SEO and Chatbots: The Peanut Butter and Jelly of Marketing

Take a Big Bite Into SEO and Chatbots

SEO and Chatbots go perfectly together

Not often in everyday life do you come across two very different things that appear to have been made perfect for each other. Each time you come to this revelation, you should always take a few minutes to appreciate the moment because you never know how long it will take before you get to experience this magic again. While peanut butter and jelly already tied the knot years ago, there is another power couple that is indeed turning the digital marketing industry on its head.

Marketers and businesses are turning to both Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and chatbots to deliver smarter and fully automated marketing funnels. SEO allows you the ability to leverage a user’s Google search intent to drive traffic to your website. The challenge is that once a user gets to your website, they are often left on their own. Chatbots are meant to solve this problem by providing visitors to your website an ability to have a guided sales or customer service conversation 24×7. But there’s definitely more to the story.

In this article, we will be diving into the ways you can use SEO and chatbots together to take your sales game to an entirely new level.

SEO: The Most Under-Appreciated Marketing Tool Ever

If you spend any time at all on YouTube, at some point, you probably have been cornered into a 10-second video Ad asking for you to give the speaker the next 60 seconds to sell you something. And if you are like most people, you promptly click the “Skip-Ad” button the moment it becomes available.

This example highlights one essential point, and that is in general, people do not like being directly marketing too, particularly millennials. Impulse purchases work well in retail stores, and even on eCommerce sites. However, even with advanced paid advertising platforms such as Facebook that give marketers tons of tools to reach specific audiences, paid advertising can never replicate a person’s free-will and intent. At least for now…

Satisfying User Intent

SEO is still the best digital marketing tool to immediately address a user’s current needs. For example, when a person searches for “emergency plumbing company near me,” it’s highly likely the user will literally dial the first plumbing business that pops up on the search results! In this case, the user needs plumbing help right now, so whichever plumbing companies rank high atop the first page of Google, will likely get a megaton of business just off their SEO investments alone.

While not every person needs emergency plumbing services, the principle is the same for any search. When a user asks Google a specific question, we know that the user is also expressing an intent to do something. That something can be simply to learn or satisfy a curiosity, but also to find a local business that can help solve their immediate problem.

SEO vs. Paid Advertising

We have seen this debate almost cause passionate advertisers to come to blows over this topic, so we will try to tread carefully here. The truth is that they are both great tools. However, each has a specific purpose and can be optimized to achieve different goals.

The most significant difference between the two, and where SEO excels, is that paid ads aren’t beneficial to your business after you stop paying for them. Similar to a water faucet, the water will continue to flow once turned on, and will stop the moment you turn the handle. SEO, on the other hand, is like having a business asset that can consistently generate income even after you have stopped paying for SEO services.

Top Benefits Of SEO You Should Know

SEO Provides Free Organic Traffic

The best part about SEO is that the traffic Google sends to your website is free and automatic. Google is in the information business, and their goal is to satisfy a searcher’s intent by providing the best possible resource on the internet. If you can establish your business as the best resource for Google, then it will reward your website with free traffic. Who doesn’t like free?

SEO Is More Resistant to Economic Recession

Think about the socio-economic impact on many businesses during the big recession in the United States back in 2008. The first thing that most companies did was to cut their cost immediately. This included everything from laying off millions of workers, to cutting back on corporate expansion plans. Marketing budgets were often not spared from these massive cuts. Thus customer acquisition became significantly more challenging.

SEO provides a thick layer of resistance against economic recession because your customers and leads are a result of inbound marketing, which means that you aren’t actively running paid ad campaigns to generate new business. Your growth is 100% organic, and far less likely to be impacted by a recession because user-intent will always be present regardless of the state of the economy. Thus, even in a bad economy, you can continue to generate new business organically.

SEO Pricing IS Less Volatile Than Paid Ads

In the past, if you have purchased paid ads on platforms such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, or others then you know that the cost of paid ads can be extremely volatile. The truth is that paid ads have gotten the reputation, true or untrue, as being an instant growth solution for a local business. As demand continues to rise, platforms have begun raising their Cost Per Click (CPC) rates and finding new intrusive ways to get premium ads in front of customers.

Think about your Facebook News Feed on your mobile device. There is only a limited amount of space that can be realistically given to advertisers without completely disrupting your Facebook experience. In turn, Facebook’s answer to this problem will be to create more competition among advertisers for those limited number of placements by raising the cost of ads.

Hopefully, you can see the problem this creates for the average local business that can’t afford to compete with the massive advertising budgets of other companies. Whereas, SEO is a technical process and isn’t based on a CPC model. In fact, it’s entirely based around website content, backlinks, and optimization which lends itself to be less susceptible to price volatility.

SEO Is Sustainable and More Predictable

Not to beat a dead horse here (save the horses), but SEO has historically been one of the most sustainable and predictable form of digital marketing, in terms of generating new business. Many might argue that email marketing could also assume this mantle, and our response would be simply “blah, blah, blah.”

Once you make the upfront investment into SEO, maintaining your rankings typically become much easier, particularly if your website offers a better user experience than your competition.

On the other hand with paid advertising, there is no way to know for sure how effective a campaign will be, how long it will be effective, how often you need to change your targeting parameters, etc. From one paid advertising campaign to another, results can be wildly inconsistent.

If you are looking for a more sustainable and predictable marketing solution, SEO is definitely the way to go.

SEO Is A Long-Term Investment

Like it has alluded too in previous sections, SEO is an investment into your business infrastructure. Consider what happens if you were to sell your business today. Often, included in the sale of a company would consist of all the assets owned by the business. Those assets would typically be included in the purchase price.

If you have a premium search engine ranking in Google, and you receive significant website traffic as a direct result of it, you can be sure that the value of your business will increase. In some circumstances, it could increase substantially.

Chatbots: Your Biggest Regret 5 Years From Now

There have been many times in life when you reflect on a past decision and wonder why didn’t you take advantage of a great opportunity. A few come to mind, including investing in Amazon stock back when they only sold books or buying Bitcoin before it went mainstream. Or even dating that guy or girl in high school that wasn’t necessarily one of the cool kids, but you knew they were going places in life.

Sigh…

To have regrets often means that you saw potential, but didn’t take action. Well, this is definitely one of those times when you should set aside any reservations and the need for over-analysis, and take action when it comes chatbots and automation. Chatbots are the future of successful websites because consumers now prefer messenger applications to interact with a business, rather than a phone call or email.

Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t think twice about integrating chatbots into your digital marketing strategy.

Top Benefits of Chatbots

Triage Your Visitors

One major deficiency in almost all forms of advertising, both traditional and digital, is that once a potential customer has engaged with your ad, they are left on their own to make a decision. Yes, with advanced digital re-targeting systems and website click data you can see the behavior of visitors once they engage with your ad, but in reality, you have no idea why they didn’t decide to make a purchase.

Chatbots are a form of “smart response” automation and artificial intelligence. While most chatbots on the market today aren’t fully capable of having a full-blown human-like interaction, the good news is that you don’t need them to. They can still add a tremendous amount of value and improve the visitor’s experience on your website.

In one sense, chatbots are just another marketing funnel, designed to curate a sales experience that ultimately drops the customer off at the checkout page of your website. There are many ways chatbots can accomplish this task, and some popular options include using them as a guided sales bot, lead qualification bot, or even a lead capture tool that can replace your traditional website contact form.

Let’s talk a little about the subtle differences between these chatbot functions and how you can leverage them.

Guided Sales Chatbots

Just like the name implies, the purpose of this chatbot is to guide a website visitor towards the sales page of your website. There are many ways this can be accomplished, but using conversational sequences that give the user only a fixed set of reply options is the most common way to get visitors from point A to point B.

For instance, let’s say you are running a house cleaning business and you charge your customers based on the square footage of a home. It may be a great idea to deploy a guided sales bot that allows a visitor to input the square footage of their home, and the bot can deliver a custom quote on the spot, and even schedule an appointment without ever leaving the chat window. If you want to get fancy, the chatbot can also deploy more aggressive upsells such as coupons or discounts based on the user’s responses.

With each step in your sales process, your trusty sales bot is there to help incentivize a customer to keep moving down your funnel, and not abandon ship the moment they land on your website.

Lead Qualification Chatbots

These chatbots can be very similar to guided sales bots because the end goal to make a sale is the same. However, lead qualification bots take it a step further by allowing a more sophisticated analysis of a customers goals and desired outcomes. Also, the bot can help determine if your product or service can be a good fit.

As seen in the example here, if you are a real estate agent, it may be valuable information upfront to know what stage of the mortgage approval process the visitor is currently in, or having the user provide you with the exact type of property they are looking for. Using a lead qualification bot, you can create conversational sequences specifically tailored for people looking for a house, condo, apartment, land, etc.

Each one of these property types is unique. Thus the conversational sequences should be unique as well. Because you are deploying meaningful conversations that are highly relevant and within a messaging platform, the conversation with your customer feels more authentic and worth their time.

Lead Capture Chatbots

If you are considering getting into the chatbot game you should start with lead capture bots. These bots have one primary purpose, and that is to capture the contact information from a visitor on your website. Also, these bots are great at capturing a visitor’s attention long enough to transition the conversation to a live agent.

Traditionally, your website’s contact form was the first option to capture vital information about a potential customer. Yes, the customer could call your phone number or directly email the business, but for customers who have a more casual interest in your services, the old-school contact form was their only option.

The truth is, contact forms are still useful, but to most visitors, they feel archaic. In addition, people know what typically happens when they submit their information on a contact form. They will receive a never-ending flood of irrelevant and highly annoying promotional emails until the end of time.

With lead capture bots, there is far less apprehension about submitting contact information because it is taking place in a messaging application.

Are Your Ready To Make your SEO and Chatbot Sandwhich?

When you pair both SEO and chatbots together, you get a truly robust solution that takes your website visitor and qualifies their purchasing intent at two distinct and important levels.

Through high-quality SEO, your website and business are perfectly positioned as a leader in your niche and solution to a customer’s problem, simply because Google has placed it towards the top of the search rankings.

Chatbots allow you to triage the visitor, allowing them to engage in conversational sequences that can ultimately lead them towards the checkout lane.

On their individual merits, both strategies are extremely powerful and should at minimum be considered as a part of your digital marketing strategy. However, if you are hungry enough to combine the two, you now have two approaches that work together like peanut butter and jelly.

cut costs with DIY DIGITAL MARKETING

The good news is that you don’t need an agency to get started today implementing digital marketing techniques like the ones mentioned in this article. See our complete list of Third-Party digital marketing tools and services.

DISCLOSURE: New London Media International LLC participates in various affiliate advertising programs. We earn compensation by referring you to Third-Party products and services.

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