In today’s digital landscape, it’s not enough to merely have an online presence. Small business owners need to build authority to stand out from the competition, improve brand perception, and earn customer trust. In this article we offer tips on a variety of way in which you can build authority.
This authority is not only built with Google and other search engines, but it is authority in the eyes of your website visitors, ideally your potential customers.
What can you do to boost your authority or trustworthiness in their eyes and gain you fresh incoming calls, leads and enquiries, and store or office visits?
Read on to learn of several key ways you can build authority and dominate over your competitors online.
Industry Awards and Affiliations
Industry awards can offer more than just a trophy or a badge; they can validate your expertise and set you apart from competitors.
Seek Out Relevant Awards: Search for industry-specific awards and apply for them. Even being a finalist can boost your reputation.
Display Accolades: Prominently display these awards on your website, ideally on the homepage and ‘About Us’ page.
Affiliations: Join industry organizations and display their badges to show that you are a part of a broader community of professionals.
Online reviews serve as digital word-of-mouth and are a powerful tool for building authority.
Ask for Reviews: Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, and Trustpilot.
Feature Reviews: Showcase positive reviews on your website, especially on product pages and landing pages.
Respond to Reviews: Interact with both positive and negative reviews to show that you value customer feedback.
Video Reviews: With modern phones it’s not that difficult to get a quality review or testimonial from a client. It doesn’t hurt to ask and can be a real trust booster for your business. It can also give you client some promotion online too.
Use Real Pictures Over Stock Photos
Authenticity is key when building authority. Real photos can humanize your brand and make it more relatable. Yes, it’s not always possible but try as hard as you can to get real quality photos of your business, your team, your vehicles etc.
Professional Shots: Hire a professional photographer to take high-quality pictures of your team, products, or even happy customers (with their permission).
Behind-the-Scenes: Share pictures that show the inner workings of your business. This transparency can build trust.
User-Generated Content: Encourage customers to share their photos using your product, and feature these on your site with their permission.
Quality content can position you as an industry leader and attract organic traffic.
Expert Articles: Write insightful articles that solve problems or address issues relevant to your industry.
Webinars and Podcasts: These can offer value in a more interactive format and establish your brand as a thought leader.
Content Consistency: Consistency not only in publishing but also in the quality and style of your content will keep your audience engaged and coming back for more.
Strategic partnerships can open doors to new audiences and enhance your credibility through association.
Choose Wisely: Partner with businesses that complement yours and share similar values.
Collaborative Content: Create joint articles, webinars, or social media campaigns to reach a wider audience.
Guest Posting: Write expert articles for your partners’ blogs and allow them to do the same for you. This mutual exchange can increase reach and add value to both parties.
Building authority online is a multi-faceted endeavor. Leveraging industry awards and affiliations, gathering and showcasing customer reviews, using real and authentic photographs, consistently producing quality content, and forming strategic partnerships are powerful ways to boost your credibility. By taking a comprehensive approach, you can effectively establish your brand as a trustworthy authority in your industry.