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Almost everyone reading this article has a website. Many have several. For most companies websites are a necessary aspect of doing business. Whether you use your website as an informational resource or to generate direct revenues, a website is really a tool for building credibility and trust.


Consumers rarely buy a product the first time they visit a website. However, once someone has made a purchase it will be easier for them to buy again in the future. If they gained a high value for their investment, they are more likely to purchase from the same company again if given the opportunity. Value is not just about money. It has to do with customer care, product quality, ease at which they can do business with a company and return on investment.


In order to gain the consumer’s trust you must become familiar to them. Many consumers turn first to the Internet when seeking information, regardless of the product or service. They look for easy access websites that provide the information, products and services they seek.


Incredible amounts of money and effort are spent to drive visitors to a site. A website is only as good as the traffic you drive to it and your rate of turning those visitors into either leads or sales.


The mistake many businesses make is they think if they have a great product or service people will automatically want to do business with them and/or buy their product. They drive people to a site; give them something to buy and think they will be able to watch the money roll in.


The fact is competition is getting fiercer by the day. Consumers have more choice than ever before. Many times, price isn’t the primary issue when purchasing because the price for some products are so close. Decisions to purchase can be based primarily on the level of comfort and trust the consumer has with a company.


Another common marketing mistake is assuming visitors will automatically remember your website and return again and again. When you consider the number of sites consumers visit in an average day, there’s a good chance that within a short period of time they will have forgotten they visited yours. This is the harsh reality of Internet marketing.


Ask yourself the following questions. Once at your site, what is your visitor’s experience?  What will people find when they visit your site? What are you doing to encourage the visitor to become familiar with you and your company? Additionally, what are you doing to immediately build a relationship with the visitor?


One way to begin the process of building a trusting relationship with your visitors is to keep in touch. Encourage visitors to leave their contact information in exchange for a product or information they are interested in. Regardless of what type of business you have or work for, there is bound to be something of interest to your market that you can provide. Consider offering reports, white papers, online newsletters, tips, discount coupons, or event updates. The possibilities are endless.


Be aware that consumers have become very skeptical of leaving their contact information. A great majority of people are overwhelmed with the amount of emails they receive. They do everything possible to avoid getting on lists that send a barrage of "sales" letters. However, if you can create a high value for what you are offering to visitors, chances are they will leave you their information.


Make it as simple as possible and assure them you never rent, sell or give your list away. Set up your system so that your visitors will receive an instant bounce back message thanking them after they have signed up.


Keep in touch with those who leave their contact information. If you don’t, you will have invested a lot of effort to gain their contact information and you are letting possible leads and/or sales slip through your fingers. Let them know they will receive other messages from you so that it doesn’t appear as if you are spamming. Additionally, you must give them the option to unsubscribe from your list at any time.


Be recognized as a resource before you are a vendor. You stand out from the competition and increase your chances to become a valued vendor.





This Business 101 article was written by Kathleen Gage on 8/16/2006

Kathleen Gage is a bestselling author, keynote speaker & consultant who works with those who want to gain visibility within their market. Access Gage’s free eBook to show you how to Gain More Leads That Make You Money