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Your Web Site's Success: Are You A Perceived Expert?

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/23/2006 | Marketing
Do you want to know what it takes to successfully market a web site and generate repeat sales?

It's simple really.

You must position yourself as a perceived expert. It doesn't matter what product or service you are selling, this same premise will hold true.

What is a perceived expert, you ask?

Good question.

Gone are the days where you could build a simple company web site, list your products and send customers to an order page. New web sites are sprouting up like blades of grass and competition is intensely fierce.

The bottom line is this: why should a customer buy from YOU?

A small but growing number of small business owners have discovered the answer to this question and are kicking your butt. How are they accomplishing this? By positioning themselves as an expert in their industry and using their web site to communicate that fact to potential customers.

How can you become an expert too?

Offer your potential customers an education to compliment the product or service you are selling. You can write it, buy it or license the content you need. Whichever you choose, teaching your customers should be an essential component of your web site and its importance cannot be overstated.

Here are some examples:

If you are selling diamonds or jewelry online, offer articles, tips or even a free guide on "How do I choose the right diamond for me?" or "20 ways to spot fake jewelry."

If you operate a job search or career database, offer a wealth of guides and tips such as "20 ways to improve your resume," "what to wear at a job interview," or "how do I know if a job is right for me."

If you are selling health related items (ie: vitamins, pills or creams), don't simply throw up ad copy, a few product images and an order form. Educate your customers on the benefits of each ingredient and how it can improve their well-being. Take it one step further and provide an education on every vitamin and mineral known to man. Just make it fun and easy to read.

You get the picture.

How can this help your web site prosper?

People want to buy the best product they can, at the best price, from someone they trust. Given the fact your customers will never see or meet you, this task is accomplished by your web site. By offering them a wealth of expertise related to the products you are selling, you immediately create a foundation to build upon. You are helping them make a more informed decision as to what to purchase while at YOUR web site. In essence, your web site becomes the salesperson that the customer would normally see in the store or talk to on the phone. Customers always have questions. You have the opportunity to give them the answer and a whole lot more knowledge by becoming a perceived expert in your industry.

If you give your potential customers an education, they will reward you for it. Plus, they will likely tell their friends too!