Using Live Chat To Build Links



Earlier this month the Wall Street Journal ran an article on how businesses were using Live Chat to make incremental sales. 

This bit caught my eye:


 In late April, home improvement e-tailer Improvement Direct Inc., of Chico, Calif., used a chat feature on its site to converse directly with customers about its products and services. The response was overwhelming. “We got flooded,” says Brandon Proctor, vice president of marketing. “We couldn’t believe how many chats we were getting.” In July alone, the company had more than 300 chats daily and converted them into sales at a rate of 9%

Way to go Improvement Direct!    Since I suffer from link tunnel vision I immediately started to wonder how I could use the live chat application to get people to link.  Here’s what I came up with:

1.  At the end of every chat have the operator ask the customer if they’d like to have a permanent discount code for the product you’re selling.  All they have to do is link to your site and you’ll send the code.

2.  If you have a product requiring assembly instructions or a “how to use guide”  provide these links in the chat.  On the pages hosting these “how to” guides, make a push to link to your site.

3.  Do an email blast to current customers annoucing the new chat feature on your site.  In the correspondence drop the “link to us” offer and include a giveaway as a thank you.

4.  Issue a press release annoucing the new feature and your company’s committment to customer service and using advanced technology.  

While it’s a good idea to look at everything as an opportunity to promote your website,  it’s not a good idea to go overboard and become a pest asking for links.    Keep the number of times you ask to a minimum and use  the elements with the highest visibililty for a better chance of link building success.

P.S.  If you’re interested in the technology, the article mentioned Meebo as a free live chat software and search on the phrase “live chat software” for the paid companies.


  1. chris suchmaschinenoptimierung says

    hanx for sharing that great idea. Another trick is placing the URL in tv commercials…

  2. Targeted Website Traffic says

    Interesting tips. Sometimes one is looking for very complicated methods whereas very affordable ones are more practicable and effective like the ones you’ve mentioned.

  3. Adrian | UK SEO Company says

    Great tip on using Live Chat for link building. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Chris says

    great article. I forget simple things can lead to links to your site sometimes. Also I use a free chat software that rocks called Livezilla. Highly recommend it as it’s crazy advanced. Don’t know why it”s free but it is~

  5. Debra says

    @gareth LOL… hear you about the insomnia:)

    @Jen – thanks for the tip on the other tool.

    @Singapore I hear you and hope that’s not the case. I am of the opinion link building and marketing your site through links is a business promotion and you should employ the same sales, publicity and promotions principles you would for an offline campaign. Even the most puritanical link builders know you can’t get links to content without promoting it.

    When does “asking for” or “incentives” cross the line? Good topic for another post. :)

  6. SEO Doctor says

    Interesting article – I think I suffer from the same ‘link tunnel vision’, leading to link buildind insomnia! Not sure how Google would view links for discount codes.

  7. Jen says

    It’s a great tool, the one I prefer the most is (no I am not affiliated – it’s just a great tool.)

  8. Singapore SEO in China says

    Giving discount code in return for links. Hmmm… Will Google treat that as buying links? :(

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