AIM Custom Media: Increasing Website Credibility Increases Online Sales

What is good for business online?  Credibility, and on the web you have little time to establish it.

Here are a few simple and effective tips for increasing your online credibility:

  1. Provide verification of the accuracy of information on your site. Providing third-party citations and links, such as references and links to the source material, builds website credibility. Even if your visitors don’t follow the links, their confidence in your content increases.
  2. Quickly establish that there is a real organization and human beings backing your site. Although it is often overlooked, you can easily establish credibility by showing a physical address on your site’s footer as well as posting photographs of real people or your office(s) on the “About page.” Listing your membership with local and national associations also helps establish website cred.
  3. Highlight the expertise in your organization by offering examples as well as testimonials.
    • Do you have a testimonial on your home page with a link to more?
    • Do you tell your visitors you are an expert or do you imply it through “recent” testimonials or published articles?
    • Be sure to provide credentials as well as links to the applicable associations/organizations.
    • Conversely, don’t link to websites that you have not checked recently – linking to a questionable site can harm your credibility by association and hurt your search ranking.
  4. Show that honest, trustworthy and real people stand behind your website. Clearly demonstrate that real people are associated with your company – even if you are a one-person shop. Next, highlight your online community involvement (social networks) as well as your involvement with the local community, where applicable.
  5. Make it easy to contact a real person when the situation requires. A simple way to boost your site’s credibility is by including your contact information everywhere that is appropriate: phone number and a physical address go a long way to build credibility. Naked “contact us” forms (no phone or address info) can be more damaging than good.
  6. Budget the money and/or time to have a professional website design. Many Internet prospects will quickly evaluate your website by visual design alone.
    • Is it engaging?
    • Are you offering to converse with the visitor?
    • When designing your site, pay attention to consistent page layout, typography, use of color and images.
    • Most importantly, does your website’s visual design match its intended purpose?
  7. Make sure your website content is useful. Research repeatedly shows that sites win credibility points by being useful as well as easy to use. The best websites don’t dazzle you with technology, they quickly help you find what you came for.
  8. Update your website content often for obvious reasons. People assign more credibility to fresh, useful content than most anything else.
  9. Use restraint with your promotional content and clearly distinguish the sponsored content from your own. There is nothing wrong with advertisements unless they are excessive or un-distinguishable from relevant content. Avoid automated pop-up ads; they are annoying period. 
  10. Regularly check your site for typos and bad links, no matter how small they seem.
Posted in Online Marketing.