Your online website is the digital portrayal of your business. Viewers go through it with an intention of peeking into the functioning of your business and even the reputation of it.
One of the most decisive factors behind your brand gaining business through its website is the credibility it holds. The potential customers will only bank upon your business website after they trust it and the people behind it. In case you are an ecommerce website or a website that deals with customers’ sensitive information, you will have to put in extra efforts to gain customers’ trust.
As per the Stanford Web Credibility Research, websites become more credible by being useful and easy to access. A website’s usefulness is marked by its features, functionalities, and UI. However, the website’s ease of use is determined by the implemented web design. Hence, a lot of factors together contribute to enhancing your site’s trust score.
If you are clueless and would like to make your website more credible, here is a list of the factors that immensely influence your website’s credibility.
Search engines’ perception of your website
Search engines employ their algorithms and bots to assess the performance of your website and rank it, accordingly. If you are doing things in a right manner i.e. White SEO, following Google Algorithm updates and content policies, your website keeps moving up the search engine ranking ladder. That is a great first impression for your website visitors.
With tools like the Alexa Traffic Rank tool, the online audience has access to your site’s global and location-based ranking. Your site’s search engine ranking is capable of heavily impacting your site’s credibility. So, make sure that you put efforts into that direction.
Social proof of your business
Establishing a social proof of your business website is crucial for its credibility impression. You need to put up links to all the social media pages of your business on your website. Apart from that, your website having a list of your clients/brands who have been associated with your business can be impactful.
Client/customer testimonials and reviews
Regardless of the nature of your business operations, i.e. whether it deals in product sales or services, you will always have customer reviews and testimonials coming in. Based on the customer experience granted by the business, these customers will either have a positive or a negative opinion of your business.
You can, however, put up the positive client/customers testimonials or reviews for your audience to see. But, refrain from putting up fake testimonials because the internet audience is smart enough to spot that. To make these testimonials and reviews more reliable, you can link them to the social profiles of the related client/customer, if permitted.
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The presence of adverts on the website
Many blogging websites choose to put up targeted advertisements in order to make ad money. As beneficial and seemingly rewarding it might seem to the website owners, these ads irritate the audience who have to deal with them popping up every now and then.
To be honest, Ads make your website look less credible. Since it takes only 50 milliseconds for the users to form a first impression of a particular website, you wouldn’t want them to see these ads at least on the homepage of your website.
An updated blog
If you are starting career as a blogger and have just set up a website for it, you will obviously need more of your audience’s trust to help your blog grow. And if you are not a blogger but a mainstream business, you would still need a blog because that would eventually build your site’s credibility.
So, an updated blog that posts regular updates, fresh posts, and engages with the comments made on it, is termed as more credible by the audience.
Consistent website updates
If we suppose that your website was set up in the year 2005 and has managed to look the same, you have successfully killed its purpose and probably its audience engagement as well.
It is very important to keep updating the website content because it gives the message that your business is moving ahead and is growing. Without any updates, the site audience would be free to make an opinion that your business simply doesn’t care.
Accessible contact information
If your business or brand isn’t accessible to its audience, people will deem things to be fishy. It is very important for your website to make it easy for your audience to contact you. Hence, for building your credibility, put out your phone number, physical address, and an email address on the website.
Even if your website is strictly accessible only on a membership-based model, it should make the contact information public for all the audience to see.
A great web design that encourages seamless navigation
A study mentioned that 94% of the negative website feedback was design related. If your website design is such that the visitors are having a hard time navigating through its pages or if they get lost while browsing through different sections, your business is in for a loss.
On the other hand, if your audience is able to figure out the navigation and is able to quickly get to the part they are looking for, your site’s trust meter will go up.
A fast loading website
The truth is, if your website takes more than 2-3 seconds to load, visitors will be swift to abandon it. If they do so, they will never have the opportunity to go through the other content which would mean that you will miss out on those visitors who would have otherwise contributed to your site’s credibility score.
Spelling and grammar
My personal favorite on the cringe-o-meter: a website with bad grammar and wrong spellings. One couldn’t agree more that a website with such characteristics is a big-time blunder. I personally prefer to stay away from such websites because they don’t appear to be trustable since the website owner does not simply seem to care.
If you are not a language expert, always rely on professional services to get your content crafted. Hiring an expert content writer will eliminate the chances of glaring mistakes and even help you create value-offering content.
Detailed product information
If you run an ecommerce website, you should put up detailed information about the products that you are showcasing. This information can include the physical attributes of the product, its usage, the variants, customer reviews and images to make it easy for the customers to make a choice. When your customers don’t have to look at external resources to retrieve information about the products listed on your site, your site looks more credible.
Trust seals and website security certificates
To build your site’s credibility, always consider getting Trust seals which are third-party seals are highly trusted by the online audience. Intended to display the trust score or the sales counter of a particular business, these trust seals are vouched by third-party internet security organizations. Also, having an SSL certificate for your website is a compulsion if you want to come across as a credible online business.
It is never a bad idea to shell out some investment towards getting trust seals and SSL security certificates for your websites.
Team members’ bios and photos with their social profiles
If you are a business that targets the maximum number of leads with its website, you must let out information about the team members who are the people behind your business.
Putting up bios along with professional looking photographs is a good idea to make your business website look more credible.
Errors and links
Broken links and pages that yield an error message every time a visitor clicks on them, make up a deadly combination and contribute to killing your site’s user experience. This could, in turn, make your site appear less reliable. So, figure them out and fix them before your site visitors come across them.