Do you know that one element you need to convert more website visitors into paying customers is credibility? Yes, that is right. Potential customers that do not trust you will not buy from you.

Your website is the central online hub, your business’s digital portrayal, and often the first stop for potential customers. The first question that visitors have when they land on your website is whether they can trust you.

Your website provides insights to both humans and search engines into:

  • How you run your business
  • Its trustworthiness
  • Your primary value proposition

Search engines use algorithms that assess and rate your level of credibility. Higher levels of credibility result in better SEO rankings.

For example, Google judges your site’s credibility by evaluating online feedback from public sources, such as clients, prospects, and users.

It gets this information from three primary online resources:

  • Google properties such as YouTube and Google My Business
  • Your web pages and other sites you control, such as review sites and social media accounts.
  • Other trustworthy, independent, and authoritative websites

Even if your company is credible, it does not necessarily mean that your website conveys it. Consider the factors below to make your site more credible to your visitors.

Your Domain Name

Think of domain names as shifting billboard advertising to a keyboard. Acquiring a new or the best domain name for your brand should be a focal point of your marketing strategy.

Your domain name helps visitors determine your credibility by:

  • How it looks
  • Its length
  • Whether it represents what your business does

A great domain name is crucial for a successful online presence. Think of your website as your virtual brick and mortar storefront and your domain as the virtual real estate it sits on.

For this reason, many brands are purchasing a premium domain (as opposed to speculating on unknown factors with a brand-new domain) to quickly build trust and credibility for their customers.

Using the same real estate analogy, premium domains are akin to water-front property. Such property is exclusive, has limited availability, and is in high demand.

They usually contain keywords with a high search volume, and often someone else owns them. Premium domains also:

  • Offer the potential of becoming a popular website address.
  • Provide strong branding opportunities
  • Are generally short, memorable, easy-to-spell, and are often paired with the most popular .com domain extension
  • Usually contain words that have a high search volume.

Although premium domains generally cost more than regular domains, they are investment dollars spent wisely. They are valuable in building credibility, driving traffic to your website, and speeding up your online success.

Social Proof

Social proof is defined as the process by which consumers look at others’ opinions, such as influencers, friends, and family, before making important decisions.

Because people tend to believe the opinions of those they trust, social proof has become a powerful marketing tool.

To provide social proof and credibility to your website, be sure to include links to your social media profiles, client testimonials, and product reviews.

Be sure to utilize social proof as a critical component of your website marketing strategy to give more credence to your brand messaging and advertising.

Social proof reinforces the reliability of claims made in advertising and can make a businesses marketing message more believable.

Add the Human Touch with Clear Contact Information

Your website should always include an “About Us” section to let your visitors know who you are, what your experience is, and anything else you deem relevant to share.

Including staff photos with bios adds a human touch that builds credibility and puts real faces behind your brand. Place your contact information where customers can easily find it without having to search for it or scroll around too much.

Ideally, let customers know how to reach you by phone, email, live chat, or Skype in your website’s header. You can also include the same information in the footer or on a contact page.

Credibility

Keep it Updated

Have you ever landed on a website that you can tell has not been updated in years? Some tell-tale signs of outdated sites include a copyright date that is not current, no recent blog posts, and an outdated design.

Not only will your website visitors not feel comfortable in your lack of credibility, but they might also even think you have gone out of business.

Refresh your content annually, update your blog often, and be sure your copyright date in your website’s footer is current to build credibility.

A User-Friendly Website Design

Although we have been taught not to judge a book by its cover, online users do not follow that golden rule.

Visitors to your website make their first impression within a few seconds of landing on it. And, since a study found that  94% of negative feedback about websites has to do with their design, it makes sense to focus on yours.

The look and feel of your site are the primary drivers of first impressions—visual appeal matters. Make your website design appealing to visitors so they will stay and see what you have to offer.

If your website visitors must jump through hoops to find what they are looking for, your navigation is too complicated.

They will get frustrated and leave, and your business will suffer the loss of a potential customer. Alternatively, when potential customers can quickly find exactly what they want, your site went up a notch in the trust and credibility department.

Include Valuable Resources

Including well-written and relevant eBooks and white papers on your website helps establish your brand as an authority in your niche and adds credibility.

These types of resources show your potential customers that are an expert in your field. They also provide the information your target market can use to make their lives easier.

Many companies choose to use their white papers and eBooks as lead magnets for lead generation. Interested site visitors give you their contact information in exchange for your valuable resources.

They are then put into your sales funnel, where you follow up with a sequence of emails to increase your credibility even more.

Keep it updated

Are You Ready to Boost Your Website’s Credibility?

Making sure your website:

  • Sits on a great domain name
  • Has updated content
  • Shows the human side of your brand
  • Includes easy-to-find contact information and social proof
  • Offers valuable information to your visitors

Remember that your goal is to make it clear to potential customers and search engines that they can trust your business.

Julie Weishaar

Visual Digital Marketing Specialist

Julie works to grow small businesses, increasing their online visibility by leveraging the latest in internet and video technologies. She specializes in creative camera-less animated video production, custom images, content writing, and SlideShare presentations. Julie also manages HubSpot CRM, blog management, email marketing, marketing automation, and social media for her clients.