YES. But not in the way you think…
Generally, anything that helps the customer/visitor get/find what they are looking for faster will net organic benefit in search results in the long run.
Although Google et al may eventually give SEO points for good UX when it detects the presence of chat, there is no indication that this is what it does today.
But there’s another way that using chat on your website can skyrocket your search results.
It’ll be like you are reading your future customer’s minds. No actual telepathy required.
Here’s how it’s works.
People interested in your business find their way to your website. One way or the other.
It could be that you paid to get there there with an ad or sponsorship. A link to your site might have been sent over to them by a colleague or friend. Or they might have even found you through organic search already. The point is, you have someone on your site who is exhibiting some kind of intent.
How do we know that?
Their intent (or curiosity) is displayed by the pages they view on your website. This is where the magic comes in.
When you have a question come in on live chat, you should praise the old gods and the new.
This question is gold. Not just for understanding this one potential buyer. But for understanding many thousands of future buyers.
If they have this question, you can expect that at least 100 times as many people have had the same question and left without ever asking it. This may have cost you a lot of money.
OK, so what do we do with the gold questions?
In the early days, you’ll find that a lot of people miss something that you and your team may have thought was clearly communicated on the pages of your site.
When we are on our own planet, it’s hard to see what the whole thing looks like until we get a view from the outside.
The questions you get can drive future content decisions.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when you get a new question in on chat:
- What is this question really about?
- Is it something we clearly communicated on the site?
- If not…can we? should we reveal the entire answer or keep some cards close to the vest? (Spoiler here: never let competitors drive this, only withhold content sparingly, and only to spark curiosity, and conversation.)
- If it is communicated on the site already, how can we make it more clear? Continue to the next step.
- Should the answer be woven into the content on the page the question came in on, in a blog post, or in an FAQ section on the website.
All in all, it is usually better to have more information then your audience could ever possibly consume on your website then to not have the information at all.
Most people perform many hours of research before ever reaching out to a sales person.
The company that communicates honesty and clarity most (especially in the early goings) is the one that will win.