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How to Improve Website Credibility
Web credibility has become a very important topic today. The fact that you have a site should not make you rest on your laurels. In these times, where facts are certainly more important than promises; if you have an online business, one of the most important matters that you should give due consideration is online credibility:
- you have to persuade web visitors that there is truly something worth wild behind a good-looking, usable website
- you have to convince the visitors that the image you try to promote is trustful and that you intend to keep your promises advertised on the internet.
Generally speaking, credibility results from evaluating multiple dimensions simultaneously; most of researchers identify "trustworthiness" and "expertise" as the two main components of credibility. At the same time, it's important to differentiate between trust, which is related more to "dependability" and credibility, which is connected to the idea of "believability".
Why is credibility important?
Credibility is essential in order to make people: register, click on your ads, download software, resort to your services and so on. Therefore, website credibility can be identified to some extent with the idea of a successful business. Credibility is vital in order to make users return to your page.
On the other hand, when talking about this matter, it's worth mentioning that credibility is quite a general term comprising many factors like: usability, accessibility, security, search engine ranking etc.
Very few people take credibility for a specialized issue to deal with; they concentrate their attention rather on the above mentioned factors, most of the time resulting in a failure to complete all the requirements for a credible website.
43 steps to a credible website
Here are some of the most common methods employed by web users in order to make their site more believable; most of them are based on the Stanford University research. What you should notice is the fact that these steps will not necessarily improve your sales, but will aid you in creating a respectful image in eyes of the website visitors.
1. Publish photos of real people (the team you are working with) on your website!
This action has two beneficial implications on your business: on the one side, the team you are working with will have a growing self-respect, and on the other side, visitors will think higher of your site. Consequently, the prospect of new clients will also be higher.
2. Give your contact details online!
Be sure to introduce in a different section of your website the physical address of your company and also the telephone number; the existence of a real organization (or at least the impression) behind a website is essential.
3. Provide the clients with quick, flexible answers to their needs.
Every client needs to be shown respect and care. Make sure you provide them with individual, flexible treatments (auto responders are sometimes annoying). Think there wouldn't be any business, any financial gain on your part but for the clients. In order to have better results in your business, it is highly advisable to be very attentive and respond promptly to their needs.
4. Make your site useful to visitors!
If you have a business and if you have a new website, it can be quite difficult to get customers. A tip that you could consider is the fact that websites have to provide visitors with information they need. So, try not only to promote the product or services you offer, but also give helpful hints on various matters (for instance having a section of articles or of interviews might be a good point to start).
5. Publish information that can be easily verified
Indicating resources or references leading to trustful websites on your web page is certain to persuade clients of your "good intentions" and your position on the market; not only will you prove your "synthetic", and analytical sense, but you will also show interest for placing information in contexts.
6. Update your site on a regular basis
New information always attracts new visitors. Sometimes, adding some indicators (icons, special signs) with the inscription "new" can be a good idea for drawing attention.
7. Design your site in a professional (first and foremost) and aesthetical (second) way
A good website layout is always indicative of a good structural organization. The benefits that are worth considering are: site usability and web credibility. Notice that a beautiful graphic design will not save a poorly functioning site.
8. Make sure to put your contact details at hand
Sometimes, placing a link with you contact details on top of your website might provide an extra of credibility; web users will spot this information easier.
9. Promote your and other products cautiously!
Most of the time, over usage of ads and promoting materials are not hints of a trustful, reliable website. Moreover, make sure web users are able to differentiate between ads and content!
10. Errors of all types must be avoided
Lack of errors is a sign of trustfulness; researches showed that spelling errors on web sites have a devastating effect on business in general.
11. Convince satisfied customer to give you a testimonial
Posting a favorable citation of one of your satisfied customers on your site implies a huge benefit as far as credibility is concerned. To increase the credibility add the full name, website and company of the client, their picture if possible or even better, a video material.
12. Paraphrase brilliant minds
It is not very important to quote historical personalities; sometimes paraphrasing someone in your field of activity might be even more useful in creating a credible image.
13. Invite guests on your site
Having a personality invited to write for your website might be an intelligent step to follow; the process is similar to a transfer of authority - the trust and the notoriety that that certain person has, is given up to you.
14. Answer as many emails as you can
As mentioned before, this action is an indicative of your preoccupation for people. Conversely, failure not to do so might result in a loss of the entire image you have so much fought for, showing infatuation and ignorance.
15. Demonstrate your philanthropy
Charity is the most important aspect that people in general appreciate. If you take into account this problem, more people will get to know you; more will be eager to get in touch with you. Still, making too much fuss about your good deeds is not advisable due again to the prospect that people might regard you as conceited.
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