If you are in an online business with your own web site, it would help greatly to build an online community with your visitors. The pathway to a good online community is to build trust in your visitors, your future customers. Here’s a simple formula to get you started.
1. Sweep the “front walk” each day as you begin work.
On your site,check for “broken links” (links that don’t go where you intended for them to go) and fix them.
Also be sure to test your opening page’s load time. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to check how fast (or slow) your website loads both in a desktop or mobile environment. You can also keep track of the load speed of each of your pages in Google Analytics. Start by removing or reducing any images that seem to slow it down. (Reducing images is a matter of having a service analyze your site for images it can cut down in number of bites). If you are using Adobe Photoshop (or its cheaper cousin Adobe Elements), be sure to save your images using Save for Web option to reduce the file size.
2. Ensure your visitors’ return.
Spot-check your copy for errors that may have escaped you previously. Freshen your copy regularly and somewhere on your page promise weekly updates. Keep your site current.
Be sure to use a web analytics software such as the free Google Analytics software to keep track of your site’s metrics. Analyze the top pages that lead to a high bounce rate, and look at how you can improve them. You can add links to other similar section of your content or maybe break down long copies into separate pages (if this is an article, for example).
Also check the sources of traffic, and how each source is bringing in return visitors. There are some sources that may bring you a huge spike of traffic, but these may not be visitors who will return or even thoroughly engage with your site.
3. Provide interactivity to your visitors and ways for them to communicate with you.
The easiest methods are comments, feedback form, email link, online surveys, and social media buttons. Make it easy for visitors to find how to contact you by ensuring that your contact us page is visible at the top of every page. If you allow for phone contacts, be sure to put your number where it can easily be seen by visitors.
4. Respond to your prospects as they write in.
Answer each email or send a thank you for each survey responded to with a personal email of your own. Also be sure to personalize any and all outgoing communication. You may even add a personal touch to auto responder messages.
5. Learn the power of social media.
In this age of social media, it is easier to build communities and find like-minded users who may be interested in what you have to offer in social media sites. Social media makes it easy to find possible communities, and all you have to do is to find them, engage with them, and get them interested in what you have to offer.
6. Let your customers know you are there to help.
If your product is the solution to their desire, all’s the better. But if you need to refer them elsewhere, don’t be afraid to find where to send them and do so. Your reputation as an honest, sincere businessperson will grow as a result.
7. When you make sales, be sure and thank your customer personally for their purchase.
Here’s a great opportunity to make “back-end” sales. Offer them coupons or special prices on your other products. Ask for questions or concerns and a testimonial from your customer. They will no doubt tell others about you and your high level of trust.
These are just a few steps on the pathway to online community and trust. As your knowledge and skills improve, no doubt you will learn more about this topic. But do look for ways to foster trust in your prospects and customers. In so doing relationships with them develop that will improve your online efforts over and over.
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