8 Proven Tips to Build and Establish Website Credibility
To win the trust of your customers and maintain this, you’ll need to establish website credibility. If you’re wondering how to go about this, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this post, we’ll provide you with eight tactics to help you build and establish long-term website credibility.
What is Website Credibility?
Before we dive into the advice, let’s take a step back. Credibility is a very generic and widely used term. But what does it actually mean in the context of your website?
Website credibility is all about proving to customers that you’re safe and trustworthy, and that your content is valuable and reliable. It’s an essential part of making a great first impression, maintaining a high level of experience throughout the customer lifecycle, and, thereby, generating more leads, selling more products, and attracting more site visitors.
Remember websites are, more often than not, a customer’s first point of contact with your brand. Every business must earn the trust of its customers by delivering the goods. So, next, it’s time to think about what it is that actually makes a website credible.
The Core Pillars of Website Credibility
There are three overarching factors that make a website a credible source. These are- design and performance, transparency and authenticity, and, finally, social proof and security. Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail below.
Great Design & Performance
The first pillar of website credibility is excellent design and performance. The first things visitors to your website are going to notice are your site’s general usability, navigability, and aesthetics. So make sure that your website looks clean and functions optimally.
Check your web pages’ exit rate and bounce rate to determine which of these need improving.
Luckily it’s super easy to create an amazing website today with the help of web-building tools that provide customizable themes requiring no coding skill whatsoever.
It’s crucial your site and apps offer full functionality and usability worldwide. To ensure this, you should consider bringing a localization tester on board. This testing process helps you guarantee that your site is properly adapted for the cultural, linguistic, and functional requirements of end users globally. This is particularly useful if your business offers products or services that are targeted regionally.
No dragging page load times allowed. Ensure content is relevant, provide an efficient search function, and ensure that your navigation bar makes it easy for visitors to find the information they’re looking for the first time around. Nobody wants to be doing detective work on your website.
Transparency & Authenticity
The second pillar of website credibility is transparency and authenticity. All this really means is that you need to be upfront with your customers about the details of your brand and offering. Honesty is key. Mislead your customers once, and you’ll likely lose them forever. It’s okay to sell your brand’s best points but be careful not to create false impressions.
When customers do convert, make sure they’re not hit with any hidden costs and ensure that your contact information is available for them to get hold of you easily with any queries or issues.
Social Proof & Security
The third pillar of website credibility is social proof and security. Social proof is a term used to describe peer influence. In other words, if you can demonstrate to prospects that their peers love your product, they’ll be far more likely to trust your brand. Examples of social proof include customer reviews, testimonials, and expert approvals.
The Importance to Establish Website Credibility
Establishing Website credibility is what reassures site visitors they can trust you to deliver useful, informative, accurate, and trustworthy content, products, and services. In other words, web credibility helps to convince prospects that you are who you say you are.
Once you establish website credibility, customers will think more positively about your brand and feel confident to use your site, invest in your products, and trust the information delivered on your platform and managed by your platform administrator.
When trust has been established, your prospects will be more likely to register their personal information (e.g., via an emailing list), make purchases, and return for repeat visits.
In short, credibility means increased engagement, conversions, and loyalty.
8 Tips for Building and Establishing Website Credibility
What actionable steps can you take to confirm to users that your online platforms are credible sources of information, products, and services?
Credibility can seem like a rather vague concept at first, but in actual fact, website credibility is the culmination of very straightforward, actionable steps. Below we’re going to outline eight top tips for building (and maintaining) credibility online. And for an itemized list, have a look at the graphic below:
You could have the most credible company in the world, but nobody’s going to believe it if you present yourself poorly. Try to think of web design a bit like dressing for an important interview. Your website pages will be consumed (and judged) by visitors, and the first thing that’s going to become subject to their critical eye is appearance.
So make sure that you always use high-quality photos and videos and that your messaging is clear, concise, and on-point. This goes even when drafting your initial web design proposal template Word can process. Don’t be tempted to scrimp on this simple step as a way to save on expenditure. Although it can be tempting to do so, you’ll only damage your brand’s credibility and overall returns in the long run.
Communication is key. Credibility is built on understanding and trust, so make sure that every set of eyes that views your website is able to understand exactly what you’re about from the outset. This is what indicates to searchers whether or not your company is able to meet their current needs and whether your brand aligns with their values.
It’s essential to strike the right balance between clarity and information overload. You don’t have to cram every single detail about your business down your customer’s throat on your landing page. Clarity doesn’t require long lists of services. Instead, opt for a strong value proposition and simple messaging.
Now, back to that all-important social proof. When it comes to reassuring customers of your credibility, this one is a must. One of the best ways to validate your brand is to get somebody else to do it. Customers trust external sources of authentication far more than self-serving marketing narratives.
Making customer testimonials available for searchers to read on your website and social platforms is a great way to boost confidence. Other types of social proof include accreditations from industry experts, referral schemes, and third-party research studies.
Equip Yourself with Trust Seals
Have you noticed that on some web pages, companies display badges? These badges (sometimes known as trust badges or seals) are from independent and trustworthy authorities and act as endorsements for the reputability, validity, and credibility of your brand. These accreditations can be displayed on your landing page in the form of a simple logo or “badge” to give customers immediate peace of mind.
Establish Site Security
Much like trust badges, security and business leadership training certificates are another way to reassure prospects that your business is certified, compliant, safe, and reputable. Aligning your brand with compliance authorities and reputable security bodies means that prospects know that their data will be kept safe.
Make sure that your website is accredited with an SSL certificate. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and encrypts all information that flows between browsers and servers. Furthermore, websites with higher-ranking SSL certificates also tend to rank higher in search engines. It’s a win-win all around.
Put a Face to the Name
These days we’re used to online interactions, but it’s still important to put a face to the name. Even if your business doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar storefront, your customers will still trust you more if you provide them with a profile (a face, so to speak). Customers want to know the people behind a brand.
For small businesses and freelancers, web presence is imperative. Consider working on your “About Me” page. For larger organizations, even if you’re not featuring one person, in particular, ensure that you highlight some key members of the management team, along with some information about their roles. Whatever you do, just don’t be another faceless corporation.
Always be Consistent
Providing high-quality, reliable content consistently will equip you with the credibility you’re after in the long term.
The best way to do this is to post regular blogs full of valuable and engaging information and to pay attention to your email marketing and social media content.
Be Responsive & Engage
Don’t leave customers waiting for responses to their emails or live-chat questions. This is a sure-fire way to tarnish your customer relationships.
Failing to respond tells customers that their needs are not important or valued. By contrast, prompt, personalized, and polite interaction with customers will boost your reputation almost instantaneously and might ultimately lead to customer referrals, singing your praises.
Today, most businesses can benefit from hybrid cloud migration, from which you can provide better support for your remote workforce, which would naturally lead to increased responsiveness when dealing with customers’ concerns. This means you’ll be able to interact with customers from anywhere on any device. So no more missed calls.
Boost Your Credibility Today!
Establishing website credibility is a today, not a tomorrow task. Without credibility, no customer is going to want to engage with and buy into your business. Remember, credibility is built on a foundation of quality, clarity, and proof. So, go out there and show your prospects what you’re all about!
Director of Demand Generation
Yauhen is the Director of Demand Generation at PandaDoc. He’s been a marketer for 10+ years, and for the last five years, he’s been entirely focused on the electronic signature, proposal, and document management markets. Yauhen has experience speaking at niche conferences where he enjoys sharing his expertise with other curious marketers. And in his spare time, he is an avid fisherman and takes nearly 20 fishing trips every year.