for SEO. In fact, while many people think that SEO means optimizing for Google, the reality is that the ultimate goal of optimization is to make a website/page more usable for people who use the search engine.

One major area of usability where chatbots can really help is user tasks and goals. To increase the value of your website’s visitors, you should have a good understanding of their aims and goals, and design your chatbot’s functionality accordingly.

That’s why writing with the intended user in mind is one of the most important content tips that your chatbot script writers should keep in mind.

“Remember that your chatbot must allow the visitors to achieve the goals that had them land on your website in the first place,” says Richie Peterman, a UI designer from Studicus. “By supplying them with relevant and accurate information, a chatbot can increase your website’s functionality, big-time.”

Besides, a lot of people don’t mind talking to a chatbot: in fact, one research found that 69 percent of Internet users said they’d consider interacting with a chatbot before a human. Chatbot or human, the only thing that a lot of people seem to care most is the actual helpfulness.

Keep in mind the basics of site usability, too: create SEO-optimized and helpful content, optimize images and meta stuff, remove dead links to avoid 404 pages, and analyze backlinks (RankWatch’s free Backlink Analyzer is an awesome tool for that).

3. Bounce rate

Another critical SEO consideration, bounce rate is the percentage of website visits that resulted in a person leaving without browsing or interacting with the website/page. Google keeps a close watch on the bounce rate for websites to define those delivering the best experience for visitors, so finding ways to lower the bounce rate is something you have to do.

Fortunately, chatbots can help with that. Their ability to provide answers and content to website users comes in handy here, as it can increase the dwell time and prevent a share of visitors from leaving right away. In other words, if someone has a hard time understanding something related to your products or company, they can always stick around and talk to a chatbot.

So your competitors won’t get the visits they would’ve gotten if people left your site and went to theirs in search of more information.

4. Website speed

If you take a look at Google’s algorithm change history, you’ll see the so-called “speed update,” rolled out in July last year. If your website loads for more than three seconds, your bounce rate can be much higher than it would’ve been if it loaded within this time. The reason? People are impatient. They want answers right away.

That’s why testing your website for mobile-friendliness is a must.

But how does a chatbot affect this ranking factor? When we talked about the indirect impact of chatbots on SEO, we meant that the time it takes to load them may affect the performance of the entire website. For example, if for some reason a chatbot is not implemented correctly, it can slow down the overall loading time of the website.

This, of course, means bad things for the reputation of your website in the eyes of Google. To avoid that, seamless integration and implementation of chatbots are two critical requirements.

Tricks to improve PPC Marketing

Already, the range of functions that chatbots can do is impressive. They can send updates, help with checking order statuses, buy tickets to concerts, schedule appointments, talk about Game of Thrones, conduct customer surveys, and even bring you an umbrella if it’s raining outside.

Yes, the part with the umbrella isn’t accurate, but, hey, a chatbot can at least give you good weather updates.

Anyway, let’s consider an example of how a chatbot can improve the performance of your PPC marketing campaigns.

Most landing pages out there are static web pages that look something like this (courtesy of Bank of America).

Source: Screenshot, Bank of America

At first glance, this landing page of an auto loan seems to be totally okay. It has a couple of prominent CTAs, some helpful figures, and even an enticing picture of a car. However, the process of interaction with the page feels like filling out a template. The visitors are supposed to scroll down the page, locate the information they need, and fill out the lead generation form to get a loan.

Nowadays, doing this task may feel a bit uneasy because of a lack of information. Many people would like to have a consultant at their home, answering all their questions, and not going for “salesy” and “pushy” stuff.

Now imagine that they can have the information from the landing page as well as the convenience of a personal assistant at home. In the form of a chatbot, of course. For example, AI-powered Personal Loan chatbot is just one of the examples of chatbots working as a personal assistant providing banking services.


Instead of having the loan information on a static landing page or an ad, leads can take advantage of having their questions answered by a chatbot. If provided with appropriate functionality, a chatbot can provide a lot of useful information for the lead, without referring to a human loan specialist.

This way, a lonely and generic process of interacting with an ad or a landing page can become a personalized interaction with a helpful assistant. But don’t just take my word for it: Emma, a chatbot of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, facilitated more than $7,000,000 in loan applications within just 3 months.

So, here are the main reasons why should use a chatbot for a PPC marketing campaign:

  • Lead capturing. A chatbot can be an effective PPC lead capturing tool that provides helpful information for prospects (as shown by the example above)
  • Higher lead engagement. This is obvious: would you rather interact with a static ad or an interactive chatbot?
  • Share promos. A chatbot is a more user-friendly way to share promotional deals without being overly pushy.

The success of your chatbot, however, heavily depends on your design, so making it as user-friendly and useful as possible is a major requirement.


Chatbots are no longer a novelty in digital marketing. It’s a proven marketing method that is getting more popular each day, so investing in one could be a great idea to advance your lead generation effort.

Moreover, even though SEO and PPC are not the primary functions of chatbots, they can certainly be used very successfully in these areas.

On the one hand, chatbots have a number of SEO implications, so paying attention to them is important for businesses. On the other hand, they have the potential to be a great lead generation tool that increases the PPC conversion rate for marketers.

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Article Author Details

Aurosikha Priyadarshini