2/15/11

Bold Software and SearchQuest Announce Best Practices For SEO-Friendly Live Chat Implementation

Live Chat Provider and leading International SEO Firm Offer Insights to Help Website Owners Enhance Site Performance and Rank.

Wichita, KS, February 9, 2011 — Bold Software, a leading provider of world-class web communication tools including live chat software, today alongside one of the UK’s first SEO agencies, SearchQuest, announced a set of best practices around live chat deployments.

“As website businesses face increasingly more competition, we know that everything about their online presence matters,” stated Bold Software President and CEO Steve Castro-Miller. “Organic search is critically important, which is why we’ve worked diligently to develop the right technology and best practices to ensure that live engagement technology is not only optimized for search engines, but can be used as an integral part of SEO and SEM efforts.”

Many websites today use some type of third party content to provide a richer user experience. Working directly with vendors who provide third party content is a key recommendation amongst website performance experts. “As websites grow in complexity, it’s critical to monitor the performance of third-party content on a 24/7 basis from the end user perspective,” said Tina Miteko, director of corporate marketing with Keynote Systems, The Mobile and Internet Performance Authority™. “The takeaway is that both the customer and the vendor should examine performance regularly, and work closely in order to address and overcome any challenges.”

For Bold Software’s part, the company has worked to fine-tune its offering throughout past product releases. Scripts deployed to websites for the purpose of real-time visitor monitoring have been reduced to 1/5th of their previous size, caching is used to ensure a near-zero impact on subsequent page views, and page load times have been dramatically improved through asynchronous page view tracking.

Ensuring the core technology websites utilize has been optimized for maximum performance is just one step to ensure an SEO-friendly implementation, however. Search Engine Optimization experts at SearchQuest – a BoldChat customer – recommend the following best practices as well.

“By following these practices, companies can not only ensure compliance with their SEO strategies,” said James Brockbank, Senior SEO Technician at SearchQuest, “but in many cases it allows them to use chat as a competitive advantage in their efforts.”

 Best Practices

  1. Ensure any real time visitor monitoring script is properly placed near the bottom of the page so it loads after the main content.
  2. Ensure than any 3rd party vendors have provided code that is optimized to reduce or nearly eliminate any drag on page load times.
  3. Implement proactive chat rules based on organic keywords. Robust live chat software vendors offer the ability to determine the keywords that brought a visitor on site. This information can be used to send a proactive chat invitation that is customized which increases its chance of acceptance.
  1. Be sure to use an “alt” attribute in your chat button HTML image implementation and have it contain strategic SEO-optimized keywords. Search engines cannot see these graphics, but they can index the alt tag. This has a dual effect: 1) it presents organic keywords to the search engine spiders, and 2) it helps the vision-impaired users to know where to click to activate a live chat.
  2. When using proactive chats, test pages to see how quickly they load for various users (T1 line, broadband cable, ISDN, 56K phone modem, etc.). Determine when to launch proactive chats based upon the average download times for the top 80% of users. If a page take 10 seconds to load on average user, then the proactive chat trigger should be about five seconds after that time frame (to allow a buffer) so page load time isn’t affected. Ideally, each page is tested for download speed and has its own unique proactive chat start time based upon this testing.

 About Bold Software:

Bold Software LLC, is a leading provider of world-class web communication tools designed to help businesses improve online support and increase sales. Using Bold Software’s live chat, click-to-call, email management, and active co-browsing tools, businesses can quickly and effectively engage visitors on their website. Bold Software sells a wide variety of competitively-priced products under the BoldChat, BoldCall, and BoldCCM brand names. Businesses of all sizes - from small proprietorships to large ecommerce enterprises – can provide more intelligent online customer interactions and close more sales using Bold Software solutions. The company is headquartered in Wichita, KS, with thousands of customers around the world including 3M, American Cancer Society, Corel, Dean & DeLuca, and ViewSonic. For more information about Bold Software, go to www.BoldSoftware.com or call 1-866-753-9933.

Topics:

Bold Software, SearchQuest, SEO

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