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How to look like an expert

If you'd like to look like an expert online then it really helps if you know your subject, I'll assume that you do - if you don't then you have some work to do before it's worth you reading this article.

How do you look like an expert online?

  • Make sure you have a Content Management System (CMS) that lets you easily add pages, edit your current ones and that the layout of your site gives you enough freedom to do this. When you sign off the design check that there is some room for growth and that the design won't break if you add a new section.
  • Get your knowledge out there. Every time you do something interesting, unusual or new make sure you add a page about it to your site. It will bring you more traffic, more customers and will build confidence in your knowledge.

That's pretty much it: have the ability to share your knowledge, and then share it. If writing isn't really your thing then find someone that can take your hand scribbled notes and turn them into quality text on your site.

There can a be a fine line between what's proprietary knowledge and what make you look like an expert so do exercise a little caution in what you share.

  • Keep the secret recipes out of it as your competitors will find your pages too, but don't be afraid to share more than you might think.

What makes for a successful company: right product, right place, right time, good customer service... knowing these things doesn't confer an ability to do them. For example, if you are a builder and add a page to your site on the latest in framing technology is that going to mean all your customers suddenly start doing their own framing? No. Are you giving a secret to your competitors that means you lose your edge? No. Will it mean that potential clients see a well run, up to date company that's going to give them the best product they can get? Yes, and that's a win for you.

So, keep your site alive, and make sure it continues to change as your company grows, shrinks and changes.

If you can think of your site as a window into your business, you're thinking on the right lines. It should be a journey, not a destination; a process not a 'thing'. If you buy a site, let it sit unchanged for years and then replace it you will be missing most of the benefits of a having a site.

How much you need to do depends very much on how dynamic your business and markets are. If you're facing continual change and intense competition then you'll want to be doing the following:

  • monthly improvement plans
  • quarterly web site reviews and checkups
  • A/B testing your web site and working with ongoing incremental improvements
  • long-term search engine optimisation plans
  • keep up with micro-formats, new promotional opportunities, social networking and other technologies as they come available
  • review your web site reports/analytics and use the information they give you to drive the site forwards

If you're not facing such intense competition then it will be sufficient to focus on adding content and keeping your site in step with your business.

As well as attracting customers this has the side benefit of raising the bar for new entrants in your field.


Image on this page courtesy of Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0