In an age of increased competition when it comes to available products and services, how do you make it to the top of people’s consideration set, and ensure that they want to do business with you?
1. Quality, keyword-rich content
First you need to make sure people know about, and can find, you. A quality website that looks good and effectively communicates what you do will help, but it’s not all. With the internet so jam-packed full of options, your online presence is no longer (if it ever was) a case of ‘build it and they will come’. You have to make it easy for people to find you and, once they do, give them a reason to engage. As well as making sure you are hitting all the keywords relevant to your audience, make sure that your content is interesting and speaks to their needs. Consumers are savvy and can spot keyword-stuffing a mile off, so give them polished and interesting content that assures them that they’ve come to the right place and removes any barriers to purchase.
2. Demonstrate your expertise
You may have heard of the phenomenon of social proof; before working with you people will look for external clues as to your credibility. Hence the importance of building your reputation, and establishing yourself as an expert in your field. Create a public profile for yourself in the media, write and share articles about your industry and join professional associations related to business. When people can see that you are taking a leadership role in your space, you remove some of the risk and ensure they feel confident engaging with you.
3. Be likeable and interesting
People like to do business with people they like. In the same way that we form a connection to brands that resonate with us, we develop loyalty towards certain businesses from the interactions we have with its people. Every touch-point is an opportunity for people to get to know – and like – you. Consider how you can make clients or prospects feel more comfortable about working with you. Be personable and let a bit of your personality shine through, remembering that the people that you’re interacting are human beings. Don’t be afraid to be a bit unique or interesting either – people are drawn to the intrigue.
4. Do an amazing job
The ‘word of mouth’ machine is strong in New Zealand. Kiwis love to help each other out with a recommendation that might make life easier or solve a problem. However, when we do this we’re putting our own reputation on the line, so we need to be confident in who or what we’re recommending. Nothing keeps the ‘word of mouth’ engine running as well as simply doing a great job. Go above and beyond, find ways to surprise and delight, and give your clients or customers an amazing experience –one that they want to talk about! Research by Ogilvy, Google and TNS found that 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions, andNeilsen discovered that 84% of consumers rank recommendations from friends, family and colleagues as the most trustworthy source, so make sure you are harnessing this powerful sales channel.
Richard Conway is Founder & CEO of Pure SEO.