Google is currently putting together the final changes for an algorithm update expected to land in 2021. 

The update is being called the page experience update. Google has already provided some information on the update – the update aims to measure and potentially rank the experience that a user encounters when visiting a page.

They have written a little on the update in their official blog where they state that the search giant will give SEOs at least six months’ notice to adapt to the changes. 

But why not get ahead of this now? What will it mean for your SEO efforts?

We’ll look at how the update will work and provide some clear and actionable steps to help you plan.

What is the Page Experience update?

At the very highest level, the update is supposed to build upon the core web vitals update released in 2020. The aim is that users should have a web experience that is straightforward, reliable, safe, and works great on any device. 

To measure this, Google will be looking at the following elements:

The intrusiveness of site design.

We’ve all experienced an overload of intrusive widgets and pop-ups while browsing the web. In fact, it seems that these are getting more and more prevalent in recent years. 

With cookie acceptance, newsletter opt-ins, basket reminders, and reminders that you are about to leave, it’s no wonder that Google has decided to do something about these negative experiences. 

It’s not just about malevolent bad experiences. Your content marketing efforts could be providing a negative experience without you realizing it. Elements could load differently on other devices, with different screen ratios, for example. 

Core web vitals.

Moving beyond page speed, Google created a new way of measuring sites’ performance across the web. In recent times the average user expects seamless, fast browsing experiences. 

Google released this last year and provided a whole suite of tools to help webmasters keep on top of their site’s performance. 

SEO’s can break down this score into three subcategories:

  • Largest contentful paint – how quickly the largest piece of content loads
  • First input delay – how quickly the page responds to user input
  • Cumulative layout shift – how stable the visual elements of the page are

Mobile friendly.

Mobile friendly has now become mobile-focused. With so much of the web being accessed via mobile devices, it’s imperative for Google that sites provide experiences that work just as well in the palm of your hand as it would on a desktop or laptop. 

With over 3.5 billion smartphone users out there, it’s not surprising that Google is placing more emphasis on this metric than ever before. Google has indicated that this update will consider how your site appears on mobile. 

Privacy and safe browsing.

Spammy and malicious websites have long been in the crosshairs for Google. It doesn’t want users to land on a harmful website from its search results. Expect this to be one of the most dangerous things you could do as a webmaster. 

But beyond malicious activity, page experience means that Google will prefer secure sites (HTTPS). SSL certification will no longer be optional if you want your SEO efforts to bear fruit in 2021.

How to stay on top of the update.

So how do you get ahead of this update and ensure that your SEO efforts aren’t hampered by these changes?

As with anything Google, they will be looking at the page level. Sure, your site’s overall ranking can be important, but remember, Google ranks pages, and I’d be surprised if this metric is applied differently. 

Take a look at your page categories and use this to form an action plan. Take your blog posts, and category hubs and apply these tips to each to get an idea of where you need to improve.

Speed and reduce errors.

Whether you’re a store owner or interested in B2B content marketing and blogging, one of the most powerful things you can do to get your site looking good in the eyes of Google is to speed it up. It’s no coincidence that Google has released a whole range of tools to help you do just this. 

Combine metrics such as page speed with the Chrome User Experience report to get on top of how your site performs for users. 

Alongside this, make sure you are running regular audits on your site. These will help you to discover pages that aren’t running as fast and need your focus. 

If speed is an area where you can focus on positive signals, make sure you also don’t ignore the negative ones. These aforementioned audit tools will also help you to identify errors. 400 errors will need to be snuffed out, for example. 

There’s a whole range of related errors that we think will be included in the update. Luckily these are all common technical SEO errors that most tools can check for and help you solve. There’s never been a better time to tackle this and make your site look great in the eyes of Google.

Compare experience with main competitors.

So you might have a great experience, and your experience metrics look pretty good. But what about your competitors? What are they doing that is working better than you, and how can you use this to benefit once the update is rolled out?

Take your top terms that you target and do a simple Google search to find your competitor’s pages that rank. 

It’s time to take a long hard look at these pages and think about what it is that they are doing well. You can use an SEO tool (such as ahrefs) to do these on the keyword level. 

Identify common themes amongst your competitors. How do they structure their content, are they using tables of contents, do they have FAQs that help the reader solve their problems?

Sometimes looking at your competitors is the best and most humbling way to help you decide which changes you need to make on your website. 

I like to do this at least once a year and ensure that my site hasn’t slipped behind the best page experience in the field.

And remember, don’t just try to match these sites. Try and beat them. Aim for an even better experience than they are offering, and Google will reward you in the long term. 

Take the time to analyze your site layout and design.

After looking externally, it’s time to look at yourself. We’ve discussed what a bad experience looks like. It’s time to make sure that you aren’t making the same mistakes. 

It can be tempting to try and capture customers with as many methods as possible. But these multiply quickly and the negative effect it has on-page experience compounds. I see many small businesses making these content marketing mistakes.

Try and identify the most effective ways you have of converting users that land on your site. As well as this, try and find methods that protect the user experience. That might mean removing that full-page banner asking users to sign up for your newsletter.

You’ll also need to find the experience obstacles preventing your users from attaining an optimal experience on your site. The best way to do this is via a heatmap tool. 

Once you explicitly obtain consent from a user, the tool can track where the users click and can even provide detailed session logs or video to see where your users are experiencing blockers or bad UI.

Conclusion

Google is getting better and better at understanding the value that users get from visiting sites. While the page experience update will likely have less of an effect on your site rank than off-page SEO, it can make all the difference when vying for the top positions. 

This difference can be worth huge amounts for your business. It’s not just the financial benefits that you should be thinking of. It’s generally good practice to think about how your competitors are structuring their sites. 

Set regular intervals to perform the steps in this article, and you’ll be on your way to page experience success!

Looking for more ways to level up your online presence? We’ve created a guide just for that.


James is a marketer who writes extensively about many emerging tech topics across big data, marketing, IoT and mobile. His interests include researching how data is transforming the world around us (for better and worse). He currently leads the marketing effort at Olvin and Tamoco.

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Digital timer counter on tablet
Small Business Tips

How website speed impacts your leads and conversions

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: New ways of legal work with Ashton Taylor

A smiling young woman looks at her computer with one hand on the keyboard and the other holding a paper cup
Small Business Tips

Chat creates human connection and improves efficiency. What’s not to love?

Hands use a VoIP device
Small Business Tips

Making the connection: VoIP, your customers, and you.

Small Business Tips

Inclusive marketing—with Michelle Ngome (pt. 1)

A young woman sitting at a desk looks annoyed at her phone, with one hand thrown up in frustration. Daylight streams in through an adjacent window.

Stop robocalls for good.

A close-up of peanut butter cups (candy), some stacked, some with bites taken out, on a dark gray background
Small Business Tips

Mashups & peanut butter cups: how to bridge the paid/organic data divide to spend smarter search ad dollars

Small Business Tips

Which chat service is right for your business?

Small Business Tips

High-end clients, projects, and service—with Melissa Barker

Arizona landscape
About Ruby

Arizona, here we come!

Reflections on fallout

Square title card with circular-cropped head shot: The art and challenge of business services, Justin Dunham, ércule
Small Business Tips

The art and challenge of business services—with Justin Dunham of ércule

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Rapid resourcefulness with Ashton Taylor

Small Business Tips

Forced changes and success with Loren Feldman

Small Business Tips

Get more clients like that one. You know the one.

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up

How much would you pay for someone to look at your website?

I’m not talking about having a visitor spend money, sign up for a list, fill out a form, or even click a button. 

I’m talking about the value of someone’s eyes on your website. Jeepers creepers, what are those peepers worth to you?

They should be worth something. The act of looking at a website is often the first step in the consideration stage of the buyer’s journey. It’s a pivotal moment—the moment a visitor decides whether your business is worth thinking about and finding out about. 

So why do so many small businesses disregard it?

Eyes and fingers, brains and metrics.

In my experience, small businesses tend to focus on what visitors do with their fingers. It’s all about clicks and swipes, typically the ones that involve checking out, adding to cart, or contacting sales.

But fingers don’t move on their own. You can’t understand where clicks and swipes are coming from unless you know a little about the brains sending nerve signals to the fingers. And while you can’t read a website visitors’ mind, you can (sorta, kinda) track the optical organs attached to it.

Is your website delivering the results it should? Grab our guide to optimizing your online presence.

Any business with a website can measure things like…

  • how many people visit the website,
  • when they visit the website, and
  • how long they spend looking at the website.

All of these are important metrics. Their relationship to sales might not be immediately apparent, but if you think critically and analyze them against other numbers, interesting patterns can start to emerge.

  • Maybe your website averages 5,000 visitors a month, but only converts about five visitors each month into customers. 
  • Maybe people tend to visit your website early in the morning or late at night.
  • Or maybe most visitors spend approximately 30 seconds staring at your homepage before leaving.

Within every trend are opportunities to improve visitors’ experiences—and, yes, turn more people into customers. 

  • Perhaps a big ol’ “Contact Us” button would improve conversation rates. 
  • Maybe live chat with availability outside conventional business hours could help those early-morning and late-night visitors.
  • How about adding a video to your homepage to make the most of visitors’ limited attention spans and possibly extending the time they spend on your site?

There are so many ideas to play with, tweaks to make, and levers to pull!

Learn how to improve website user experience overnight.

Which switches should you flip?

This is the fun of digital marketing—you can change anything and everything about how your website looks, feels, and functions, whenever you want. It’s like being able to move the front door of your business or adjust the size of your lobby at will.

But you can’t just start flipping switches at random. In order to make constructive changes—the ones that lead to demonstrable results for your business—you need to know what switches are worth flipping.

Every digital marketing decision should have a reason and a rationale. Guessing, assuming, or acting on incomplete information can result in wasted time, money, and effort—or worse, a negative impact on sales. Instead, you need to identify the most important website elements for your business by testing different approaches and noting the results. 

If this sounds like science, that’s because it is. It’s having people visit your website for the purely scientific reason of learning about them. You need to learn about visitors today so you can sell more effectively to them tomorrow.

Which brings us back to our original question…

How much would you pay for someone to just look at your website?

When I ask about the value of eyeballs, what I mean is: 

How much are you willing to spend learning about your visitors, regardless of whether they generate sales right now? 

How much money and time can you dedicate to observing visitors, analyzing their behaviors, and running experiments?

There’s no right or wrong answer. Some businesses can afford to spend a lot here while others have to be more careful with their budgets. But every successful digital marketing effort includes some room for observation, analysis, and experimentation. Growing your business takes continual improvement, which demands constant learning and patience. 

Remember: every website visitor’s behavior matters. Don’t discount the value of a few eyeballs.

After all, the eyes are the window to the sale. 

…Or something like that. I’ll have to keep tweaking it.

Ruby has everything you need to build a successful online presence from the ground up. Download our free guide.

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Digital timer counter on tablet
Small Business Tips

How website speed impacts your leads and conversions

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: New ways of legal work with Ashton Taylor

A smiling young woman looks at her computer with one hand on the keyboard and the other holding a paper cup
Small Business Tips

Chat creates human connection and improves efficiency. What’s not to love?

Hands use a VoIP device
Small Business Tips

Making the connection: VoIP, your customers, and you.

Small Business Tips

Inclusive marketing—with Michelle Ngome (pt. 1)

A young woman sitting at a desk looks annoyed at her phone, with one hand thrown up in frustration. Daylight streams in through an adjacent window.

Stop robocalls for good.

A close-up of peanut butter cups (candy), some stacked, some with bites taken out, on a dark gray background
Small Business Tips

Mashups & peanut butter cups: how to bridge the paid/organic data divide to spend smarter search ad dollars

Small Business Tips

Which chat service is right for your business?

Small Business Tips

High-end clients, projects, and service—with Melissa Barker

Arizona landscape
About Ruby

Arizona, here we come!

Reflections on fallout

Square title card with circular-cropped head shot: The art and challenge of business services, Justin Dunham, ércule
Small Business Tips

The art and challenge of business services—with Justin Dunham of ércule

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Rapid resourcefulness with Ashton Taylor

Small Business Tips

Forced changes and success with Loren Feldman

Small Business Tips

Get more clients like that one. You know the one.

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up

Ruby, the premier provider of live virtual receptionist and chat services for small businesses, today published a guide outlining the trends impacting medical practices, the rapid adoption of telehealth’s influence on patient expectations, and the necessary changes to compete in the healthcare landscape successfully. 

“The changes you make now to help your practice compete in the coming year can make all the difference,” says Michelle Winnett, Vice President of Partner & Strategic Marketing for Ruby. “One of the most pivotal ways to plan for success is to prioritize the patient experience. Establishing processes that build trust, especially as more patients rely on digital pathways to book and receive the care they need. It’s never been more important to provide warm, personalized service that creates a meaningful human connection.” 

Ruby’s guide outlines several methods for combating patient churn while also avoiding staff burnout, including: 

  • Enhancing convenience through telehealth solutions 
  • Augmenting staff with professional, secure customer experience services like virtual receptionists 
  • Offering online communication channels such as live website chat to address FAQs, provide safety information, and schedule appointments 

The guide, “The Shifting State of Healthcare: Innovations to Help Your Practice Compete,” is available for free at www.ruby.com/guide-the-shifting-state-of-healthcare/ 

Ruby News

View All
Women in key roles text image
News

Multiple promotions of women leaders at Ruby

Media

Rubys hiring up to 100 new employees

News

Ruby expands into Arizona

News

Ruby earns two Stevie awards

News

Ruby publishes “The Shifting State of Healthcare”

Announcements

Ruby certified as a Great Place to Work for 5th year

News

Ruby’s 24/7, HIPAA-compliant services reduce burden on healthcare staff

News

Ruby achieves 5 years on Oregon’s Most Admired Companies Llist

Media

Adapting to the new business context

Announcements

13-years on the 100 Fastest Growing Companies

Media

How Ruby pivoted during COVID

Announcements

Oregon 2019 Philanthropy Awards

News

Ruby acquires Pure Chat

Announcements

Ruby wins 2020 Momentum Award

Announcements

Courageous Marketing Leader Awards 2020

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up

Guide: Customer Trends Report

Reading time:

How 2020 shifted customer experience trends for 2021.

2020 changed us all. In 2021, business owners will need to prioritize personal connections with customers while ensuring their teams have the support they need to deliver empathetic and proactive customer service.

In this ebook, we’ll take a look at:

  • The year that changed everything
  • How customer experience has taken the lead
  • What it takes to create a successful business environment
  • 4 ways to grow in 2021

Ruby Content

View All
Videos

Ruby customer feature: New ways of legal work with Ashton Taylor

Videos

Inclusive marketing—with Michelle Ngome (pt. 1)

Videos

High-end clients, projects, and service—with Melissa Barker

Infographics

Infographic: Beating healthcare burnout and delivering on patient expectations

Videos

The art and challenge of business services—with Justin Dunham of ércule

Square title card with circular-cropped head shot: The art and challenge of business services, Justin Dunham, ércule
Infographics

Infographic: The #1 secret of successful law firms.

Tip Sheets

10 questions to ask a virtual receptionist provider

Videos

Ruby customer feature: Rapid resourcefulness with Ashton Taylor

Videos

Small business resourcefulness—with Loren Feldman

Infographics

[Infographic] The #1 secret of successful law firms.

Infographics

[Infographic] Telehealth in 2021 and beyond.

eBooks

Guide: The story of a lead.

Videos

Advertising 101—with David Lambert

Webinars

Setting Your Home Service Business Up for Success

Webinars

Booking Business: How to Balance Marketing & Client Retention

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up

COVID-19 has stretched everyone in healthcare in ways they’ve never experienced before. They’ve had huge patient loads. They’ve had to be creative about PPE. Some have had reduced hours or lost work altogether, as patients postponed elective treatments. These changes have raised the question, “Why is communication important in healthcare?” 

Plus, many parts of the country are dealing with yet another surge in COVID cases. Other places are trying to re-open elective care. Some institutions are hiring more people to help ease the burden, while others are looking for ways technology can assist overburdened staff, especially with communication. Good communication is vital in a healthcare setting as stress levels are high for care providers and their patients. Patients are anxious, desiring personal care and attention, which is hard to deliver amid dozens of patients and a severe health crisis. Let’s look at some of the issues facing healthcare providers, as well as possible solutions. 

A Battle on All Fronts

The healthcare industry faces a burnout crisis due to COVID-19, with some recent surveys displaying alarming numbers. Mental Health America surveyed healthcare workers about their mental state over the past three months. More than 1,000 people responded, and a whopping 93% feel stress, while 76% reported feeling burnt out and exhausted. Similarly, 77% said they feel frustrated. 

Another survey worth noting, conducted by Berxi, had 84% of healthcare staff respondents feeling at least somewhat burnt out. The other alarming find from the Berxi survey was how little sleep medical professionals are getting. One in three reports sleeping for four hours or less each night, and 90% are not getting eight hours. 

At the same time, there are fewer healthcare workers. Reports from November 2020 indicate that at least half the states are facing severe staff shortages. For instance, intensive care nurses usually only care for two patients at a time. In some parts of Texas, these nurses care for up to six or eight patients at once. With so many patients, they have a hard time communicating effectively with doctors and other caregivers. Pair that with lack of sleep, and healthcare staff are put in a position of having to choose how they spend their energy—on care or communication.

Ultimately, poor communication between caregivers can have a very negative effect on patient care. 

A Communication Service Relieves Some of the Burden from Exhausted Clinicians

Exhausted doctors and nurses are more likely to make mistakes. So, finding relief is critical. Hiring more staff is one solution, however, the process can take a long time. In the meantime, there are ways that hospitals can use technology to improve communication between doctors, nurses, other staff members, patients, and their families. Communication technology can also take some of the burdens off of healthcare workers.

A highly trained receptionist service helps healthcare providers by answering basic questions. At Ruby, we can also help with intake and connecting patients to the right staff member or doctor.

When the doctors and nurses on-site customize their communication service, patients get a much better experience. Having a strong team of receptionists is also vital. Look for services that train specifically in empathy and guiding callers with a focus on accuracy. As you research possibilities, be sure to look for HIPAA-compliant services.

Some clinicians might wonder why they should hire a service at all. Why not just focus on getting more staff? As we said earlier, hiring can take a long time. On the other hand, a service is already ready to go. They will be able to get on board quickly and help lighten a hectic staff load. 

Interested in learning more about support for healthcare workers? Check out our ebook, The Shifting State of Healthcare!

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Digital timer counter on tablet
Small Business Tips

How website speed impacts your leads and conversions

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: New ways of legal work with Ashton Taylor

A smiling young woman looks at her computer with one hand on the keyboard and the other holding a paper cup
Small Business Tips

Chat creates human connection and improves efficiency. What’s not to love?

Hands use a VoIP device
Small Business Tips

Making the connection: VoIP, your customers, and you.

Small Business Tips

Inclusive marketing—with Michelle Ngome (pt. 1)

A young woman sitting at a desk looks annoyed at her phone, with one hand thrown up in frustration. Daylight streams in through an adjacent window.

Stop robocalls for good.

A close-up of peanut butter cups (candy), some stacked, some with bites taken out, on a dark gray background
Small Business Tips

Mashups & peanut butter cups: how to bridge the paid/organic data divide to spend smarter search ad dollars

Small Business Tips

Which chat service is right for your business?

Small Business Tips

High-end clients, projects, and service—with Melissa Barker

Arizona landscape
About Ruby

Arizona, here we come!

Reflections on fallout

Square title card with circular-cropped head shot: The art and challenge of business services, Justin Dunham, ércule
Small Business Tips

The art and challenge of business services—with Justin Dunham of ércule

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Rapid resourcefulness with Ashton Taylor

Small Business Tips

Forced changes and success with Loren Feldman

Small Business Tips

Get more clients like that one. You know the one.

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up

Keyword research can sound like a daunting task for a small business. But, the good news is, you don’t have to be a marketing professional or a tech whizz to try your hand at keyword research to reap the benefits of using strategic keywords to direct more traffic to your website.

Understanding and targeting keywords frequently used by your target customers will enable you to produce relevant content to your audience, rank higher in search results, and increase your conversions. Not sure where to start? Here is your guide so you can ace your keyword research for your small businesses.

Sharpen Your Focus

Keyword research is a fundamental part of your SEO strategy and it’s important to be able to pinpoint the goals of your keyword research. In order to use keywords effectively, they also need to be in line with your business goals. What is your aim with keyword research? Are you looking for keywords to optimize the main page or direct traffic towards your blog content?

If your keywords are related to shopping ads then commercial keywords might be a better choice. Examples of these include ones that incorporate local SEO such as ‘bakeries near me’. If, on the other hand you want to create blog content, less commercial keywords would make more sense. You could try ‘wedding cake design ideas’ instead, and build content around it.

The results of both types of keywords would be different, therefore it’s necessary to plan where you want your keywords to be found. As a first step, start by making a list of topics about your business, and what customers might be looking for that leads them to your site. This could be done as a group brainstorming activity to quickly generate ideas on what products receive the most traffic, or what customers are looking for when they find you.

Make a list of the common terms you come up with associated with your business and try typing them into Google as an exercise. This is an effective activity as Google will make suggestions of more commonly searched keywords and phrases. You can also try keyword research tools that will provide information to help you decide which keywords to invest in. This will help you target your keywords. 

Find The Core Keywords & Define Topic Clusters

As you get further into your keyword research, you’ll realize it needs a basis. If your keyword research is for your content or blog then you’ll usually find a number of foundational keywords as the next step. From here, you need to find the core keywords and define topic clusters.

Topic clusters are essentially collections of pages or articles all linked under one topic. Search engines are now adapting their algorithms to favor more broad, topic-based content. This is one of the reasons you need to stay on top of your SEO strategy and keep up with these changes. Your topic cluster needs to be based around one topic, which you can create as a ‘pillar’ page. A pillar page needs to be an authoritative, long-form piece of content that addresses a general topic in an organized, logical way. For example, this page on Bengu — your pillar page could be an overview of content marketing, accompanied by pieces of cluster content like an article about blogging.

By creating a wide range of topic-focused pages linking back to the pillar page, you’re letting the SERPs know that your page is an authority on the topic, and this will improve your ranking. 

By doing your keyword research and creating content around this, you’ve already set a foundation for your topic clusters. Ideally, you need around five to ten subtopics for each pillar page. A good idea is to look through your existing content and find topic cluster opportunities. Take into consideration buyer personas as well, and think about what they might be searching for. When you’re building topic clusters, utilize the keyword research you’ve been doing and integrate it into your content. 

Make sure your landing pages and forms are optimized with your keywords and that they are strategically placed in order to rank higher and bring organic traffic to your funnel. Google Forms, or its more powerful alternative, is a great way to create beautiful and appealing forms representative of your brand to ensure your directed traffic turns into conversions. 

Dig Into Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are a way to boost your keyword strategy even further. Long-tail keywords are three or four keyword phrases that are more specific and relevant to your exact products. If a customer is searching for something this specific, chances are when they find it, this will turn into a sale. Therefore, optimizing your long-tail keywords should generate more conversions.

Long-tail keywords are much easier to rank for, and focusing on them is an effective SEO tactic. The reason for this is fewer websites will be competing for those exact keywords. Although they are also less frequently searched, the potential customer searching for this is more likely to buy what they’re looking for as what they are searching for is highly specific. 

In order to find out which long-tail keywords to use, consider what makes your product special. If you offer cruises in the Caribbean for example, highlight specific features such as facilities for children or over-fifty groups. This way you will be able to target your niche market and be more likely to generate conversions. 

Getting your website to rank for a specific term can be tricky, the key is defining exactly what your product, service, or site has to offer. This should be central in selecting your long-tail keywords. Once you have outlined your long-tail keywords, undertake keyword research again. Use keyword tools to analyze the results. By finding out which works best in generating conversions, you’ll be able to utilize these in your topic cluster content. 

To Conclude 

Keyword research can indeed be time-consuming, but it’s not as hard as you may think and once you’ve tackled it once, you’ll master it in no time. After the hard work is done and you’re sitting watching all the traffic being directed to your site and the increased conversions you’re receiving, you’ll realize keyword research is crucial for your SEO strategy and a tool that is a necessity in your marketing toolbox

Looking for more ways to bring customers to your website? Download our Online Presence Guide to level up the new front door to your business.


Tegan Tedd is a content marketer at Paperform. She loves writing about marketing, technology, and workplace productivity.

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Digital timer counter on tablet
Small Business Tips

How website speed impacts your leads and conversions

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: New ways of legal work with Ashton Taylor

A smiling young woman looks at her computer with one hand on the keyboard and the other holding a paper cup
Small Business Tips

Chat creates human connection and improves efficiency. What’s not to love?

Hands use a VoIP device
Small Business Tips

Making the connection: VoIP, your customers, and you.

Small Business Tips

Inclusive marketing—with Michelle Ngome (pt. 1)

A young woman sitting at a desk looks annoyed at her phone, with one hand thrown up in frustration. Daylight streams in through an adjacent window.

Stop robocalls for good.

A close-up of peanut butter cups (candy), some stacked, some with bites taken out, on a dark gray background
Small Business Tips

Mashups & peanut butter cups: how to bridge the paid/organic data divide to spend smarter search ad dollars

Small Business Tips

Which chat service is right for your business?

Small Business Tips

High-end clients, projects, and service—with Melissa Barker

Arizona landscape
About Ruby

Arizona, here we come!

Reflections on fallout

Square title card with circular-cropped head shot: The art and challenge of business services, Justin Dunham, ércule
Small Business Tips

The art and challenge of business services—with Justin Dunham of ércule

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Rapid resourcefulness with Ashton Taylor

Small Business Tips

Forced changes and success with Loren Feldman

Small Business Tips

Get more clients like that one. You know the one.

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up

Guide: The Shifting State of Healthcare

Reading time:

Over the last year, COVID-19 has left no medical practice unaffected.

However, in the midst of a relentless pandemic, healthcare providers have worked tirelessly to adapt to changes and rise to the unimaginable challenges before them.

Digital health solutions and communication technologies have been a critical part of the healthcare industry’s response, benefiting both patients and practitioners.

In this ebook, we’ll take a look at a shifting industry, and the tools, services, and resources healthcare providers have employed to see their practices through to the other side.

  • Healthcare innovations in response to rapid change
  • Patient expectations in the new normal
  • Care and service adjustments that are likely here to stay
  • Simple changes that can help your practice compete

Ruby Content

View All
Videos

Ruby customer feature: New ways of legal work with Ashton Taylor

Videos

Inclusive marketing—with Michelle Ngome (pt. 1)

Videos

High-end clients, projects, and service—with Melissa Barker

Infographics

Infographic: Beating healthcare burnout and delivering on patient expectations

Videos

The art and challenge of business services—with Justin Dunham of ércule

Square title card with circular-cropped head shot: The art and challenge of business services, Justin Dunham, ércule
Infographics

Infographic: The #1 secret of successful law firms.

Tip Sheets

10 questions to ask a virtual receptionist provider

Videos

Ruby customer feature: Rapid resourcefulness with Ashton Taylor

Videos

Small business resourcefulness—with Loren Feldman

Infographics

[Infographic] The #1 secret of successful law firms.

Infographics

[Infographic] Telehealth in 2021 and beyond.

eBooks

Guide: The story of a lead.

Videos

Advertising 101—with David Lambert

Webinars

Setting Your Home Service Business Up for Success

Webinars

Booking Business: How to Balance Marketing & Client Retention

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up

The long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine has been released, with emergency approval from the FDA. Healthcare workers and those over age 75 are already getting the first dose of the two-dose vaccine. NBC News has reported that many doctors are bracing for patients clamoring to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Other doctors are getting ready to talk with patients skeptical about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. Physicians who have a lot of experience talking to vaccine-hesitant patients say that asking questions and listening can be the most important aspect of communication. Once they know where a patient is coming from, they can provide more meaningful patient education

Additionally, the CDC has released guidance for doctors offering patient education. Doctors can also find scripts to help guide them through what may be a delicate conversation. Since the COVID-19 vaccine is brand-new, doctors (and their patients) will benefit from having a plan for effective communication around the vaccine. 

Why Communication Is Key With The COVID-19 Vaccine

Good communication between doctors and patients has always been vital. Patients need to be able to trust that their doctors are making the best recommendations. As in any other relationship, doctors earn that trust by listening to the concerns of their patients and responding to them clearly, respectfully, and truthfully. As we find ourselves in a moment of polarization and misinformation, calm, respectful communication is more important than ever. Patients will have more medical concerns than usual. In addition, many people are feeling more anxious or depressed than ever before. Doctors need to take these factors into consideration while planning how to communicate about the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The modern model of patient care is more focused on a partnership model. Older models were more paternalistic and emphasized doing what the doctor said. Now, people expect to exercise agency and control over medical decisions. They want good information so they can make informed decisions.  

Why is communication important in healthcare?

A successful communication strategy has many important benefits for both physicians and patients. 

  • Both parties build a sense of trust, and patients have a greater sense of control over their medical care. Among patients who feel a sense of control over their medical care, 76% report feeling “very satisfied” with their care. Exercising agency decreases people’s feelings of distress. 
  • Patients are more likely to follow their doctors’ recommendations when they know how and, especially, why protocols are in place. Providing education helps patients trust doctors more. 
  • As doctors speak with their patients about concerns and document the concerns, they learn more about how their patients think. This will enable them to provide better care in the future. 
  • Everyone feels more satisfied with outcomes. As doctors communicate more, patients are more likely to collaborate in their care. This leads to a higher sense of satisfaction for patients. Physicians feel less burn out because patients are active in their own care.

Tips For Talking To Patients About the COVID-19 Vaccine

Now on to making a communication plan for your practice! We expect that the basics of our tips are already in place at your office. We just need to update and tailor communication for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Be sure to prepare for patients with a variety of backgrounds and health histories. Everyone has experienced the pandemic in different ways. Staff should be prepared to communicate with people from many different cultural, educational, and health backgrounds. 

It may be helpful to prepare for the fact that a sizable population of patients will not want the COVID-19 vaccine. Some will be skeptical of vaccines in general. Others will have read articles online that scared them. Or maybe they have family and friends who have given them inaccurate information. The Ask-Tell-Ask method of communicating with patients can be very effective at increasing vaccine acceptance.  

A warm and empathetic tone will be helpful to receptionists delivering information to clients both in person and over the phone.  Asking questions, as appropriate, to understand a patient’s hesitations around the vaccine wilI promote trust, while also giving staff the information they need to better understand the patient. Is there a particular article or website they read? Maybe they’re worried about how fast the vaccine was developed and approved. Truly understanding patient concerns begins and ends with active listening. Documenting this information can reveal trends and further prepare staff for conversations with patients.

Remember to use language that is accessible to the patient. Not everyone understands technical language or the vernacular that a healthcare professional uses. People can feel belittled to have another person speaking in terms they don’t understand. By the same token, the line between being mindful of accessibility and sounding a bit condescending can be fine. As a professional in the medical field, you probably have some experience with this and know that clear language and a respectful tone is key. When in doubt, leave room for follow up questions to make sure your patient understands. 

One last piece of advice: Be as transparent as possible about what you know and what you don’t. Speak only about what you know. If you are a staff member and come across a patient with a question you don’t know the answer to, tell them you are making a note for a nurse or doctor to follow up with an answer. In the meantime, have a list of resources people can access from home. Offer to email or text them to the patient. If the patient is not comfortable with technology, ask if they have a friend or family member who can help them access the information. 

Remember that good communication in a healthcare setting can literally save lives. When people have good information and build trust with their doctors, they are much more likely to follow recommendations. In an evolving situation like the COVID-19 pandemic, being clear about what you know, what you don’t, and pointing people to good resources is absolutely critical. 

And for those moments when you need a break or aren’t in a position to deliver compassionate communication, Ruby has your back. Our HIPAA-compliant virtual reception and live chat services can address caller and website visitors questions so you can focus on your patients.

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Digital timer counter on tablet
Small Business Tips

How website speed impacts your leads and conversions

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: New ways of legal work with Ashton Taylor

A smiling young woman looks at her computer with one hand on the keyboard and the other holding a paper cup
Small Business Tips

Chat creates human connection and improves efficiency. What’s not to love?

Hands use a VoIP device
Small Business Tips

Making the connection: VoIP, your customers, and you.

Small Business Tips

Inclusive marketing—with Michelle Ngome (pt. 1)

A young woman sitting at a desk looks annoyed at her phone, with one hand thrown up in frustration. Daylight streams in through an adjacent window.

Stop robocalls for good.

A close-up of peanut butter cups (candy), some stacked, some with bites taken out, on a dark gray background
Small Business Tips

Mashups & peanut butter cups: how to bridge the paid/organic data divide to spend smarter search ad dollars

Small Business Tips

Which chat service is right for your business?

Small Business Tips

High-end clients, projects, and service—with Melissa Barker

Arizona landscape
About Ruby

Arizona, here we come!

Reflections on fallout

Square title card with circular-cropped head shot: The art and challenge of business services, Justin Dunham, ércule
Small Business Tips

The art and challenge of business services—with Justin Dunham of ércule

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Rapid resourcefulness with Ashton Taylor

Small Business Tips

Forced changes and success with Loren Feldman

Small Business Tips

Get more clients like that one. You know the one.

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up

Annual Clio Report: In Summary

Reading time:

For many of us, our focus has been on getting through the day-to-day versus reflecting on the past year or planning more than a week into the future. There’s a lot to gain from hindsight, but tricky to find the time to discover lessons learned. Thankfully, our friends over at Clio did the legwork for those in the legal industry with their annual “Legal Trends Report”, and we’ve compiled the key insights to make it even easier to find what will help your law practice survive and thrive in 2021. 

Whiplash Between Cutbacks and Growth

Keeping their practice alive was the main concern across the board for attorneys. Unemployment was at an all-time high in 2020 with 11% – 26% of firms laying staff between January and May—and many expect future layoffs. Over a third of attorneys are worried about making a living; half are concerned about their firm’s success. While the need for attorneys and their legal services stayed strong, and in many cases, increased due to the pandemic, it also caused a reduction of access to legal services.

The saving grace? Technology. In a world where in-person interactions were no longer safe, technology came and filled in the gap. Virtual meetings and hearings occurred over many different platforms. The use of virtual payments exploded, as did e-doc signing. Firms using electronic payments mitigated income reductions up to 5%, while also opening 6% more matters through the summer.

Beyond online payments, client portals, and client intake/CRM software have been the most crucial to a firm’s survival in 2021. Each of these technologies improved the flexibility and adaptability of a firm during the pandemic.

Client Portals – A Secure Online Environment

Client portals enable law firms to securely share information with their clients, including documents, calendar events, and bills. Firms using client portals in 2020 mitigated the negative impact on caseloads by 5% at the beginning of the pandemic. In the months after, firms with client portals performed 2% better than firms who did not—even going so far as having positive growth in June. The higher performance was present in comparing year-over-year growth as well, showing that even before the pandemic, client portals aid revenue.

Client Intake and CRM Adoption – Opening Communication to Gain Clients

Client intake and CRM adoption’s importance lay in gaining new business by managing communication and intake that takes place prior to onboarding a client. Having all of this online allowed for efficiency in growth as clients could fill out an intake form or book initial consultations easily online. 

Law practices utilizing digital intake and CRM platforms saw as much as a 6% year-over-year difference, which increased to 9% by August. There was double the amount of growth in the first months of 2020 before the impact of the coronavirus began to set in. These platforms helped generate more casework and improved client engagement. 

How do clients feel?

Client satisfaction remains the driving force behind law practice growth. Technology, affordability of services, and availability of virtual services are all key factors behind a firm’s success.

58% percent of clients said that now more than ever, technology is more important to them. Perhaps surprisingly, most clients prefer to video conference over a phone call or face-to-face meeting. In addition, a majority would rather pay and share their documents electronically—all trends we mentioned above that increased growth in 2020.

Perception is Everything

While many firms have embraced technology, many clients were completely unaware of the shift to digital. Most clients aren’t aware today’s law practices offer online payments, meetings, and information as options. As 85% of firms are now using software to manage their practice, educating clients and the public that technology is now a part of the process is necessary for growth.

Affordability is Key

One of the major issues for clients is the affordability of legal services. The average attorney charges $290 an hour and, even with pro-bono and free legal services, the gap is large between those who need an attorney and those who can afford it. Unfortunately, the pandemic only exacerbated that gap. Clients stressed lawyers should adopt pricing or payment models that make legal services more affordable, including payment plans to provide flexibility and transparent pricing. Bridging the affordability gap to meet the needs of the underserved legal market, especially now, is beneficial to both clients and the firm serving them.

What does the future look like?

In looking beyond this pandemic, these digital adoptions are here to stay. Law firms need to design their client experiences online first, with a hybrid formula in mind once the pandemic is over. Firms will stay cloud-based and client-centered, not only preparing them to handle future waves of the coronavirus but also improve work-life balance and deliver better client experiences. Offering more payment options and trying to extend technology to the court systems as well will, ideally, improve access to justice.

Looking for more content? Check out our Legal Resource Hub for more blogs, infographics, and ebooks specifically created for attorneys like you.

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Digital timer counter on tablet
Small Business Tips

How website speed impacts your leads and conversions

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: New ways of legal work with Ashton Taylor

A smiling young woman looks at her computer with one hand on the keyboard and the other holding a paper cup
Small Business Tips

Chat creates human connection and improves efficiency. What’s not to love?

Hands use a VoIP device
Small Business Tips

Making the connection: VoIP, your customers, and you.

Small Business Tips

Inclusive marketing—with Michelle Ngome (pt. 1)

A young woman sitting at a desk looks annoyed at her phone, with one hand thrown up in frustration. Daylight streams in through an adjacent window.

Stop robocalls for good.

A close-up of peanut butter cups (candy), some stacked, some with bites taken out, on a dark gray background
Small Business Tips

Mashups & peanut butter cups: how to bridge the paid/organic data divide to spend smarter search ad dollars

Small Business Tips

Which chat service is right for your business?

Small Business Tips

High-end clients, projects, and service—with Melissa Barker

Arizona landscape
About Ruby

Arizona, here we come!

Reflections on fallout

Square title card with circular-cropped head shot: The art and challenge of business services, Justin Dunham, ércule
Small Business Tips

The art and challenge of business services—with Justin Dunham of ércule

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Rapid resourcefulness with Ashton Taylor

Small Business Tips

Forced changes and success with Loren Feldman

Small Business Tips

Get more clients like that one. You know the one.

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up

The Ultimate Live Chat Cheat Sheet

Reading time:

With just a few tips and tricks you can turn up your live chat efforts and turn the trickle of conversations into a flood. And once those conversations start, there are simple ways to maximize lead conversion.

We’ve talked to thousands of small business owners and entrepreneurs who use live chat and gotten to the best practices.

Remove Friction

A chat box form is just like a website sign up form: the fewer required fields the more likely a visitor is to complete the form. Best practice is to eliminate any required fields on your chat box. It’s far more natural to get a name and email address during a live chat conversation. Think of it as if the conversation were happening face-to-face. You would never ask from an email address before starting an in-person conversation.

Automate Triggers + Follow-Ups

You can’t always wait for customers to initiate the engagement. Triggers are a great live chat feature to initiate conversations with qualified website visitors. Most live chat software platforms will allow you to add triggers to specific pages or set triggers to fire after a visitor has been on your website for a certain amount of time. This is a great way to gently increase engagement and approach your website.

Connect your live chat software with a marketing automation tool to ensure you continue the relationship beyond the website visit. Leads you acquire through a live chat conversation may not be ready to buy immediately. So follow up! Or risk missing out on a lot of new deals and potential customers. 

Respond Instantly

Visitors want instant responses. Faster service ensures a better experience and gives them fewer reasons to skip over to a competitor. Responding instantly is made much easier by setting up desktop notifications – and, ideally, mobile notifications. If you have a mobile app installed on your phone for your live chat software, the easiest thing is to respond from your phone.

Train Your Live Chat Agents 

If the person assigned to live chat is not knowledgeable about your products or service they might deliver a sub-par service experience. Visitors want instant answers to questions that would lead to a sale or online purchase.

Add Chat To Your Shopping Cart

Abandoned shopping carts haunt every online business. Don’t let your future customers leave your site without crossing the finish line. Adding live chat on shopping carts or on checkout pages will give shoppers an opportunity to get any final questions answered. You might find that shoppers have questions about pricing, returns or shipping. Answering those simple questions just may improve your overall sales numbers.

Maximize Your Availability

The more time you’re available and accessible to answer questions for your visitors and customers, the most you’ll be able to help them. 

At some point, you have to sleep. For most businesses, however, you have website visitors with questions at all hours of the day. Ensure that you are capturing each question no matter what by converting your live chat box into an email capture form. By enabling the form, you’re not only helping potential customers you’re also improving conversion on your website.

Interested in learning more? Download our ebook, all about the rise of live chat and how to make it work for your business.

Download

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Digital timer counter on tablet
Small Business Tips

How website speed impacts your leads and conversions

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: New ways of legal work with Ashton Taylor

A smiling young woman looks at her computer with one hand on the keyboard and the other holding a paper cup
Small Business Tips

Chat creates human connection and improves efficiency. What’s not to love?

Hands use a VoIP device
Small Business Tips

Making the connection: VoIP, your customers, and you.

Small Business Tips

Inclusive marketing—with Michelle Ngome (pt. 1)

A young woman sitting at a desk looks annoyed at her phone, with one hand thrown up in frustration. Daylight streams in through an adjacent window.

Stop robocalls for good.

A close-up of peanut butter cups (candy), some stacked, some with bites taken out, on a dark gray background
Small Business Tips

Mashups & peanut butter cups: how to bridge the paid/organic data divide to spend smarter search ad dollars

Small Business Tips

Which chat service is right for your business?

Small Business Tips

High-end clients, projects, and service—with Melissa Barker

Arizona landscape
About Ruby

Arizona, here we come!

Reflections on fallout

Square title card with circular-cropped head shot: The art and challenge of business services, Justin Dunham, ércule
Small Business Tips

The art and challenge of business services—with Justin Dunham of ércule

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Rapid resourcefulness with Ashton Taylor

Small Business Tips

Forced changes and success with Loren Feldman

Small Business Tips

Get more clients like that one. You know the one.

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up

Ruby is incredibly proud to announce our fifth consecutive year as a Great Place to Work-Certified™ company. Great Place to Work (GPTW) is the global authority on workplace culture, employee experience, and the leadership behaviors proven to deliver market-leading revenue and increased innovation. Certification as a Great Place to Work requires an all-company survey as well as a full culture, benefits, and program review, but the survey is most heavily weighted and has a minimum threshold to be certified. 

This year, 84% of Rubys who responded to the GPTW survey rated the company as a great place to work compared to 59% of employees at a typical US-based company. Additionally, Ruby scored above 90% in all the key areas highlighted by GPTW.

Ruby News

View All
Women in key roles text image
News

Multiple promotions of women leaders at Ruby

Media

Rubys hiring up to 100 new employees

News

Ruby expands into Arizona

News

Ruby earns two Stevie awards

News

Ruby publishes “The Shifting State of Healthcare”

Announcements

Ruby certified as a Great Place to Work for 5th year

News

Ruby’s 24/7, HIPAA-compliant services reduce burden on healthcare staff

News

Ruby achieves 5 years on Oregon’s Most Admired Companies Llist

Media

Adapting to the new business context

Announcements

13-years on the 100 Fastest Growing Companies

Media

How Ruby pivoted during COVID

Announcements

Oregon 2019 Philanthropy Awards

News

Ruby acquires Pure Chat

Announcements

Ruby wins 2020 Momentum Award

Announcements

Courageous Marketing Leader Awards 2020

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up

Ruby®, the premier provider of live virtual receptionist and chat services for small businesses, is proud to be partnering with the Residential Assisted Living National Association (RALNA). Ruby’s focus on compassionate, consistent communication paired with 24/7, HIPAA-compliant services reduce healthcare staff’s burden as they balance patient care with external calls and online chats.

“With everything healthcare staff are experiencing right now—combating a deadly virus, distributing a vaccine, maintaining their mental health—it’s an impossible expectation also to be the ideal customer service rep for the business,” said Kate Winkler, CEO at Ruby. “We’re there to deliver that human touch so staff can focus on patient care. We take that responsibility very seriously through extensive empathy training for our team and smart technology that keeps our customers informed on any conversation.”

Ruby News

View All
Women in key roles text image
News

Multiple promotions of women leaders at Ruby

Media

Rubys hiring up to 100 new employees

News

Ruby expands into Arizona

News

Ruby earns two Stevie awards

News

Ruby publishes “The Shifting State of Healthcare”

Announcements

Ruby certified as a Great Place to Work for 5th year

News

Ruby’s 24/7, HIPAA-compliant services reduce burden on healthcare staff

News

Ruby achieves 5 years on Oregon’s Most Admired Companies Llist

Media

Adapting to the new business context

Announcements

13-years on the 100 Fastest Growing Companies

Media

How Ruby pivoted during COVID

Announcements

Oregon 2019 Philanthropy Awards

News

Ruby acquires Pure Chat

Announcements

Ruby wins 2020 Momentum Award

Announcements

Courageous Marketing Leader Awards 2020

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up

Running a business doesn’t look quite the same as it did a few short years ago. But one thing remains the same:

Engaging with prospective and current clients is exciting, and each interaction presents an opportunity to win (or lose) their business.

In order to keep these connections with customers alive, a strong and positive online presence is critical. Your business needs to be findable, accessible, and truly representative of who you are, and what your business has to offer.

It’s a lot, but we are here to help. In this guide you will discover:

  • How to build your online presence from scratch
  • The role and power of web content
  • How to capture local business with SEO
  • The importance of user experience, and much more!

Ruby Content

View All
Videos

Ruby customer feature: New ways of legal work with Ashton Taylor

Videos

Inclusive marketing—with Michelle Ngome (pt. 1)

Videos

High-end clients, projects, and service—with Melissa Barker

Infographics

Infographic: Beating healthcare burnout and delivering on patient expectations

Videos

The art and challenge of business services—with Justin Dunham of ércule

Square title card with circular-cropped head shot: The art and challenge of business services, Justin Dunham, ércule
Infographics

Infographic: The #1 secret of successful law firms.

Tip Sheets

10 questions to ask a virtual receptionist provider

Videos

Ruby customer feature: Rapid resourcefulness with Ashton Taylor

Videos

Small business resourcefulness—with Loren Feldman

Infographics

[Infographic] The #1 secret of successful law firms.

Infographics

[Infographic] Telehealth in 2021 and beyond.

eBooks

Guide: The story of a lead.

Videos

Advertising 101—with David Lambert

Webinars

Setting Your Home Service Business Up for Success

Webinars

Booking Business: How to Balance Marketing & Client Retention

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up

We all understand the value of delivering superb customer support.

It encourages our existing customers to spend more money with us, return to us in future, and share their positive experiences with friends and family.

But a lot of customer support operations are based around everyone being in one place. The perception is that having an office-based support team is better for things like knowledge-sharing, collaboration, and onboarding new starters.

We’re not so sure about that. In fact, we abandoned our last office after just six weeks, because it just didn’t feel right for us.

Since then, our whole support function has been remote. But even though we rarely see our customers (or each other) in “real life”, we’ve still found a bunch of ways to create personal connections, offer exceptional support, and add some extra “wow factor” to our customer relationships.

Here’s how we do it:

1.   Ensure Consistency of Service

It takes roughly 40 positive customer experiences to outdo the damage caused by a single negative review.

That’s why it’s vital to deliver superb support every time, not just most times.

To help us do that, we’ve built a huge internal database containing details of our policies and how to talk about our websites:

We also set clear deadlines on what our responses should look like, such as:

  • Addressing the person by name where possible
  • Avoiding abbreviations without explaining what they mean initially
  • Favoring personality and speaking as an individual rather than sounding robotic or overly formal

As well as helping us deliver a more consistent service, these measures have streamlined our customer support tons, which is really important if – like us – you don’t have the luxury of a huge support team.

2.   Take Every Opportunity to Personalize

Personalization helps you retain more customers, with 56% of people saying they feel more loyal to brands that “get them” and show a deep understanding of their goals and preferences.

Fortunately, personalizing your customer support doesn’t have to be difficult. We’ve already mentioned how we encourage our support team to refer to people by name – that’s an extremely simple (but powerful!) example of personalization.

But that sort of surface-level personalization will only get you so far.

We take things a step further by having our support team send personalized welcome videos to every new Authority Hacker member.

Stuff like this helps us overcome the lack of in-person contact between our support team and customers.

3.   Build an Information Hub

On average, support agents spend more than one-quarter of their time searching for the right answer to customer queries. And 80% of the time, they can’t even find it.

Even veterans of your customer support team will occasionally come across questions they’ve never answered before that require a bit of research.

Of course, if they’re remote, they can’t simply walk over to their manager to ask for help. They might even be based in radically different time zones, and likely can’t afford to wait several hours for a response.

That’s a big problem in a world where about one in three consumers expects a response within one hour.

That’s why it’s so important to have a central knowledge hub where support agents can access key information about systems, processes and policies.

Our internal database includes a bunch of templated responses to frequently asked questions that can be easily personalized to fit the exact requirements of the customer query.

4.   Assign Clear Tasks & Deadlines

When your whole team works in one office, it’s easy to get complacent about workflow.

Someone might walk up to your desk and ask you to do a “quick task”, without a proper brief, that ends up taking half a day to complete.

Clearly, that’s not an efficient way to work. And it definitely doesn’t translate for remote teams; they need something a lot more robust.

We use project management software – Asana is our preferred option, but there are a ton of alternatives – to define tasks clearly, set transparent deadlines, and keep everyone accountable.

When unexpected tasks arise, which they inevitably will in a customer support setting, we still take the time to break them down and assign due dates so everyone’s clear on exactly what needs to be done (and who’s responsible for doing it).

Delivering five-star support is about more than just getting the basics right. It requires a little “X-factor” from time to time.

That’s why we give each of our team members a $50 monthly “wow!” budget that they’re basically free to spend in any way they see fit.

The only rule we put in place is that it has to provide some sort of benefit to our customers. That could be anything from a birthday card to a gift voucher to some fancy stationery. Recently, we sent one of our super helpful community members a pair of customized drumsticks to say “thanks” for all his efforts in our Facebook Group:

Surprise gifts aren’t a shortcut to superb customer support. 

If you don’t respond promptly to queries, give clear answers, and generally make it as simple as possible for customers to get maximum value from your product, it won’t make any difference if you send them a box of chocolates in the mail.

But if you’re already nailing the basics, a single “wow!” moment can turn a loyal customer into a real advocate for your brand.

In Summary

The primary goal of Ruby’s support chat is to help your business preserve trust and increase accessibility by being there for customers and provide excellent service. 

But there are additional benefits. When you get it right, customer support can also be an extremely valuable online marketing tool for your business.

There’s no reason why that should change if your support function is going remote – it just means getting your processes, policies and tech stack in place. In fact, here at Authority Hacker, we genuinely believe our customer support has improved massively since we ditched our last office.

Gael Breton is the co-founder of Authority Hacker, an industry leading online marketing education company

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Digital timer counter on tablet
Small Business Tips

How website speed impacts your leads and conversions

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: New ways of legal work with Ashton Taylor

A smiling young woman looks at her computer with one hand on the keyboard and the other holding a paper cup
Small Business Tips

Chat creates human connection and improves efficiency. What’s not to love?

Hands use a VoIP device
Small Business Tips

Making the connection: VoIP, your customers, and you.

Small Business Tips

Inclusive marketing—with Michelle Ngome (pt. 1)

A young woman sitting at a desk looks annoyed at her phone, with one hand thrown up in frustration. Daylight streams in through an adjacent window.

Stop robocalls for good.

A close-up of peanut butter cups (candy), some stacked, some with bites taken out, on a dark gray background
Small Business Tips

Mashups & peanut butter cups: how to bridge the paid/organic data divide to spend smarter search ad dollars

Small Business Tips

Which chat service is right for your business?

Small Business Tips

High-end clients, projects, and service—with Melissa Barker

Arizona landscape
About Ruby

Arizona, here we come!

Reflections on fallout

Square title card with circular-cropped head shot: The art and challenge of business services, Justin Dunham, ércule
Small Business Tips

The art and challenge of business services—with Justin Dunham of ércule

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Rapid resourcefulness with Ashton Taylor

Small Business Tips

Forced changes and success with Loren Feldman

Small Business Tips

Get more clients like that one. You know the one.

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up

How to Get More Live Chat Conversations

Reading time:

We love chatting. It’s what we do all day – in person, with customers, with prospects and on Slack. For our small business customers, we are constantly working to help them have more live chat conversations with their website visitors and customers.

It’s hard to say specifically what will work best for each business, but here are some we’ve seen work for a wide range of clients.

Stylize and customize your chat window.

Make sure the chat window stands out and matches your brand aesthetic. If your chat window is boring and/or blends into the background of your website no one will ever see it. If they can’t find an easy way to contact you, they might just leave. 

Cut out any lead capture fields in a chat window. Excessive fields can drive users away. You already have someone who genuinely wants to talk to you. Make it easy for them. Get those form fields outta here!

Make chat available for every page of your website. Users never know when they’ll have a question, so you need to be ready to answer at any step of the journey. And remind them now and again that you’re here and ready for their questions. This is known as a ‘trigger’– a super simple way to pop-up the chat window proactively after a certain amount of time. You can also specify pages for triggers. Consider triggering your chat box on pages where visitors have the most questions. 

Optimize your user experience.

How does your site look on a mobile phone? If it doesn’t look awesome, now is the time to improve it because a growing majority of web traffic is coming from mobile devices.

Mobile traffic has been outpacing desktop traffic online for years now. Make sure you optimize your chat box for mobile, too.

How does the copy on your site look – especially on the homepage? Clunky copy can muddy a user’s experience and increase your bounce rate. You need copy that makes your value proposition clear and immediate to visitors. Get them interested. Help them visualize how your services will improve their lives.

It may be less obvious, but you could also add specific links on your website directing visitors to chat with you as a CTA (or maybe just in general use website copy to suggest that people chat with you).

Find a partner business for marketing.

Do you have a friend or contact who owns a business targeting a similar audience? Building a co-marketing partnership may be one way to drive more qualified traffic to both of your websites. Each of you have insights about your customers and audiences that will help craft a targeted offer or landing page that could drive more engagement.

Partnerships are great ways to start more conversations on social media as well. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn communities are always looking for thoughtful new fodder for discussion.

Boost your local presence online.

There are so many benefits of creating and maintaining your Google My Business profile. Especially if you’re a local business you can drive web and foot traffic by improving your Google page. Again, for local and geo-specific businesses there are many ways that optimizing your online presence can drive traffic. And you’re in luck – we wrote another blog devoted to this topic.

In addition to improving your Google business profile, consider submitting your website to other online directories of businesses like Yelp, Angie’s List, Thumbtack, and Business Journals are all great places to list your business.

Warm up old leads.

Depending on the length of your sales cycle, you may need to keep your prospects engaged over many weeks and/or months. Just because someone visited your website and opted-in to a newsletter a few months ago doesn’t necessarily mean they are ready to buy. Keep the relationship going and eventually those better educated prospects will come back to your website with buying questions. 

Reach out to customers you haven’t seen in a while. Consider running a promotion exclusively for repeat customers as a way to thank them – and as a reason to reach out. Referral campaigns can be fun and effective ways to warm up cold communication lines: give repeat customers the chance to share an awesome discount with friends who have not yet used your product.

Additional reads you may find interesting...

View All
Digital timer counter on tablet
Small Business Tips

How website speed impacts your leads and conversions

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: New ways of legal work with Ashton Taylor

A smiling young woman looks at her computer with one hand on the keyboard and the other holding a paper cup
Small Business Tips

Chat creates human connection and improves efficiency. What’s not to love?

Hands use a VoIP device
Small Business Tips

Making the connection: VoIP, your customers, and you.

Small Business Tips

Inclusive marketing—with Michelle Ngome (pt. 1)

A young woman sitting at a desk looks annoyed at her phone, with one hand thrown up in frustration. Daylight streams in through an adjacent window.

Stop robocalls for good.

A close-up of peanut butter cups (candy), some stacked, some with bites taken out, on a dark gray background
Small Business Tips

Mashups & peanut butter cups: how to bridge the paid/organic data divide to spend smarter search ad dollars

Small Business Tips

Which chat service is right for your business?

Small Business Tips

High-end clients, projects, and service—with Melissa Barker

Arizona landscape
About Ruby

Arizona, here we come!

Reflections on fallout

Square title card with circular-cropped head shot: The art and challenge of business services, Justin Dunham, ércule
Small Business Tips

The art and challenge of business services—with Justin Dunham of ércule

Customer Feature

Ruby customer feature: Rapid resourcefulness with Ashton Taylor

Small Business Tips

Forced changes and success with Loren Feldman

Small Business Tips

Get more clients like that one. You know the one.

Try Ruby Risk Free

Call to talk to a live virtual receptionist and hear why 10,000+ companies Ruby.

Call Ruby Sign Up
Sales Support
Legal_Final

The Secret to Successful Law Firms

The inside scoop on Clio’s latest legal trends report.

Already a Ruby customer?

Let’s get started.

Ready to turn more callers into customers?

Missed connections translate to lost revenue. With Ruby, you have a partner in gaining and retaining customers. Plus, we’re so confident you’ll love our service, we offer a 21 day money-back guarantee*.

*Ruby is delighted to offer a money-back guarantee to first time users of both our virtual receptionist service and our chat service. To cancel your service and obtain a full refund for the cancelled service (less any multi-service discount), please notify us of the service you wish to cancel either within 21 days of your purchase of that service or before your usage exceeds 500 receptionist minutes/50 billable chats, as applicable, whichever occurs sooner.