Archive for November, 2010

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Talk to me Goose! – Live Chat!

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With our Windscreen Wipers website sitting in the top 3 for the keyword Windscreen Wipers I had expected a good steady stream of sales.  The reality is that the site sells windscreen wipers every single day but I think from the visitors it could be so many more!

I decided to try a new approach to see if I could improve sales and so installed Live!Zilla , a free live chat tool.  The aim was to see how many people would request a chat and so I could see whether people were just having issues finding the correct product.

It takes a little bit of setup to get this free tool setup but the instructions provided were excellent and I was able to get the live chat status images working fine on our website.  I configured myself as the only operator and waited for a wave of chat requests……needless to say they weren’t forthcoming!  In over a month I didn’t get a single chat request from a visitor!

When you aren’t signed in the chat icon prompts the visitor that they can leave a message and this led to 3 visitors doing that.  When I compare this to the number of people who use our “contact us” form then the live chat message wins 3 – 0!

The chat software gives basic geo visitor information with more accurate available for an additional fee.  Using this information I tried to initiate a chat with UK based site visitors but again this was fruitless!  Live!Zilla lets you co-browse (see what the site visitor is looking at) so i could send them a targeted message but nothing I tried worked!

For now I’ve given up with the live chat model although I am still running it on the site.  The thought was that if the site received a lot of queries I could outsource the operators (overseas perhaps) and pay them based on the commission of the sales they referred.  Needless to say that plan is currently on the back burner but I won’t give up!

As a free live chat tool I would give Live!Zilla 10/10 and would definitely say it’s well worth a try if you’re in the market for a live chat tool!

Maybe the type of site doesn’t lend itself to a live chat tool?  Has anyone else successfully used such a tool to aid sales and increase conversions?

Screenshot of the Monopod.org.uk Homepage

WordPress Plugin for Website Automation

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Screenshot of the Monopod.org.uk Homepage

Click to View Full Size Image

Our portfolio of live websites has reached approximately 30 so we decided to revisit the look and feel of the websites in the hope of improving conversions. Following a previous recommendation of Dan Harrison from WordPress development specialists WP Doctors, we had been using Artisteer to create wordpress templates for our affiliate marketing sites. Although Artisteer was incredibly flexible in what it could deliver we were after more functionality and so looked for a suitable base premium wordpress template to deploy and build upon.

We found an online shop style template from Elegant Themes (*Affiliate Link) that displayed product prices against each of the items but unfortunately this would involve us manually updating thousands of products each day! They obvious solution to this was of course automation! We were already using Easy Content Units which meant we already had an automated way of pulling the cheapest price and retailer information but we wanted a way to push this data into the wordpress database so the theme could extract it for our visitors to see.

We approached Dan of WP Doctors to initially discuss whether our ideas could be turned into reality! Dan provided a great sounding board for our ideas and suggestions and countered our thoughts whilst extracting additional information we hadn’t even considered! This collaborative approach to defining our requirements meant that once development began Dan knew exactly what was required and what was to be delivered. Throughout the project Dan gave me status updates and delivered the agreed work within budget and on time. With Dan’s help we deployed the plugin to our monopod website www.monopod.org.uk and we’ve been extremely happy with the way that the plugin performs. We will now look to roll out the template and plugin combination to some of the other websites in our portfolio.  The theme we are using is quite resource hungry so we are looking to improve the usability of website for our end users.  If anyone has any tips to offer on acheiving this then feel free to comment on this post or contact us via the contact form.

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