Bot Development

How to Get Your Bot Discovered

Bots have conquered the internet and are now responsible for 52 percent of all web traffic. Companies like Amazon and Hipmunk have used chatbots for years, and more businesses are now adopting bots into their marketing solutions. So where are these bots being used, and how can you get yours discovered?

January 22, 2019

It’s not a big surprise that bots are now responsible for 52 percent of web traffic. In 2017, the security firm Imperva analyzed nearly 17 billion website visits across 100,000 domains. The resulting report showed that web traffic is composed of 29 percent harmful bots, like malware and Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack bots, and 23 percent helpful bots, like search crawlers and chatbots. The other 48 percent is made up of humans.

The percentage of helpful bots is expected to grow 25 percent by 2023, as businesses continue to invest in bots to streamline the customer experience. Chatbots are among the fastest-growing bot industry, and a recent Facebook data dump shows why. Facebook claims that:

  • 2 billion messages are sent between people and businesses each month.
  • 56 percent of users prefer to chat with a company via Facebook Messenger rather than by calling customer service.
  • 53 percent of users are more likely to shop with businesses that they can message.

Chatbots allow businesses to be always available for customers. Bots can answer frequent questions and handle simple transactions more efficiently than humans, all while developing rapport between the users and the brand.

They are not a new, flavor-of-the-month business trend. Companies like Amazon and Hipmunk have used bots for years, and more businesses are now adopting bots into their marketing solutions. Google Trends data shows that the search term chatbots is much more popular than it was in 2013.

Despite the popularity of bots among businesses, users are still warming up to the technology and often don’t seek out new bots. So, where are bots being used?

Where bots are used

The most common place to find a bot is within messaging apps. In fact, messaging apps are more popular than social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter.

Bot services naturally go hand in hand with messaging apps. Users of messaging apps often search for bots on bot marketplaces, forums, and directories. Be sure to register your bot with the most popular messenger apps: Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, LINE, IMO.

Bots are also commonly found on e-commerce websites, where they handle tasks for human customer service representatives.

What platforms you should focus on

Facebook Messenger’s bot discovery marketplace is a prolific and trustworthy bot directory for Messenger bots. After launching your bot on Facebook Messenger and adding it to the marketplace, work to improve the bot’s baseline performance metrics, such as average session length and user growth.

But this shouldn’t be your only strategy to get your bot discovered. Networks like Facebook are home to more than 100,000 bots that encompass nearly every vertical. Breaking through that noise is hard. And if your target user isn’t on Facebook or doesn’t want to only use Facebook, you may miss out.

Consequently until a better option arises, organic search results are likely your best bet for long-term traffic to your bot.

How to make your bot SEO-friendly

The first step to making your bot appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) is to create its own dedicated landing page. This is a great way to promote healthy, long-term bot traffic via SEO, paid advertising, and supporting content. Make sure that your URL structure includes the bot’s name in the suffix, for example, yourwebsite.bot/book-suggestion-bot. The landing page can explain what your bot does, what its major features are, and how it benefits users.

The ABC News Facebook Messenger bot page is a good example of this concept. The page tells users exactly what the bot does and why they should use it, and then it uses images to show how to install the bot. The page also has conversion opportunities, because ABC includes a direct link to the bot via a Message Us button, allowing users to interact with the news bot right away.

When you’re making a dedicated landing page for your bot, consider the SEO benefits of having a bot-specific domain address, such as the Amazon.bot domain.

In the study, “Hidden Advantages of a Relevant Domain Name,” researcher Chris Boggs discovered that exact-match domains, like .bot or .fishing, are able to rank against stronger, more authoritative websites that actively pursue the same keywords. In the study, these exact-match domains competed for top SERPs—with only a fraction of the relevant content and authoritative inbound links that their heavily optimized competitors had.

Bots offer users engaging, conversational experiences. They allow users to get to know a brand, and they let brands truly understand their customers’ needs and preferences. The best way to optimize your efforts is to make sure that your bot is found. Get started on that journey with the practical steps we’ve outlined here.

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