Website owners are always looking for new ways to increase conversions. Although SEO strategies including content generation, link building, and metadata writing can greatly impact where and how your website shows up in search, there is always room for new tactics. Live chats, pop-up forms, video content, and infographics are all popular additions to websites. Many website owners even receive spam contact forms about some third-party applications that will install a chatbot on your website. But are these solutions useful or just fleeting fads?
Pros & Cons of Live Chats
There are dozens of live chat programs on the market. And when you browse the web you are sure to see them in the bottom corner of a few websites. There are two types of chat programs you can add to your website: AI chatbots and manual livechat. An AI chatbot is programmed with a flowchart of potential questions and answers that eventually leads a visitor to send a sales inquiry or finding a product they can buy. A manual chat notifies a customer service representative when a user is active so that they can quickly and effectively answer questions.
Pros for Manual & AI Chat Features:
- Interactivity: Chat features are interactive which can keep users on your website longer and give them a chance to learn more about products.
- Conversions: The goal of most chats is to quickly move a consumer to a potential conversion. By answering a few preliminary questions, you can encourage a user to either schedule a meeting or purchase a product.
- Navigation: If you offer a variety of products and services, or serve a variety of customers, a simple chat feature can point users in the right direction and improve their overall experience. For instance a company that has a “for patients” and a “for medical providers” section of the website can use a chatbot to quickly parse new users and send them to the right content.
Cons For Manual & AI Chat Features:
- Setup: Any chat feature requires a level of setup. If you are using a bot, you will need to create the flowchart of questions and answers. This can be time-consuming, and if not done right, it can completely ruin the benefits of the chat feature in the first place.
- AI limitations: Another issue can be the specific limitations of the AI chatbot. Different chatbots have different strengths and weaknesses, but trying to use a chatbot that cannot answer your questions is frustrating and impersonal for customers.
- Time Commitment: If you choose a manual chat feature you will need a person or persons on your team that can be available around the clock. Otherwise this feature will not be as valuable.
- Annoyance: Some chatbots come with pop-ups, chimes, and notifications that aim to replicate the notification a person would get from their text message app. This can backfire for some websites. If your chatbot covers your content, pesters your customers, and is generally annoying, it may increase your bounce rate before it increases your conversion rate.
Should Your Website Have Pop-Up Forms
Pop-up forms are another popular addon to websites. When done right, they are effective ways to immediately capture conversions on a webpage, gain names for your newsletters, or share important information. There are a variety of pop-up forms that can be customized in many different ways. Where you put your form, what triggers the form, and what the form says, all contribute to its success. For instance, exit-intent forms are only triggered when a user does something that indicates they are about to leave the website. Other forms are triggered after a person has been on a page for a certain amount of time. The trigger and content of your form both need to be well thought out.
Pros of Pop-Up Forms
- Recapturing Attention: A pop-up form is a good way to capture or recapture someone’s attention. If a form is set up around an exit-intent trigger, it can effectively bring someone back in as they may consider switching tabs. If a form is based on a page scroll trigger (the form appears after reaching a certain point on a page) it can be a natural way to bring a user from the bottom of one page to the next step in the buyer process.
- Sharing Information: Pop-up forms are very valuable for sharing two types of information: sales and changes to service. For instance, if your restaurant will be closed for a time for renovations, a pop-up form on the homepage and menu page can educate and encourage gift card sales. If a retail location is running a special, a pop-up form can move a user from the homepage to the specials page or a product page.
Cons of Pop-Up Forms
- Annoyance: There is really only one flaw for contact forms, but it is a big one. There is nothing more frustrating for the user experience than reading an article or a blog and suddenly not being able to see anything because of a pop-up form. Pop-up forms with useless information, that trigger at inopportune times, or that break up the user experience are all turnoffs to many customers.
Other Website Addons
There are a few other popular addons that boast different levels of engagement, conversions, etc. For instance explainer videos. These videos sit on the homepage or on an about page and go over a product or service. If professionally produced they can be very effective. However, videos should not replace content writing for SEO purposes. One mistake is to accidentally create a page of thin content because the page is primarily videos and images with almost no text. Thin pages do not rank well and videos shouldn’t replace text on a website. Another common addon is infographics. These are cheaper to produce than a video, and very effective ways to convey information, but they also shouldn’t replace written content. Google, Bing, and other search consoles rely on bots that can read a written text to pull keywords and information about a webpage, images and videos are effective for users but not very effective for search engines. However, alt-attributes do give SEO professionals the ability to add SEO value to videos and images.
What Addons Should Your Website Use
When deciding to add videos, infographics, live chat, or pop-up forms, the decision isn’t whether or not these addons work, but whether they will work for your website. These addons should never replace standard SEO and digital practices. The most effective way to improve conversion rate is to rank highly on Google, have strong website content, and to make it easy for users to quickly contact businesses or purchase goods. With each of these addons, performance is directly linked to how they are implemented. These addons are not one size fits all solutions for digital strategy. Professional digital marketers can help recommend which addons are necessary and how to implement them successfully.
Receive A Website Audit From Boston Web Marketing
Our agency based in Boston has designed and installed many custom addons for our clients. We have favorites when it comes to pop-up forms and live chats. But most importantly, we help clients use these tools in conjunction with proven SEO practices. To get a tailored digital strategy, contact Boston Web Marketing for a free website audit. Our representatives would be happy to recommend these features for your website, design their layouts, and implement them.