Trust is the basis for our most successful social relationships—both in business and in our personal lives. On the web, we find ourselves participating in a digital marketplace, where information is freely exchanged (and accessible), but where trust is becoming ever-more difficult to build and maintain. That’s where reputation management comes into play. Here, we’ll discuss five very (seemingly) basic ways to understand and improve your website’s credibility, and it all starts with you!
One of the most effective way to improve your website’s reputation is by asking your customers to speak for you. Keep an eye out for those situations where the customer is very pleased with your service, and ask for a testimonial. Your customers know, first-hand, the challenges that you helped them to overcome, and that word-of-mouth marketing is very effective—to support and improve your reputation.
Your prospects don’t only want to know what your customers say about your products and services, but also who your partners are, and what they say about you. There are several ways to highlight those essential partnerships, and use them to support (and enhance) your credibility. You can feature partner logos on your home page, or on a page that’s easily accessible via a link from the home page. You’ll want to also announce those relationships with a press release, and then maintain an archive of your press release on your website.
3. Social Media
It’s no longer enough to just build a website and let it stand alone. Social media is now an essential piece of your credibility on the web. When you participate in conversations with your customers and prospects, you are further establishing yourself as a go-to expert in your field, but you also have access to a wealth of data—if you listen and follow the emerging trends. When you act upon what you’ve learned from your social-media interactions, your reputation will continue to improve.
With all the other platforms on which to participate, it’s important that you don’t forget about the tried-and-true methods to convert a prospect into a customer. One of the most basic ways to continue the conversation with your customers and prospects is via email, so ask your prospect for their email address, and then make sure that you’re sending out regular, compelling (and well-written) emails. If they didn’t initially purchase your product or service, you now have the opportunity to educate them about what they need and why they need it. Every email is another opportunity to improve your credibility.
Keep an eye out for ways that you can continue to improve. Is your website functional? Are you responding to, and even embracing, current technology? That doesn’t mean that you need to jump at every newfangled idea in your industry, but communicate with your prospects and customers (via email, social media, press releases, etc.). Your credibility will continue to improve as you demonstrate your willingness to explore new ideas, and embrace technological improvements, when they make sense for your company.
Now, it’s your turn. Pick one of these five ways, and start improving the reputation of your website today!