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When it comes to online presence and converting web traffic into leads or sales, website credibility is of utmost importance. The amount of information and number of options out there – many of which are bad – is staggering. People are more likely to be skeptical off the bat rather than immediately trusting you or your brand.

But if you can establish credibility, people will feel safe and trust you. That means more sales, more leads, more conversions.

So, why is website credibility important?

It seems a bit self-explanatory, doesn’t it? Plain and simple, if customers don’t feel like they can trust you, they won’t buy your product or service. Your website often acts as a first touchpoint for potential customers. As such, it’s a major opportunity to make or break your credibility with any prospective customers.

Often, you have less than 10 seconds to stand up to the initial psychological credibility judgement. In fact, studies have shown that consumers will judge the credibility of your business within 7 seconds based simply on the visual design. So good web design, plus a number of other credibility-building factors, are crucial to keeping visitors on your site long enough to even give you a real chance. What are those factors? Let’s discuss a few.

How to increase website credibility

There are a number of basic factors that when put together can optimize the credibility of your website. Before we touch on those, it’s worth mentioning that we’re all about honesty. We hope you are too. That means building the credibility of your website and business on real and true information. There are manipulative companies and people out there in the world acting off false credibility – don’t be that guy. Okay, with the ethics plug out of the way, let’s get to it.

Clean, Modern Web Design That’s Easy to Use

A Stanford study shows that almost half of people (46%) consider design to be the biggest factor in a website’s credibility. Right behind that at the top of the list are topics surrounding information architecture. So, basically, the way your site looks and its layout/organization.

To look professional today, you must to move out of the dinosaur age of websites and into responsive web design trends. Clean, modern design that works on any device will make consumers immediately take you more seriously. On top of that, it should be very easy to navigate around the site and find what you need. There should be no barrier for consumers to understand the content.

Accessibility & Good Customer Service

Whether its you directly, your sales team, customer service… your business should be readily accessible. This means phone numbers and/or email addresses in an easy to find place. Preferably, on every page.

If people have to go out of their way to figure out how to get in touch with you, it immediately makes you seem less real. If a prospect can’t get in touch with anyone, how can they begin to trust whoever is on the other side?

And when they do get in touch, be timely and personable. This goes without saying. Nothing will clip credibility faster than a bad personal interaction.

Privacy & Personal Information

First of all, provide at least a basic privacy policy that’s easy to find. Second, don’t require a bunch of unnecessary information. Ask them to make an account too early? Bounce. Require personal information that isn’t necessary for what they’re looking to do? Again, bounce.

Ultimately, avoid anything that could create a trust barrier. If you have to ask for any personal information or require a signup, make sure you do so at a time that allows clear understanding of why you need it.

The biggest point here is you want people to feel safe when they’re on your website. If they feel safe on your website, that’s a first step towards them feeling comfortable reaching out. And that’s another step towards a sale.

Helpful, Informative Content With Sources

Websites that are designed to simply sell as much as possible quickly beg skepticism. Instead, by providing quality, useful content you can build a high level of trust with website visitors. Just like with marketing and sales, focus on providing great value for free at first to develop trust and build a relationship with your potential buyers. Then, when they reach a buying point, you’ll be at the top of the list.

Another important point here is sourcing. If you’re providing information of high value, it helps greatly to back it up with sources. This shows that you’re not just making stuff up, but rather are well-informed from other credible sources. Credibility begets credibility – in other words, you’ll appear credible if you cite credible sources.

Testimonials, Reviews & Certifications

One of the most surefire ways to build credibility is by showcasing your successes. Let past clients speak to your value. Show off awards and other forms of recognition you’ve received or earned.

When prospects see and read about the great work you’ve done for others, they’ll immediately feel more secure.

Case Studies & Portfolio

Building off the previous point, utilize past successes. This time, I’m referring to actual case studies or a portfolio that shows off the actual work that you did. Rather than just recognition or kind words, this gives hard proof to prospects that you’re great at what you do.

When combined with great reviews or testimonials, people will see that you have skills and also aren’t a total drag to work with. That’s a serious credibility boost.

Minimal Advertising & Promotional Content

Similar in nature to providing quality, useful content. Don’t bombard the user with attempts to sell (or, worse, loads of 3rd party ads for click income). This can quickly feel scammy and also provides a bad user experience. Talk about a rising bounce rate!

Most people these days have some kind of promotional content. Pop-ups, chat bots… so on. If you’re going to utilize such techniques, just do it tastefully. Remember that the goal is to provide value, build trust and solve problems.

Readability of Content

Ever been to a website and the grammar was all messed up? I bet it turned you off pretty quick. Same goes with bad quality writing or content that’s just hard to read for whatever reason. This includes typeface choice, font sizing, grammar, and more. If you’re not a writer yourself, it might be best to simply hire a copywriter, or at least someone to proofread and edit.

Low readability and low-quality content will look unprofessional and lazy. Not to mention to impact it has on SEO, as high-quality content is now a major factor in search rankings.

Conclusion

There are more factors that play into overall website credibility. But, they don’t all apply to every type and size of business. So with that said, this is a great place to start. If you optimize based on these criteria you’ll be in a great position to build trust and grow conversions.

Have questions or want one-on-one help with your website? We ethically employ all these criteria in our approach to responsive web design and we’d love to help you level up your digital presence. Get in touch today to chat about your website credibility.

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