Credibility can make or break an online business. Establishing that credibility starts with your website. It doesn’t have to be super-slick, but it shouldn’t be amateurish and unpolished. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do, apart from having a nicely designed website, to help build instant trust with potential customers who are visiting your website for the first time.
Why is website credibility important?
Your website is often the first point of contact for potential customers and, as you know, first impressions matter. A business that focuses on building credibility can turn visitors into customers easier. You don’t buy from someone you don’t trust, do you?
A credible website that comes across as trustworthy and knowledgeable makes people:
- Trust that company
- Feel comfortable sharing their personal data
- Feel confident that they’re making the right decision buying from you
- Feel confident it’s worth spending their money there.
10 things to add (or fix) on your site to boost credibility
- Web design matters. While you don’t need to have an award winning website design, it does need to like nice and clean. This creates a feeling of trustworthiness and professionalism in consumers.
- Make your address and phone number visible at all times. Include it in the headers and/ or in the footer of your website as well in the About and Contact Us pages.
- Make it very easy for them to contact you. The ‘Contact’ link should always be in your navigation menu so people know how to reach you in case they need help, have problems or questions that need answered.
- Use simple language. People don’t trust what they don’t understand. Write using the same language your customers do. Run a search on Google to see what type of questions people ask about your products or products similar to yours. Take a closer look at the conversation around your business or niche industry and try to incorporate the words and phrases they use into your copy.
- Correct spelling. Broken grammar and incorrect spelling certainly make you seem less credible. It’s more forgivable in blog posts, but definitely unacceptable on your home page, product pages and other pages on your site.
- Provide real staff bios and photos. The chances of your visitors trusting your website can increase if you show them that there are real people behind the brand. Show them pictures of your staff. Also, avoid cheesy stock photos as there’s nothing that says “fake” like smiling customer service people with headsets on or suits shaking hands.
- Avoid superlatives. Don’t refer to your business as “the leader in the industry” (unless you really are) or to your product as “the best”. Instead, be specific. For example, if you have a pizza delivery service say “Get your pizza in 10 minutes, and eat it too” instead of “The fastest pizza delivery in town”.
- Always show prices. If you don’t reveal product prices, it will look as if you’ve got something to hide. In addition, don’t hide additional costs to only show them at the end of the ordering process. This will cause people to abandon their carts in seconds, and never return to your site again.
- Add testimonials from real customers. Users trust other people’s experiences. It’s one thing that big brands like Amazon are doing so well. Use real photos and full names to build trust. For increased credibility, try video testimonials.
- Show them it’s safe to buy from you. If you take credit card payments, show them it’s safe by adding a Verisign Seal or equivalent.
Your turn now
How do you determine whether to trust a site or not? What other elements do you feel are important to add on a site in order to build credibility?