Your online website is the digital portrayal of your business and there are a few specifics things that one can do in order to improve your company website credibility.
Website viewers browse 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 e-commerce 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 14 factors that immensely influence and improve your company website credibility.
1. Search Engines’ Perception of your Website
Search engines, mainly Google, employ algorithms and bots to assess the performance of your website, and then 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.
2. Social Proof
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.
And become active. Just having a social media page is not enough. Follow other influencers in your niche and engage with their content. By showing the public that you are involved with other influences you’ll start to gain a larger audience.
However, there is a proper etiquette for each channel. You don’t want to overdo certain verticles. For example, you can and should tweet a lot more than you post on Facebook.
3. 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.
Two great sources are LinkedIn and TrustPilot. The first is geared more towards personal brands. And the second is a third party verification tool. What’s great about Trustpilot, is the widgets that are available to use.
They can easily be embedded onto your site, styled, and customized to show your favorite reviews. Here is an example of what the widget looks like.
Many of my clients use TrustPilot, and they’ve received a great response since implementing it.
4. Website Adverts
Many blogging websites, including this one, 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 can 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, but if done correctly, you can still benefit from the extra revenue, and not take anything away from your main goal.
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.
For us, we only run ads on our articles, and even then, they are subtle and do not draw away much attention from the core content.
5. An Active Blog
This may be one of the best ways to improve your company website credibility If you are starting a 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Great Web Design
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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. Detailed Product Information
If you run an e-commerce 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.
12. 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.
13. Team Bios with Photos and Social Media
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.
14. 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.