5 benefits of having live chat on your website

Live chat, as an instant messaging option on your website helps your customers in many ways; and helping your customers, it helps your business in many aspects – from sales and customer service to increasing cost efficiency and business information gathering.

Live chat is convenient for your customers

Whether you own a SaaS product or offer any kind of online or offline service, live chat enables your customers to connect with your agents instantly. If we compare live chat to a customer support ticketing system, it is pretty clear that the main advantage of live chat is instant response. If your customers need an additional explanation on the service they are using or need help with troubleshooting, live chat enables you to provide step by step instructions or share your knowledge base instantly. That way, you build trust and long-lasting relationships with your customers. And let’s be honest, there are some shy people among us, that would rather turn to live chat than to a phone call.

Live chat increases your sales conversion rate

The above described advantage is helpful for your customer service and satisfaction, however, there are many sales benefits of having a live chat option on your website. It hugely contributes to a positive buying experience of your potential customers and thus increases your conversion rate by 20-40%. I am sure all of us faced a situation when we visited a website and suddenly got very interested in the product or service offered. However, we were too lazy or reluctant to write an email and wait for a response. Now a similar scenario – we visit a website, get curious and interested to learn more and there is a live chat button. A friendly agent answers our questions and we are one step closer to buying from them.

Live chat gives you competitive advantage

By adding to your sales and customer service efforts, live chat gives your business a competitive advantage. Whatever service you are offering or whatever industry you are coming from, one thing is sure – you have competitors. The above story about visiting a website, getting curious to learn more but being reluctant to write an email and then going straight to competition with live chat available, is a perfect example of how the latter company used live chat as a competitive advantage.

Live chat helps you save money

And more than that! Isn’t it interesting – live chat is an option that increases efficiency and saves money at the same time? How? With a well-trained customer support agent, you can say goodbye to hundreds of queued calls since such agents can handle multiple chats, which is not the case with phone calls. Additionally, some live chat providers have free packages available, meaning that no initial investment is needed.

Live chat helps you gather important information about your business and website

Do you want to know which are the parts of your product or website that most customers get stuck at? Or you’d simply like to learn from your customer service rating and feedback? This might not be commonly known, but live chat provides real-time info on the landing page of your visitors, it shows you which pages were previously visited what is the current page of your visitor. You can also find out the location and IP address of your visitor. Have you noticed the shy ones – the ones visiting your websites often, but are too shy to start a conversation? Well, invite them to chat manually!

Conclusion

Obviously, live chat option is useful for many aspects of your business. It is affordable, pretty easy to set up and use, but it helps your business in a number of ways. When building a website for an award-winning UK Stag and Hen company, Hen and Stag, we knew that live chat would add hugely to the website’s user experience. And we are now happy to learn that this has turned out to be a perfect feature for their business!

Which Keywords Should I Use On My Website?

Or more to the point, how to identify the keywords I should be using on my website?

If search engines can’t find your content, then neither will potential customers. Keywords will help your site rank higher on search engine results pages. There are three critical factors that influence these results.

  • Competitiveness of the keyword or phrase
  • On-page optimisation
  • Off-page factors indicating authority

The more people that search for a keyword or phrase, the more competitive it will become to rank highly, so it’s key you select the right ones to compete for.

How to select the right keywords

The starting point here is to put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers… What are they looking for? What will they search to find it? What language will they use?

Grouping keywords together around your priority topic is essential. Find keywords that are linked to your main topic on current top ranking sites, this will help identify what you will be competing for.

We recommend a few online tools to help you with this –

  • Google AdWords Keyword Planner
  • Google Search Console
  • Google Trends
  • Google Suggest

Also, remember that punctuation doesn’t matter, neither do ‘stop words’ (and, to, the) and marketing speak is viewed negatively.

Where Should I Use My Keywords?

This one is easy… EVERYWHERE! Make sure your website is optimised with keywords on all pages and in your blog content. Add your keywords to all your social accounts in updates and on your profile information. Add keywords to ant documentation you produce or interviews you give as these things will be quoted online.

Example

We recently built and will be shortly carrying out some SEO work for a local private dentists practice in Newcastle. They are currently not utilising keywords on their homepage or on their social media accounts. We are setting up a blog for the site and have mapped out a plan to optimise keywords across the website, blog and socials. We have noted current rankings and will monitor progress after the work has been carried out.

 

Why you NEED to Install Google Analytics On Your Website

Sir Francis Bacon is often quoted as saying ‘Knowledge is power’ in the case of Google Analytics this has never been truer. We often refer to having a website as only being the first piece of the puzzle on this blog… Then follows search engine optimisation, both on-site and off-site. In some ways adding Google Analytics to your site and then acting on the data that can be extracted from its reports is the final step. Well, the last step in the repeating loop of, Design – Test – Analyze.

Why set up Google Analytics?

Google Analytics can help you understand the performance of your website and once you can do that you can optimise it. Find out how many people are visiting your site on a daily basis, and how many of those are visiting for the first time or are returning. How long are people staying on your site and which page do most people leave your site on. How many people come from links around the web and how many come from social media.

Find out your site’s weaknesses

Which pages are people dropping off your site on? How can they be improved or could they just be deleted? At what stage are customers leaving the ordering process? All these questions can be looked into and improved via Google Analytics.

Learn more about your user’s journey

Use Google Analytics to see your customer’s journey through your website from source to exit. This can help you understand and refine that journey making sure they are funnelled in the correct channel to collect data or sell products.

Create and set goals to measure conversations

You can use Google Analytics to set goals and track conversions on your site. You can track the ordering process to see how long users spend on each step of the process and at which point the exiting the process without completing the transaction. This can help you streamline the process and generate more sales.

 

Example

We’ve recently installed Google Analytics on a North East roofing contractors website, we’ll be going through the data with them to improve the site and the customer journey.

 

 

 

Why On-Site SEO Is Critical

You need your site to rank well on search engines, let’s be honest, Google! Two things you’ll need to help you do this are on-site and off-site search engine optimisation (SEO). In this post, we’ll discuss what on-site SEO is and how you can check and improve yours.

 

What is the difference between on-site & off-site SEO?

In very simple terms, what your website will rank you on a search engine is mainly decided by what is on the page, how high up the results you rank is mainly decided by what is found off the website.

What is on-site SEO?

In very simple terms, it’s adjusting the content of your website to be seen in very friendly & readable terms by search engines. It’s also key that search engines can determine what your site is all about and how it is structured. The more quality content that a search engine is able to draw from your site, the better chance your website has of ranking in relation to specific keywords.

How can you check your current site?

Easy! You can use a tool called SEO Site Checkup. You can run a free check by simply inputting your sites URL. SEO Site Checkup will then score your site out of 100 and below this will explain the reason for your score and give you actions to take to improve it. See the example below, we ran a test on international security experts Peregrine International’s website, as you can see they scored 71/100 with some things to fix including Meta Description & <h1> Headings Status.

How can I improve my on-site SEO?

You could run a report on SEO Site Check Up like we did above and then try and fix the issues concerned. Or you could employ a specialist, there are lots of companies offering this service, give it a Google! I bet the best ones will rank highly!!

 

 

Why your website HAS to be responsive on all devices

Why does my website have to be responsive? What is responsive web design? Don’t most people look at websites on laptops these days? In this post, we’re going to look at the answers to these questions and more… Making sure you understand the importance of responsive web design in today’s digital landscape.

What is responsive web design?

To put it very simply, it’s the ability of your website to adjust and optimise all it’s content to fit on different size screens. The most popular being smartphones, tables and differing sizes of monitor screens. The aim for the developer is for the website to be as appealing to the user on smaller screens as it is on larger devices.

Don’t most people look at websites on laptops these days?

Not really… Recent figures show 95% of people viewed Facebook on their smartphones, 31% on laptop & desktop combined and 8% on tablets according to Statista. As of very recently, 80% of top Alexa websites are mobile responsive, according to Mobiforge. So it’s pretty obvious, that statement simply is not true.

Why does my website have to be responsive?

In the modern digital age, your website simply has to be responsive. If it is not, it will now stick out like a sore thumb to users viewing on any device it wasn’t specifically designed for. With users so used to accessing Facebook, Amazon and other sites on their mobile devices, your site will almost look broken in comparison if it is not responsive. Add in better SEO results and proven lower bounce rates and higher conversion rates, it’s a no-brainer.

Show me an example of a responsive website

No problem! One of the UK’s leading security, surveillance and investigation firms, RWSSI has recently built a new website that is mobile responsive.

 

 

As you can see above the website optimises for the smaller screens perfectly. Allowing the site to retain all the design and functionality whilst moving seamlessly from lager to smaller screens.

Summary

You can’t afford for your website to not be responsive in the modern technological world. It’s absolutely imperative to the success of your website. If your current website isn’t responsive, get a new one straight away. You can’t afford not to.

 

Why Add Google Maps To Your Website?

If you’re going on a long journey, looking at the house you grew up in, finding a friends restaurant recommendation or locating your nearest cash machine… You’ve probably used Google Maps! Google has amassed a mind-bending 20 petabytes of aerial, satellite and street view images that are updated regularly.

How to add it to your site

The good news is… It’s super simple! You can use the Google Maps API or a custom field, both allow you to style it to suit your website. The map is customisable, allowing you to show different overviews and points of interest.

What are the Advantages

Although it’s hard to find evidence to suggest that it positively impacts on your sites SEO anymore, it is adding more content to your site and increasing the user experience. If your business requires your customers to find your premises, it will aid them to locate you.

Example

Abbey Masterbatch is a leading UK supplier and manufacturer of masterbatch based in Ashton Under Lyne, they have added Google Maps to their website via a custom field. It clearly shows where they are situated and accessible road routes as well as public transport hubs.

 

Summary

If you want people to easily locate your business, adding Google Maps to your site will really help. It allows them to see where you are located and what’s around you. It’s easy to do, and free, so take a look.

Which Navigation Setup Is Right For Your Website?

It’s essential that users can easily navigate your site to find all the interesting content you have created. If users find this a frustrating task, they may leave your site looking for someone else who provides a better experience.

A website that is easy to navigate will extend the time a user spends there and can lead to an increase in sales, enquiries or any other ‘calls to action’ built into your site. The three most often used types of website navigation are side, top and mega. In this post, we’ll take a quick look at how they could benefit your site.

Top Navigation

Often the best set up if you have only a few options to choose from. Users tend to read from left to right then top to bottom, so putting your navigation tabs in a horizontal line will help their eyes naturally adjust to the layout.

Side Navigation

Using a vertical menu is not a great option if you are looking for a simple menu design. This is because the content in the main body of the site can easily distract the user from the menu text. Side navigation menus certainly can work, but they need to be considered with the correct kind design and a minimal number of menu items.

Mega Navigation

If you have lots of pages, mega navigation could be for you! It looks great and helps users navigate your site with ease. On an e-commerce front, if you are selling lots of products in different categories then it’s probably the best solution for you. A mega menu could also potentially help your sites SEO results as you will be adding plenty of links to your site.

We asked Ben Yates from 16 Design, based in Middlesbrough to give us an example of a recent project and why he chose the navigation set up he did.

“I’m a big fan of mega menus! Especially on large corporate sites, however, a recent client I worked with is a commercial builder and construction company based in Newcastle and they wanted a really simple design and navigation style. They didn’t require too many information tabs or pages so I opted for a top navigation bar. It just keeps things simple and easy to use. The client’s main aim for the site was to generate enquiries and inform users of previous work, so it fitted in nicely with the brief.”

In Summary

Prioritise your user’s experience above all else. When choosing your navigation option, you want the user to easily find their way around your site and stay to browse all your products and services. This will increase the chances of converting them into customers and in turn increase your ROI.

Improving the User Experience With Simple Solutions

Your website needs to be aesthetically pleasing and highly functional, but can it solve users problems too? Of course it can!

It’s important to value the user experience of your website. Here are some surprising and not so surprising facts and statistics about user experience.

  • Judgments on website credibility are 75% based on a website’s overall aesthetics
  • First impressions are 94% design-related
  • 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience

So you’ve hooked them in with the fantastic design, now to solve some user problems with simple solutions.

  • Enquiry Form – Users need to contact the page. These can be simple boxes or more elaborate data collecting or lead generation devices. 
  • Newsletter Subscription – Help customers to stay up to date with your products and services. 
  • Maps – Help the user locate and find you. 
  • Download Information – This North East Building Surveyor lets users download a PDF with parking instructions. Although this could be used for a wide variety of documents, this is a fantastic way of improving the user experience and solving a simple user problem… Where do I park on arrival?In summary, the user will respond favourably to beautiful design and solutions to their problems. How do I contact the site? Where is this business based? How will I find them? All these questions can easily be answered with simple onsite solutions. It’s important to consider your user’s website journey, what could they use help with? What questions might they like answered? What problems might they need to be solved? You can then implement a simple solution to improve their user experience.

Eye Catching Animation Increases User Experience

Eye Catching Animation

Eye-catching, subtlety animated icons improve the user experience and can increase click through and conversion rates. All clients are looking for ROI on their websites, designers & developers have many tools available to achieve this, including a graphically enticing and engaging content.

There is a whole methodology around designing a user experience…

Peter Morville created a useful illustration to visualise some of the aspects of the User Experience

User Experience

We may all rank these factors in differing orders of importance, but they are all important to the User Experience. Animated icons make the page graphically more usable, desirable, valuable and accessible.

These animated icons or logos can be created by a designer or purchased online.

An example of eye-catching animation on a home page was recently used by leading UK web design company Sleeky on a site developed for Norvic Aero Engines.

Specialising in aircraft engine overhauls and ‘Ready to Go Engines’ Norvic’s site is clean and simple. Midway down the home page, two animated icons increase User Experience and add to the attractive design of the site.