If you are running an ecommerce website business and you know nothing about live chat software, you could be miles away behind the competition. Live chat service is fast becoming an essential for ecommerce website success and you should stand to greatly benefit from installing a good one in your website. So “what is a good one?” you may ask. Before you jump on the live chat software bandwagon, read this essential FAQ first.
What is a live chat service?
Live chat service is a new and effective way to interact with your online customers. They usually initiate the conversation by clicking an icon placed anywhere on your website. It is commonly used by customers who need to know more about a particular product you offer, asking for suggestions on what to buy or for past customers who need assistance with merchandise they already bought from you. Live chat service has been around for several years now but it is only during the past two years that top businesses started to use it for their websites. Now, chat software can be found in many small and medium scale online businesses.
How much will I expect to pay for live chat support software?
The price range for live support service is about $15-$200 per month depending on the features they offer and the required number of live chat representatives. However, an increasing number of service providers offer free plans but with limited features and functions.
How do I install one on my website?
To install live chat software on your website, you just have to copy a few line lines of code provided by your service provider and paste it on your website. It is simple as that. However, it has not always been the case because in the past, installing a live chat program meant that you have to manually do it on your server. Plus there’s the added maintenance cost that proved out of reach for most small and medium websites at that time.
What can I expect from the look of the live chat widget?
If you have a themed website, you surely want the live chat widget to blend nicely with the webpage and stand out. Make sure to look for its appearance customization feature and check if you can tweak the widget according to your taste. Many vendors offer widgets that can be placed separately at the bottom right hand of the webpage that can expand when the chat feature is on so that when a customer starts a chat session, the conversation remains active even when he browses on the other pages of your website.
What are the other live chat software features I should look for?
- Proactive chat – You can set your live chat software to start chats proactively, meaning your live chat agents can initiate the chat whenever a customer starts browsing for your product, but be wary not to start the chat in an intrusive way.
- Chat Protocols – This tool enables you to save chats so you will be able to assess your live chat staff’s performance.
- Offline Mode – You have the option to turn the chat box into an online contact form whenever it is on offline mode.
- Canned Messages – Using canned phrases such as “Hello. How may I help you?” lets you communicate faster. But don’t overdo it because you could sound robotic and may be mistaken as an answering bot.
Unlike most chat companies, that either provide just Live Chat Software or just service via the use of another company’s software, we do both. We have our own software platform and employ our own agents. This enables us to innovate and respond to our customer’s needs much faster. This also results in greater cost savings for our customers and partners.
There is no doubt that the internet has become one of the most pervasive mediums in today’s society. This is true not only in terms of entertainment and recreation, but also in other crucial aspects of life such as information, sports and even business and commerce.
In this regard, more and more businesses are realizing the value of internet marketing. In fact, one of the most common and widely used forms of online marketing nowadays is SEO or search engine optimization. True enough, SEO services have proven to be very effective.
But of course, you also have to realize that these services come at a price, and not really a cheap one at that. After all, the right SEO service will provide a lot of benefits to your business. To let you know more about this, here are some of the typical costs of SEO services.
One of your payment options would be the monthly retainer. Roughly, this can cost you around $750 up to $5,000 per month. The actual cost will be dependent on the size of your business and the types of services that you would avail. The more comprehensive the service and the bigger your company is, the higher the price.
At the cheaper end, there are small SEO companies which can provide you limited options of SEO services. While on the upper end, there are full-service SEO companies that offer far more types of service. They can give you a package.
Contract services with fixed prices
If you are not familiar with the whole SEO and internet marketing idea yet, then it would be best to go for contract services first. In fact, this is what newbies do. They test the waters first and pick out an SEO contract service.
These services come at a fixed price for every company. It is like looking at the menu in a restaurant. Each SEO service corresponds to a particular price. No more and no less. But then again, how much each SEO company charges for a particular service can differ.
But to give you an idea, SEO copywriting typically costs around $0.15 to $0.50 per word, content audit is priced between $500 to $7,500, and a social media set up will cost you around $500 to $3,000.
If you want to hire SEO services on a per project basis, the prices will be much more variable. Again, this would depend on what type of services you will avail. If you are planning for a comprehensive SEO campaign, then perhaps you can ask for a package with discounts so that you can cut back on the expenses. Usually, payments on a per project basis costs around $1,000 to $30,000.
You can also hire SEO experts or agencies by the hour—such as in the case of video editors, graphics artists and the like. Typically, SEO consults charge within the range of $100 to $300 per hour. The rates should already be fixed. Be wary of those who say that their rates are arbitrary. Settle this before you sign a deal.
SEO Services Provided by SEOExplode
An important task for any SEO company is to understand how Google which is the prominent search engine works. Thoroughly researching and maintaining knowledge of the search engine is an essential task for an SEO company. If they want to be able to provide the best service to their clients they need to have as much information as possible. While Google and the other search engines have never stated exactly how their algorithms determine the rankings, there has been a lot of speculation. However, if you are simply interested in doing a little research before hiring an SEO company delving into the vast information pool of SEO can be very daunting. If you want just a little general information on the search engine giant, see below:
What Google Considers When Ranking a Site:
Off-Page Factors: The search engine considers link structure, SEO Companylink sources, and anchor text. Having high quality, natural links are the most important off-page factor that affects your ranking. Google uses the PageRank system to determine the value of the incoming links to your site. Some links are worth much more than others, and while the exact formula for determining link value is unknown, many experts have been able to determine some key factors. Some things that affect the value of a link include relevance to your site, the trustworthiness of the site supplying the link, and the authority of the site supplying the link. Having links from a wide variety of quality sources is also a factor. The key is in the word quality, link spamming techniques that provide a site with a large amount of low quality links will not be as much help as a carefully cultivated, smaller set of high quality links.
On-Page Factors: The search engine considers keyword frequency, meta tags, headings, links, and site structure. Google allows you to submit a sitemap of your website to help the engine crawl and index your site more easily. Once you have your site in order make sure you don’t forget this important step.
One of the wonderful things about Google is how easy they make it for webmasters to get the information they need. They provide a set of tools just for webmasters, including:
- Google Webmaster Guidelines
- Webmaster Academy
- Google Adwords
- Google Analytics
When hiring an SEO company it is important to remember that Google has explicitly stated that there is no “guarantee” for top results. Beware any SEO company who claims to have a special relationship or understanding with Google that results in their clients being ranked as number one. There is also no way to pay for a top ranking, all of Google’s paid results are clearly marked, and paid and organic results are never mixed. On the results page, paid ad results appear at the top of the page and in the sidebar and are labeled as either ‘sponsored’ or ‘advertisement’.