When you have a website or a blog, your credibility is important. If your site is new this can be hard to achieve because you’re not a well-known company like Microsoft or Apple is and you need credibility in the marketplace. You need to have trust with people online to get customers and business.
Why Credibility Matters
Online there’s simply far too many websites and blogs going after the same audience you are. All of these sites compete for business and you need to establish a solid reputation online so people come back to you time and time again. The main thing is that this is hard for new companies to achieve: you have to work hard at establishing your credibility online. People are cautious online because there’s a lot of scams and shady websites that they don’t trust. People are less likely to buy from a website they have never heard of before and that may include your site.
Having credibility is very important to your website or blog. Here’s 20 ways that you can establish credibility with your audience.
1. Have a Professional Website Design
One of the first thing you can do is have a website that looks professional. There are far too many sites that look sloppy and this causes your visitors to click away quickly. It’s estimated that 75-94% of people will make judgements based upon the first glance at a site. You need a site that’s professionally designed and looks good to the users as this will keep them there for a longer period and increase your trust.
2. Avoid a Broken Site
You need a Drupal site that is functional. You can’t have broken links or missing images as this isn’t professional. You need to test the functionality so everything fires on all cylinders. Make sure the site loads quickly and people can find what they need right away. Broken pages and images were shown to be a one of the most powerful factors that damage your credibility!
3. Make it snappy
If your site has an international audience it’s even more difficult to get those sub-second pageloads across the world. Your DNS response time and server latency will be slow for connections that cross oceans. Fortunately there are now affordable Content Delivery Network services that speed your site from many servers distributed globally. Cloudflare even offers a free basic package and they also happen to be one of the fastest DNS in the world. Consider outsourcing your caching to a CDN provider and you won’t have to manage a Varnish or nginx cache anymore while getting worldwide top performance.
4. Have Your Portfolio Displayed Prominently
People want to know that you’re the best business for them so show them that you are. You want to show people your portfolio of completed work so they can make their own judgements. By showing your previous work, you’ll establish trust. The portfolio should be easy to find with one click and contain numerous samples of your work for people to look at.
5. Use Product Reviews to Your Advantage
If you can get reviews of your products this will help you a great deal. People tend to trust products which have a lot of reviews. You can see this in action when you visit Amazon which has a lot of product review. This works on the physiological level as people will buy based upon product reviews quite often as they tend to see a product with lots of reviews as something they want to buy. Try to get reviews of your products from your buyers as this will establish trust and credibility with your site and what you have to offer buyers. Negative reviews aren’t as bad as they seem as they add to the credibility and make the reviews and entire site more authentic.
6. Have Customer Testimonials
For a service-based business it can be difficult to get product reviews so use testimonials instead. This allows a buyer to see what type of job you’re doing for your customers. Try to have these on the homepage or a sidebar where they can be easily accessed by browsers to your blog or website. For greater impact the testimonial needs to be real. Some common tips for testimonial effectiveness are as follows:
- Have a quote from a real user
- Have the persons name and a quote
- Have an image, quote and the business or person’s name
- Have a video testimonial (best)
If you can get a person that’s respected in your industry to do a testimonial as this will create even more credibility for your website or blog.
7. Have a List of Clients You Have Worked With
You can enhance your credibility if you have a list of clients you have worked with. This can be a huge advantage if the client is a well-known company. This works because established brands don’t do business with just anyone and if they happen to work with you, this boosts your credibility. They see you as being in the top bracket of websites since you have worked with the big boys. Bloggers can use a “as featured on” section to get results.
People tend to want to do business with companies that work with a lot of clients. This shows that the company is well established and respected. It also shows that big trust factor with the buyer. If you’re already established use “social proof” to let people know the number of clients you have served. On a blog you could even list this on the homepage to let people know how many you have helped or sold products to.
8. Simple language
People don’t trust language they don’t understand. Complicated language can make your communication unclear, or seem unauthentic. If you write like you talk to your friends, people will feel closer to you and more willing to accept your message.
It’s also important you proofread your content and don’t miss any broken grammar or incorrect spelling. Overcomplicated language is bad but incorrect spelling makes you even less credible. It’s bad business when you make these mistakes on your blog but unforgiveable on your homepage or product pages.
9. Have an About Page
A business is run by real people so have an about page where you showcase personal experience, philosophies, and skills. You want to be open with your visitors and a good about page can help with this. You can highlight the people in your business on this page if you like. Mention who you are, what you do, how the company began, where you want the company to go and so on. Make it personal as it will resonate with readers and they will be more inclined to purchase from you if they know who you are.
10. Show yourselves and your office
An about page can be good, but bio pages for each of the team members can also help to establish your credibility with visitors. This can help to establish trust and you can highlight the experience as well as credentials of the team members here.
You also want to use real team members here. Don’t use stick images or try to make the team seem larger than it actually is. People will pick up on this and think negatively about your business.
A photos of your office helps to show there are people working full time on your products or service. This inspires trust and makes you more credible or valuable than competitors who could be unavailable most of the time while they’re on their full-time job.
11. Consider Your Prices Carefully
You don’t want to use prices that are too cheap. If it’s too good to be true, then it is! If a product on your site is deeply discounted, this can be a red flag for a buyer. People want sales, but if the price is far below what they expect, they will ask questions. You want to seem legitimate and prices that are far too low and backfire for you.
Your prices need to be reasonable. If you’re able to supply low prices because you have an advantage in the marketplace this is fine, but you have to think carefully about your prices too; sometimes a higher price can set you apart from the rest and communicate superior value. People can be skeptical so make the prices reasonable from the eyes of the buyer. Be honest when you set prices and make sure they work for your website.
12. Have Guarantees for the Customer
People will spend if you have a guarantee for them. If they are unsatisfied, they want to know they can get their money back from you. If you have a guarantee this will boost your credibility with users a great deal. You’ll establish trust with users as you are taking on the risk, not the customer.
A money back guarantee is a good idea because you want to reassure people that want to buy from you. You show confidence in your products when you do this and thus help to alleviate customer concerns about buying from you. This can help a lot when you’re selling “digital products” as it makes the transaction risk-free for the buyer.
Ensure you have refund policies as well as warranties on the goods to establish credibility with your user base.
13. Have a Physical Address
You should display your brick and mortar address on your website as it shows that you’re accountable and this makes the visitor feel comfortable. If someone buys from you and the product doesn’t work they want to be able to contact you in as many ways as possible, not just by email or telephone number. If you have a physical address this reduces the concerns the buyer will have in dealing with you. There are a lot of scams online and people will only deal with you if they have various ways to contact you and a physical address helps with this.
14. Customer Support
You want the ability to talk with your customers directly through customer support. This will put you ahead of the competition that doesn’t offer this right away. This shows that:
- You can showcase your expertise one-on-one with clients
- It shows that the people behind the business are real
- You help reduce customer concerns quickly
Try to have personal interaction with clients as this enhances credibility. The order of effectiveness is:
- Phone support – This offers quick response time and offers good personal interaction. Just by having a phone number present on the site will reduce the concerns of the website visitor, even if they never call at all.
- Live Chat – This is less personal, but offers a quick response time which customers appreciate.
- Email Support – You need this if you don’t offer the other forms of support which are more effective. You need to check this inbox on a regular basis and respond quickly.
15. Have a Blog
To showcase your expertise and insights into your industry a blog can help. This allows you to showcase your content on a regular basis. A blog will help you establish your credibility. Here’s how you can establish credibility with your blog content:
- Create content that solves the common problems your clients have. This shows you understand the niche you’re in.
- Create content that asks for nothing from the client. It’s not a sales pitch it’s just valuable information they can use.
- The content should link to other credible sources such as blogs in your industry or reputable research organisations, which further enhances your own credibility
- Have the content backed up with real world data. You should use real statistics here. You don’t want to mislead clients with information that isn’t true or isn’t based on facts.
- Make sure the content looks great and is free of errors.
16. Make Sure the Blog is Updated
You want to create content on a regular basis. A dead blog will drive users away quickly. If people see the blog isn’t updated they will assume the business isn’t running or that you just don’t care and you’ll lose customers and credibility quickly this way.
You have to be ready to commit to a blog so be ready to manage it. The schedule of posts should be something that you can manage. Try for weekly or daily posts if possible or at the very least a monthly post. Make sure the content you provide is valuable to users. If older content no longer works you can hide it or delete that content.
17. Have Case Studies
A case study can boost your credibility by a lot. These are effective because they show results that people can relate to. The person featured in the case study should be someone the potential buyer can relate to. These are like super-charged testimonials. A spot on the site for customer spotlights can work wonders.
Have a Lot of Product Information
Before customers spend money, they need to know as much as possible about your products. If you leaven anything to doubt, can go elsewhere for their product. Make sure the buyer has all the information that they need to know about your products. You should have good product descriptions.
The main features, purpose, and use of the product should be described. Product specification can help too, especially with complex products like electronics. Product descriptions boost your credibility in the following ways:
- They show that you understand your products
- It shows you care about your business and your buyers
- It informs the buyer as much as possible about what you’re offering them
If you’re the manufacturer of the product, then the product information is very important to the potential buyer. If you’re a service provider then you have to explain to a potential buyer what they are getting, what you do, how you do projects, and what results you got in the past.
18. Symbols that Establish Trust
People want to feel safe when they shop online. So you need to convince them of this fact when they shop with you. A good idea is to have a SSL certificate, as you need this for security. The SSL certificate encrypts the confidential details of the customer such as credit card information and offers a secure connection for buyers. An encrypted connection has HTTPS and the lock icon. This can help users make a buying decision because they know their information is safe when they buy something from you.
Security seals from trusted companies will also help establish trust with buyers such as McAfee or Norton. This ensures users that their data is protected when they buy from you. Also do a Google search for the certificate vendor before buying SSL. Some vendors, like Symantec, have been in the news recently and could loose their status as trusted SSL authority. This means your website could loose the lock icon, and generate browser warnings for your visitors.
19. Have Multiple Payment Methods
You want to have more than one payment option. Many people use PayPal, for example, but not everyone can access PayPal. You need to offer more than just PayPal on your website. Furthermore, PayPal is often associated with smaller businesses and hobby sellers because of the ease of setup. If you want to be seen as a professional entity, you can’t offer just PayPal.
You need the ability to process credit cards too and payment merchants like Stripe make this easy. You can offer PayPal, but have other methods that allow people to pay you. By having more payment options, you’ll increase sales.
20. Be Authentic
You have to be authentic with your website. Many strategies like testimonials, customer numbers, and awards can be faked. You don’t want to mislead your customers as people will pick up on this fact. Be authentic and provide real numbers. If you don’t have the numbers just be as open as possible about what you offer the customer.
In whatever you do, make sure you’re authentic as this will boost credibility with clients and bring new customers to your business.
A buyer has to be able to trust you or they aren’t going to buy from you. Put the strategies listed above to good use with any Drupal site that you build. If you do this, you’ll build your credibility. You also want to ensure that you don’t do too much to enhance your credibility. You can overdo it, which will look weird too. You want to use these strategies in a subtle way.
Credibility will help to boost your conversion and bring you the sales that you’re looking for online. Being more credible can impact your site tremendously if you’ve never thought much about it before.