Tripping Over Reference
The importance of link placement
(and other stuff)
Bill Pardue (bpardue@ahml.info)
PR for Virtual ...
Placement is promotion!
 Press releases, handouts, ads, etc. tend to
create brief “spikes” in usage.
 Proper placement a...
Not just a “QuestionPoint thing”
 Promote multiple avenues for reference:
 Chat
 IM
 VOIP
 Twitter/FB
 Phone & in-pe...
Looking at the statistics
 Looked at referrer page info from QP
 Three months: 458 Sessions
 139 sessions from home pag...
December 2006 Stats (more detail)
 136 Total chat sessions
 Home Page: 48 referrals
 Websites/DBs page: 17
 Kids World...
Placement tips
 Get your link:
 As part of the basic page template
 “Above the fold” (test it at 800x600)
 Use graphic...
Current practices (a quick look)
 Looked at 20 libraries
 Home page link: 19 (why not 20?)
 Part of site “template”: 8
...
Think about your vendors
 Your catalog
 Your subscription databases
 FirstSearch, Gale, Ebsco, Proquest, Wilson, etc.
...
FirstSearch admin module
 Interface Display > Your Library Settings > Your Library
How it shows up:
Gale Group admin module
 Locations/Select your location (like GRC)/Customer Links
WorldCat Registry
WorldCat Registry (cont’d)
WorldCat Registry (cont’d)
How it shows up:
Do you maintain any other sites?
 E.G., Community information directories
Market it as local information
 “Ask a question about Arlington Heights” or “Live Help 24/7”
 Don’t necessarily play up ...
Links on other community sites?
 Town/village site
 Chamber of Commerce
 Social service agencies
 Be ready to answer q...
Look for social sites/blogs!
 Not just your own blog
 Look for other sites where people might post
comments/questions—po...
Think of anywhere else!
 E.G., In the signature of outgoing e-mails to patrons
 QR Codes: on business cards, posted arou...
We’re after the “long tail!”
 Most of these won’t contribute large numbers
 You’re doing this to increase referrals
incr...
Checking your referrals:
Start at the My QuestionPoint page, click on
View Service History
Checking referrals, cont’d:
 Then Review Transcripts>Form Fields. Select month
and uncheck everything but “referrer”. Sel...
QP: Best Practices in Link Placement
 http://bit.ly/qplinks
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Tripping over reference -wi--2011

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AskAway Best Practices Call 5/19/11

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Tripping over reference -wi--2011

  1. 1. Tripping Over Reference The importance of link placement (and other stuff) Bill Pardue (bpardue@ahml.info) PR for Virtual Reference—updated 5/19/2011
  2. 2. Placement is promotion!  Press releases, handouts, ads, etc. tend to create brief “spikes” in usage.  Proper placement assures that people will find the link to VR when and where they need it!  (This doesn’t mean not to do handouts, ads, etc.!) Source: Elaina Norlin, “Creating a Purple Cow, VRD 2005.
  3. 3. Not just a “QuestionPoint thing”  Promote multiple avenues for reference:  Chat  IM  VOIP  Twitter/FB  Phone & in-person  But today, we’re talking about AskAway/QP!
  4. 4. Looking at the statistics  Looked at referrer page info from QP  Three months: 458 Sessions  139 sessions from home page & catalog  319 came from everywhere else!  70% of sessions originated from places other than home page & catalog
  5. 5. December 2006 Stats (more detail)  136 Total chat sessions  Home Page: 48 referrals  Websites/DBs page: 17  Kids World: 17  Catalog: 9  Contact Us: 7  38 sessions from other locations!
  6. 6. Placement tips  Get your link:  As part of the basic page template  “Above the fold” (test it at 800x600)  Use graphic and brief text  AskAway branding essential, but make sure patron understands what it is! E.G., “Ask a Question Live Online” or “Get Live Online Help”
  7. 7. Current practices (a quick look)  Looked at 20 libraries  Home page link: 19 (why not 20?)  Part of site “template”: 8  Link via catalog: 0  Placement (homepage):  Low: 5 lower left; 1 lower right; 2 lower center  High: 4 upper left; 5 upper right; 2 upper center  1 Dead center
  8. 8. Think about your vendors  Your catalog  Your subscription databases  FirstSearch, Gale, Ebsco, Proquest, Wilson, etc.  Many support “branded” links, which can include VR service. Contact your vendor for details.  We’ve had relatively few sessions from these, but why not catch what you can?
  9. 9. FirstSearch admin module  Interface Display > Your Library Settings > Your Library
  10. 10. How it shows up:
  11. 11. Gale Group admin module  Locations/Select your location (like GRC)/Customer Links
  12. 12. WorldCat Registry
  13. 13. WorldCat Registry (cont’d)
  14. 14. WorldCat Registry (cont’d)
  15. 15. How it shows up:
  16. 16. Do you maintain any other sites?  E.G., Community information directories
  17. 17. Market it as local information  “Ask a question about Arlington Heights” or “Live Help 24/7”  Don’t necessarily play up the librarian angle as the main point!
  18. 18. Links on other community sites?  Town/village site  Chamber of Commerce  Social service agencies  Be ready to answer questions relevant to these sites or to arrange referrals!  There’s a political element to this.
  19. 19. Look for social sites/blogs!  Not just your own blog  Look for other sites where people might post comments/questions—post answers and give your URL!  Follow tweets about your town to see if it’s worth sending a link as a reply.  “Local” version of “Slam the Boards?”
  20. 20. Think of anywhere else!  E.G., In the signature of outgoing e-mails to patrons  QR Codes: on business cards, posted around the library, book inserts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZJFUVXcKIw (Also, generate bit.ly address for your qwidget/chat form and then go to that address followed by “qrcode. E.G.: http://bit.ly/jTgK8E.qrcode)  AHML: http://bit.ly/askahml  Your library’s tweets and FB posts
  21. 21. We’re after the “long tail!”  Most of these won’t contribute large numbers  You’re doing this to increase referrals incrementally.  1 or 2 per month from multiple sources begins to add up!
  22. 22. Checking your referrals: Start at the My QuestionPoint page, click on View Service History
  23. 23. Checking referrals, cont’d:  Then Review Transcripts>Form Fields. Select month and uncheck everything but “referrer”. Select “View Excel file,” then “Submit.”
  24. 24. QP: Best Practices in Link Placement  http://bit.ly/qplinks

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