Whether you’re trying to increase user engagement or automate interactions with your customers when your team is fast asleep, Internet bots can help you get it all done. Most people simply refer to an Internet bot as a “bot,” but these bots have the power to scale activities and interactions at an alarming pace to help your business save time on procedural tasks.
It’s getting easier to create and execute Internet bots. But understanding Internet bot basics, why you should make one and how to get it done are critical if you want to leverage them to achieve your business goals. Discover some key Internet bot characteristics and best practices for creating your own:
Why Create Your Own Internet Bot?
An Internet bot is a software application that you can use to automate tasks and interactions by running scripts on a large scale. This makes it easy to scale your tasks or interactions quickly and faster than what humans can manually do. There are also different types of bots, including web crawlers like the bots Google and other search engines use to index Web pages and commercial bots that scrape websites to mystery shop online to ensure vendors are adhering to pricing agreements.
There are also chatbots that help answer customers’ frequently asked questions. They are cheaper and faster than human labor, which means you can execute your tasks more effectively, enhance productivity and improve the user experience. This all works to ultimately save you time and money in the long run.
Creating Your Internet Bot
There are several ways to make an Internet bot but it’s important to choose a method that best fits your needs and skills. Skilled developers may opt to write their own scripts to automate tasks or interactions since Internet bots often can be created using programming languages, such as Python and PHP. But you can also use the following best practice to simplify the process, too:
- Know the Bot’s Purpose. Without knowing what your Internet bot’s purpose, you’ll set it up for failure. Instead, start by clarifying your bot’s functions so that you enhance the user experience and know what tools you’ll need. For example, if you’re creating an Internet bot that scrapes your web pages automatically and responds to user comments, you’ll need to choose an API, framework and IDE that works with the programming language of your choice and that can translate HTTP requests or encrypt and authenticate users.
- Conceptualize the Flow. Sketch out the operational flow of your Internet bot, including how it works to automate large-scale tasks. For instance, if you’re creating a bot that interacts with your customers, then it’s important to think about the flow of conversations. Ideate how the bot would work, including how it responds to questions it may not have the answer to. Also, role-play (with humans) so you can test the dialogue to ensure you’re not leaving out any logical step.
- Use a Prototyping Tool. With a prototyping tool, you can create a viable Internet bot that can help your audience visualize the final product. You can use a specific prototyping tool that is targeted toward the type of Internet bot you plan to create to simplify the process. For example, you can use Botsociety to create high-fidelity, interactive chatbots to help assist multiple customers at once. This helps you to demonstrate how the product can work to stakeholders while helping you discover and fix errors before you invest in the final product.
Making your own Internet bot is simple to do when you have the right tools in place. Just apply these best practices, and you can create an Internet bot to help your business and target audience.
Also published on Medium.