Seems simple, just install code and you’ve got a chat app. But not so fast. I am finding out from personal experience that not all chat apps are alike.
I started out with Drift and still have that chat app on my blog (for now). What I found as I used the app was it slowed my website to a crawl for load time. I think much of this is the code is installed in the head tag as instructions state, but may be better installed before the </body>.
What is happening on my site is the page is taking so long to load and the navigation does not operate until the chat app function appears – I consider this very bad. Drift must have made a code change to the asynchronous code recently as the page load time was not an issue before but started about two weeks ago. As a result I have been actively looking for a website chat app replacement.
I have tried three Tawk.to, MyLiveChat, and now Pure Chat. I am using Pure Chat on my website right now and so far I do like the free version. What I consider important for a website chat app are the following:
Easy to install
Able to configure colors
Has a rock solid mobile app
Does not impact page load speed
So far Tawk.To and My Live Chat were too complicated for my needs and cumbersome to use. Pure Chat has easy set up and I do like the mobile app which is simple to use.
I will be doing additional testing in the weeks ahead and when I settle on one, I’ll post it on my blog.
As a Google Partner, I get access to interesting information, statistics, seminars, and trend notifications. One of the most interesting I have received lately is that of “right now” searches are trending up.
For example, searches like pizza place open right now, flower shop open now, and other similar searches showing a desire to act immediately are trending strongly upward on Google.com. Another term “best” is also trending and surprisingly “near me” is trending down.
Here’s why these terms are “hot” for searches – consumers are using smartphones more and more for search. The desire for immediate information that is immediately actionable is driving these numbers. In fact, traffic for terms that contain “open now” have tripled in the last two years alone.
“Near me” is a term that is trending down as mobile phone users now expect to see data that is relevant to their own personal location and so no longer feel the need to specifically state “near me” in a search query. You may still want to use those terms in AdWords for now but not for much longer.
“Best” is another term that appears to be trending up at this time in addition to immediate-related terms.
How can you leverage this information?
Make sure you are using these terms in your query strings in AdWords and in your ad text. Know that immediate, now, and best are surfacing strongly showing that users want to be able to take immediate action.
Make sure you are using a chat function on your website to help feed this need to interact with you and your sales team on a moments notice.
SMS Scheduler is a productivity time saver for me. I wanted to share with you why I use it. No, I am not being paid by the app owner to write this. I am just a fan.
I have four remote working employees. Although we use TeamUp, my staff is busy and this is not a full-time job for them. I have found that by sending scheduled text messages about deadlines on a schedule and reminder notices on a schedule, I keep my remote staff focused on meeting my project deadlines.
I found the app for Android in the Google Play store. I am sure they have a version for iPhone as well. Make sure when you do your installation that you follow the brief but important instructions on how to override a setting so the app will work.
Here are several examples of texts I sent to my staff on specific due dates.
Your social media is in. Please have your loads done by Sunday night.
Make sure you do topics and loads today, as well as WordPress loads.
Please make sure you have updated TeamUp with a new date or mark your things as done.
My staff just finally figured out that I was using an automated messaging service, as I do change the messages. But for me, having reminders scheduled has allowed me to let go of some of the important follow up tasks and spend more time on client projects.
The Web is a very competitive place, but I would like to share with you a case study of a recent customer that highlights if a service is trending, the price is right, and the website is optimized, you can get clients via organic search.
My firm built him a website to showcase video and photos of projects and recent photo shoots. We optimized the site architecture, site content, page URLs and mentored him on keywords to use in his self-written content.
We used location specific keywords to help him place organically by county and state name using a smart use in his content and footer information.
On his side, he priced his services a tad below market average, and worked to offer more value than any other competitors.
As a result of our efforts combined with the client, business is growing and the phone is ringing, all without additional advertising.
The point I would like to make is that if the product is “right”, pricing is “right”, there is a need, then the smart use of keywords, content and location specificity can give free exposure that turns into sales and helps a brand new business get a footing from which to build.
“Near Me” searches have decreased by 150% over the last 2 years.
Use of a zip code in a search query has declined 30%.
Google data shows that consumers are wanting more useful information, more personalization, and more immediacy.
The reason for the decrease in activity on “near me” and zip code specific searches is that consumers expect the results to be location and self-specific. This change has been driven by the mobile micromoment, as Google calls it, – the I want to know, I want to buy, I want to go mentality.
One important trend that you can leverage on your website and in Google AdWords due to dynamic keyword insertion is the use of “best” in a search query. Consumers want the “best” toothbrush, “best” web designer, “best” lawyer and so on.
In fact in the research Google states that “best” related keyword search activity has grown by 80% in the past two years.
In addition, consumers are demanding personalized localization – meaning the delivery of results that are uniquely personal and based on their own location. Mobile apps leverage results by GPS location and websites can enhance results by providing location cues and data sortable by location.
In addition to more localization, Google has identified that 50% of all mobile users will typically make an immediate purchase after a successful mobile search.
Google is identifying other important trends and sharing them with Google Partners as we work to leverage this information to help our clients better market their products and services on Google AdWords.
Credit card decline! Those are words that any business owner hates to hear, but it happens to all of us. When you get a credit card decline for your services here are some tips to quickly resolve the problem.
Be Nice – Always
I have found that sometimes a credit card decline is due to a security issue. Maybe the card was lost or compromised and the customer did not remember to advise you. Be open to the fact that it may be a very simple issue to resolve.
I always send a nice positive note with a request for a new card for my services. Typically if you hear back from the client within a day it is typically something that will be quickly resolved.
Deal with the Problems – Quickly
It is the clients that will not return a note or phone call that typically has run into a cash flow issue. For my firm, we stop services when we do not get a response, as the debt can grow quickly and end up as a write off. You have the most leverage to resolve a problem when an issue is handled quickly.
Make sure that if you have a contract that you cover what happens when a client does not pay. I have learned from experience that if you continue services on a payment promise that your write off will typically end up much bigger.
Change Terms – For Problem Payers
In our agreement for services, we spell out what happens when a client has a credit card decline, resolves, it and continues buying. We move clients like this to a prepayment basis or retainer. Some services we provide are not impacted significantly with a delay in payment, but other services are hugely impacted. Know your own needs and cover the situations in your agreement that all clients must sign to start your services.
Is It Worth It?
In some cases when you receive multiple declines, and it is clear that there is a cash flow problem, you must take time to evaluate if you would like to continue to work with a client. Each business situation is different. Just know that trying to collect on a debt is very, very difficult. Suing is not a realistic option and using a debt collector will cost a percentage of the debt and may never be collectible.
We all hate to lose a client, but a poor paying or non-paying client is typically more trouble than it is worth in the long run.