Many business owners believe that you should control the information you provide to your customers. Divulge as little as possible. Then customers must contact you for the answers to their questions.
After all, the more product knowledge customers have, the more power they have as well. Just think back to how car dealerships used to operate. Getting the bottom line on a new vehicle or the Kelley Blue Book value of your trade-in was a closely guarded secret. The internet has changed all that.
Today, customers want information, and if your website doesn’t provide it, they move on to a site that will. Fast!
No longer can you build a successful business model on the web based on keeping customers in the dark. If you won’t provide the information, someone else will. And customers know it. They have a myriad of resources available to them to find out what they want to know these days.
The best strategy is to treat the web customer as an intelligent stranger who is entitled to the facts, not just your sales pitch, so that he or she can then make an informed decision.
A local real estate agent selling condos would include one photo and only the most basic data on its website, such as total square footage and number of bedrooms and baths. The agent reasoned that he was providing enough information to whet the buyer’s appetite.
To get all the important details like location, amenities and price, the buyer would be forced to call. That call would give the agent an opportunity to establish a connection with the buyer and potentially talk him or her into using the agent’s services.
The problem was the website was getting a fair amount of traffic but most visitors clicked off in a hurry. When they didn’t find the information they needed, they hit their back button. Additionally, some of the realtor’s competitors chose to provide more detailed information. No doubt some of those competitors were benefiting from looking like authorities.
Eventually, the realtor’s marketing person convinced him to add all the relevant facts about a property to the website including price. Much to the realtor’s surprise, the office started getting more calls from buyers.
Buyers found the site and stuck around, reading all the data and calling once they felt this realtor was in the know. And, an added benefit, was that Google moved the site up in its search results because it was providing such comprehensive information, and that in turn generated more web traffic.
How do you provide a wealth of information without overwhelming your site’s visitors? After all, people are in a hurry, and long, run-on pages with loads of detail can be daunting.
Make the information available but organize it on your website so that visitors can delve as deep has they want to go. Choose menu labels that make sense. Use headings, subheads and bulleted lists that allow visitors to quickly scan the copy.
You can even offer reports or case studies free for the asking that include your most specialized data. Not everyone will request them. But you’ll know that those who do are highly qualified leads. Your objective is to enable the visitor to easily be able to zero in on the information he seeks, no matter what it is.
When deciding what information to include on your website, think like your customers.
Don’t hold back. Provide the information in an easy to find and understand format. Put the most important facts in the most prominent places of your site. Continually update and add to the information.
Make it easy for your customer to get the answers they seek. In doing so, you’ll be positioning your business as the expert in the field and the leader in its industry, and sales are sure to follow.