How to Improve your Online Business’ Revenue by being an Authority

by Jason Acidre on May 31, 2012 · 43 comments · Conversion, Social


It’s easier to sell products or services if your target customers trust you, and that’s a conventional wisdom to any form of marketing.

However, it’s a bit quite more challenging, if the principle is taken and implemented over the web, as the more web users grow and learn more of how they can utilize the web efficiently, the more they get shorter attention span and the more they get picky with what they choose to consume from the web.

Being an authority in your industry, especially online, is very vital nowadays, whether you’re into online retailing, affiliate marketing or just offering other web-based services, because it allows you to effortlessly attract more leads that will most likely convert and transact with your business when your audience is already captivated upon first impression.

Competing for attention on the web is continuously rising, seeing that a lot of online-based businesses are now investing more on how they can creatively market their businesses across to their audience who have a successively growing demand for information.

Substantiating and placing your brand as an authority in its industry is certainly one of the best solutions to it, and the ideas that I’ll be sharing below are some of the techniques that you can implement to grow your sales by simply exemplifying your brand as a leader.

Social Proof

Show that your brand is socially active, by making your social badges more visible to your site’s incoming traffic to attract them in taking more interest on what you can offer to them.

Social media has been a very powerful tool for marketing these past few years, and letting your visitors see, particularly your site’s first time visitors, the amount of people following you on different social platforms can simply prove that people trust you as a business entity.

The key to being successful with this approach is to constantly grow your following base on social networks where your target audience spends their time mostly through:

  • Providing more content that your target audience will most likely share on social networks.
  • Using social buttons as your site’s contents’ secondary call-to-action (for them to easily find where they can follow you – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, RSS Feed, etc…).

Increase Middle of the Funnel Offerings

People will not buy instantly on the Internet, not unless they already know what they are really looking for. That’s why nurturing your traffic to eventually become possible leads to your business is so important, as this helps them decide when purchasing what they really need.

Provide more content from your site that attends to your target customers’ needs, in terms of information and free, but of high value materials such as:

  • Expert content, like thorough and useful blog posts.
  • Free rich-media content, like ebooks, video tutorials, podcasts and infographics.
  • Free newsletter subscription.
  • Free trials for your services or free web-based tools.
  • Free lessons.
  • Community forums or Q&A sections.

Giving away premium items for free will allow your audience to understand more of what they might possibly need in the future and they’ll more probably buy from you if you already have these things in place and if you have them contained within your business funnel which keeps them on coming back to your website.

Build More Trust Signals

There are lots of forms of trust signals that you can display to your possible customers within your site. These signals are the ones that can make your visitors stay longer in your site and probably one of the factors that can entice them in purchasing from you.

Here are several trust indicators that you can implement on your site:

  • Social proof, as I have mentioned above, the more followers you have on different social networks, the more credible you’ll appear to your customers.
  • Having a strong community within the site, given that when your followers interact with your brand through blog discussions (comments) and/or sharing your content on social networks, the easily you can entice new visitors to become a part of your community.
  • Showing off press mentions or websites that have featured your business (“as seen in”), client testimonials and/or award badges can elaborate on why you are leading in your industry.
  • Including transparency pages such as About (which should definitely mention people who are part of the management team, etc…), Disclaimer/Disclosure, Privacy Policy, Terms of Usage and Contact us page.

Send Out Massive Brand Signals

Brand retention is the key to scaling a business’ ability to sell its products/services, for the fact that people will know who you are, where to find you and why they should purchase from you instead from your competitors.

  • Build more branded share-worthy content, such as videos, infographics and research-based text content, so when people start sharing and spreading your content, possible viewers can know more of you as a brand.
  • Invest on a visually appealing web design and engaging identity for your site to improve your visitors’ experience when using/browsing your website.
  • Know your business’ unique value proposition and focus on marketing that aspect of your business, through the content you’ll be providing on your website.
  • Invest on launching viral marketing campaigns.

For a more in-depth tutorial, you can check out one of my recent posts on using SEO, content marketing and social media for online branding.

Become known by being everywhere

Becoming an authority also means becoming popular, and building your brand’s online presence by being more involved in your industry’s online community is definitely one of the best ways to do it.

Here are some of the methods that you can do to amplify the reach of your brand online:

  • Participate on high-traffic forums in your industry and build yourself as an authority by giving expert advice to other members.
  • Engage online influencers in your industry as well as their followers by sharing your knowledge to them through joining to discussions on their blog posts, social community (Facebook Fanpage, Google+ brand page, etc…) and eventually become a link magnet when these influencers start realizing how valuable your content is and start sharing it to their networks.
  • Build conversations through social networks (Twitter, Facebook and Google+).
  • Contribute expert content on industry-specific blogs and news websites as a guest blogger or columnist.

The more people see you contributing through these channels, the more they’ll be interested to what your business is offering, see how authoritative you are and probably increase the chances of buying your products/services.

If you liked this post, you should subscribe to my feed and follow me on Twitter @jasonacidre.

 

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Alessio Madeyski May 31, 2012 at 4:01 am

I like this and I agree 100%. I think this steps are really important not only for revenues, but even for yourself as human being.
I’m trying to follow all these steps to let the SEO community know who I am, in order to ask for advices, feedback and stuff.

As for me, then, I strongly recommend to use this article to improve your presence in general, beyond revenues.

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Kaiserthesage June 1, 2012 at 2:06 am

Thanks for the valuable input Alessio! Really awesome that most of us in the community are already doing this type of online branding.

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Glenn@Web Project Manager June 9, 2012 at 9:33 am

It seems that there are online tools which calculate the influence that your account commands. Is their method to find authority right or even used by anyone?

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Moosa Hemani May 31, 2012 at 4:39 am

I agree one need to build Authority to gain customer trust and as soon as the customers will start trusting you… you will be able to see your business growing!

The point that I want to add here is that consumer behavior is changing rapidly with time and in the eye of my experience I can say that the time when can grab the customers from attractive broachers and smart calling agents is about to be over and now if you wants to win and retain the customer you have to build the authority because right after your pitch, your potential client is going to research you at least on basic social networks and famous blogs.

Great Article Jason!

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Kaiserthesage June 1, 2012 at 2:08 am

I couldn’t agree more Moosa! Thanks for the awesome comment!

I strongly agree particularly with the part where you’ve mentioned that clients/customers will do a research of you. As most of the prospective clients that we’ve encountered since day 1 do research more about my work before actually contacting me for my services.

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Seoflexia May 31, 2012 at 5:04 am

It’s not easy and it’s not fast but being an autority in your own niche is the best way to increase your ROI, in addition, you will have created something value for the community.
Best example is SEOmoz.

Great post!

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Anthony Pensabene May 31, 2012 at 6:57 am

These are all very sound observations and suggestions, Jason. Having a past in PR, I do want to say one thing about the ‘as mentioned in’ promotion (and this does NOT apply to Outspoken)..

Some people will get one sentence in a major publication (usually by having a diligent PR staff).. is it great to get your name or brand in a major publication? Yes!

If you have one sentence in a NY Times article, should you be telling people you were “featured” in there? As a dude interested in branding/rep management, I say no; it’s misleading. Wait to actually be ‘featured’ or look for lower-level opportunities until you get there…

Great post.

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Kaiserthesage June 1, 2012 at 1:53 am

Hey Anthony,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on trust signals. Yeah, I have to agree with your opinion. Though, I also think that being mentioned (even in just a sentence) in a major publication is certainly a good sign that the brand is on the right track. This can as well lead to better link opportunities and exposure for the brand, if their brand managers/outreach guys can follow up for a content that can exclusively feature them as source (or pitching a newsworthy content idea to them), seeing that the publication already trusts them as a brand.

Thanks for the awesome comment man!

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Anthony Pensabene June 1, 2012 at 7:03 am

Really good point, Jason. Hopefully, PR people are those doing outreach can build on those one-sentence mentions.. Editors/reporters are always looking for info, though, I know they don’t like using the same sources all the time..

But definitely keep in touch – also, if a brand can release stats or short/powerful industry insights, those are usually always welcome by reporters/editors as well.. reputable sources will always ensure your brand is attributed as source.

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Danika Atkins May 31, 2012 at 9:30 am

Hi Jason,

Thanks for including us in your examples! Building trust can yield tons of value with the right amount of time and effort. You’ve brought up some great examples of ways to send those trust signals. Thanks for sharing!

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Kaiserthesage June 1, 2012 at 2:05 am

Thanks for dropping by Danika, and I feel kind of embarrassed for not linking back to Outspoken Media :)

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Louie Sison @ Affiliate Blogger May 31, 2012 at 10:22 am

Hello Sir Jason!

I couldn’t agree more! One of my fave post on your blog. I just want you to know that – I’m drop dead serious learning what you know about SEO and Internet Marketing. I’m actually reading your blog post from ground up! Keep on inspiring Filipino SEO’ers!

All the best,
Louie Sison

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Kaiserthesage June 1, 2012 at 2:10 am

Thanks for dropping by Louie! And it’s an honor to be somehow able to compel you and other Filipino practitioners with my posts.

By the way, may gift ako sayo, waiting lang hehe.

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Louie Sison @ Make Money Online Philippines June 8, 2012 at 12:04 am

Oks lang, wait ko yun sir Jason.

By the way, I just notice you added AdSense on your blog.
If it’s not to much to ask when did you start this campaign and how much are you earning so far?

You can PM me in facebook if you want it to be confidential.
More power to you sir!
Louie

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Pavel May 31, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Well said Jason. Credibility is everything when selling online. Like you said, customers wont buy your product without gathering some information about it first. The key is to be the primary source of that information and not have them going online to look for other sources of information. If you provide them with all this information, as well as media rich content they will see you as having more credibility. They will trust you even more if they see you have thousands of likes/followers on social media because it reaffirms your position of credibility in the marketplace.

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Kaiserthesage June 1, 2012 at 2:12 am

Thanks Pavel! Agree. Besides earning your audience’s trust, owning the industry should certainly be the end goal of the branding campaign (and the best way to do it online is through constant content production and promotion).

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Michel June 1, 2012 at 1:03 am

I really appreciate your post.your online reputation is much important,if you are selling a product online.your customer should trust on your.once you make a trust on your customer,then you will see the huge improvement in your business.

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Stuart McHenry@McKremie June 1, 2012 at 2:31 am

Very solid post.

I recently wrote about how this is the single most important ranking factor. It builds an audience and pulls in lots of natural links. It really makes SEO much easier.

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Hendarto June 1, 2012 at 6:04 pm

I’m not a SEO expert and I’m nub in the IM world. I just follow a standard SEO tips I took from SEO master who available from SEO forum, learning step by step and always trying to keep natural for contents and backlinking plus discipline and patient to wait the positive growth of my website…and the result is really makes me satisfied.

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Albin Stoop June 2, 2012 at 10:57 am

It’s always a big “way up” to the higher parts of the “hill of authority”. Such as my own blog where I haven’t got so many readers yet (because it’s pretty new).

I’m focusing on creating great content in order to get some readers which probably can make me get a better authority in the community.

Any other tips for a guy like me?

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Michael Ullman June 5, 2012 at 11:58 pm

As the internet evolves into the Social Web, it becomes a different value proposition.

Used to be someone “went” online with a ‘task’ or goal, such as getting certain information, making a purchase, etc. The main filter was a search engine, and it required a great deal of time & effort on the part of the user to sort through even the ‘filtered’ choices (SERPs).

There are simply too many ‘choices’ now, and less & less willingness to have to sort through the poor ‘filters’. Their time is more valuable. And so they look to other, better ‘filters’ such as trusted recommendations, and apparent authority.

As you point out, more, and louder signals lead to greater trust & authority. It’s a self-reinforcing loop.

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Duffie June 6, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I thought the point about social proof was really important and it is something that I will look at and enhance in my marketing strategy, to improve the credibility of my site. You have lots of valuable info to share and I thank you for that.

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Zaida Yap June 7, 2012 at 4:57 am

So agreeable article! All the things that you have stated here are all correct. This is the right to do to have a good SEO of your site, Thanks you for sharing! nice tips! :)

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Gwen Chua June 7, 2012 at 7:04 am

I like your article and I agree with you..We need to have trust with our customer and should build a good working relationship for them to stay with us forever..

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Haseeb June 8, 2012 at 3:54 am

hello Kaiserthesage
great article and tips but i want a little help, as you know everybody on internet says that participate on related forums just like you said:
“Participate on high-traffic forums in your industry and build yourself as an authority by giving expert advice to other members.”

but can you please tell how to find big article for a specific niche is there any trick through which we can find forums?

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Glenn@Web Project Manager June 9, 2012 at 2:40 am

Online reputation is so very important now days so as to distinguish what do I listen to in the crowded market place. More so if you are selling services/products online. A new medium of social media has also introduced a new avenue to market and make your claims. As you rightly put it ones social proof will help me buy what you are selling.

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Paul Jackson June 9, 2012 at 4:38 am

Hi Jason!

Authority sites need rich information content and your articles are the best examples of that so far. I’ve read many articles on how to improve your sites interaction with both audiences and search engines, and yours right here is a refresher. I think the ones you recommended are very time relevant, especially on the social media- they act as references that is why it is persuasive. High traffic forums are trending right now, the only tricky part on this is where to find a good one in line with your niche. Keep posting fresh ideas sir, we would love to read more….

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Zubair Ahmed June 10, 2012 at 11:54 am

awesome post and very interesting tip keep posting such brilliant posts….

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Ella Turgeon June 11, 2012 at 2:12 pm

What a great article and all of these tips are 100% spot on! I never thought about giving out “trust signals” but now that you bring it up it makes perfect sense. People will give more if they can trust you. Thanks so much for the great article!

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Allen June 14, 2012 at 11:27 pm

There are really nice ways of being authoritative. Rightly said this task is challenging but not impossible. Actually giving trust to customer of the business reliability requires lots of time and efforts but once success, it looks like a jackpot because the business ultimate goal is to sell the service or product to the customers. Today, most of use social media for different purposes and this has become the way to interact with people and with the customers. So, it becomes necessary to be active on highly used social media sites. Thanks for the helpful information.

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Akash Kumar June 24, 2012 at 12:21 am

Hi Jason,

One of the most important things of being an authority is TRUST. Authoritative sites are not only trusted and recommended by the their regular visitors and customers but also by other authoritative sites in their niche.

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Rob June 27, 2012 at 9:44 am

I love the idea of giving away free stuff. If you can provide people with something that is helpful and usually costs money, that would be a great way to get your brand known. I think we could work on developing something that would help our customers immensely :)

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Alex July 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Hi Jason, This post comes at a good time as I try to build up my site. Still have a long way to go. I’m focusing on the last item for now but definitely have to work on the others. Valuable content is key. Cheers.

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Matz October 23, 2012 at 3:30 am

This is definitely true. The first thing we must aim is to try to have our client’s trust. If that happens, then no wonder you’ll experience progress in your business.

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Garrett@schoenen online January 6, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Excellent blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?
I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
Would you advise starting with a free platform
like Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any ideas? Kudos!

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Luis@igrice online decije February 10, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites
I stumbleupon on a daily basis. It will always be helpful to read
through articles from other writers and practice something from
their websites.

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Kristopher@Kristopher February 17, 2013 at 12:53 am

I’m extremely impressed with your writing talents as neatly as with the structure to your weblog. Is this a paid subject matter or did you modify it yourself? Either way stay up the nice quality writing, it’s
uncommon to look a nice blog like this one nowadays.
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Jordan@How to Start an Online Business June 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Hi Jason! Very nice article you got here. I really love this and you got two thumbs up for this. I really appreciate your work man. Definitely, it is easier if some people just think of going into online business but when they put it into actions, they will know how hard it is because of a huge competitions on the internet and the proper process that should be gone through. Thank you for sharing your tips man! I could make use of this. Keep it up!

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Srikanth AN June 19, 2013 at 7:19 am

Very well said. Building online credibility not only requires smart action, but also consistency and the willingness to always learn while going forward. Building online credibility sure does looks like a daunting task, but can be achieved with consistency and some smart actions. The main thing is to have something to say that guides people or help the audience with every post. This definitely builds online credibility by the users themselves. What do you say?

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