By Prasad Thammineni
A web site is a must have for any small business in todays digital age but to stand out among the crowd you need to build credibility. That is, you need to come across as a company that can be trusted to do business with. When your website visitors trust you, you are more likely to convert those visitors into paying customers. Here are 20 tips that have worked for our company and I believe that will work for you as well:
1. Find a Good Name
The company name is usually the first impression the customer gets of your business. If youre going to plaster it all over the internet, be sure the name is easy to remember, spell, and more importantly is relevant to the products or service you are selling.
2. Have a professional looking website
Tasteful simplicity is usually the way to go. Something too flashy or sales-oriented will drive customers away while an attractive but straightforward layout will denote professionalism. Also make sure you have your own domain name (www.yourcompanyname.com) and a blog that links from the site. Try Weebly for easy, tasteful website building.
3. Showcase Press Coverage
Press coverage is a valuable badge of credibility. In the physical world we see restaurants displaying positive reviews on the door; why not do the same online?
Keeping a well-maintained blog is simply the standard these days. Its an opportunity for you to engage customers, as well as to demonstrate your vast knowledge of the industry. As stated previously, match the blog to your site for a unified brand feel.
5. User Testimonials
Testimonials go a long way in reassuring visitors that you indeed have happy customers. Reserve a prominent place on your site for users to share their praises, and include pictures to prove these are real people.
6. Find a logo
Similar to your name, a logo can define your business as professional and established. Try to come up with a clean, tasteful stylization of a common word or image relevant to your business. If you need some help, you can consult Logoworks and they will come up with one for you.
7. Video Content
When it comes to web content, eyeballs tend to gravitate toward pictures and videos. Produced videos of reasonable length will grab the attention of browsers, and establish further your web credibility. For help producing a professional looking business video visit Pixability.
8. Social Media
Also a new standard, sites like Twitter and Facebook are now integral to a respectable web-presence. Build out your own social media pages, engage the community, and include link buttons on your main site.
9. A Friendly About Page
Often overlooked, your sites about page is the first stop for many internet-goers. Speak in a relatable voice about what your company does, and include pictures and employee bios for personality.
10. No Errors
If your site is riddled with typos and broken links, whos to say your product isnt flawed as well? Attention to detail is the mark of a professional business.
11. Mention Company News
Customers will always prefer an active company to a stagnant one, and sharing company news and updates is a great way to establish yourself as the former.
12. Update Content Often
Changing the content of your site (even a little) shows that there is a living company behind the webpage, a fact vital to your credibility.
13. Establish yourself as an authority
This means engaging in the community surrounding your industry and showing you know your stuff. Leaving informed comments on relevant articles and forums will help you and your company be known as a credible resource and business.
14. Provide Helpful Information
By offering genuine, unbiased information relevant to your industry you show both that you are knowledgeable in your field, and also that you arent just trying to sell something.
15. SEO Optimize
Customers obviously need to find you , but Google and the like are also important to your web credibility. If people have a hard time finding you on major search-engines, they assume something is wrong.
16. Make Contact Easy
Phone numbers, email, address, and any other forms of contact should be made painfully obvious. Showing customers that youre open to talk improves trust and professionalism. Your own 800 number is also a mark of professionalism, and can be easily set up with Grasshopper.
17. Show Affiliations with Credible Sites
If you are somehow associates with or work alongside sites that have already established credibility, let that be known. Conversely, do not link to or associate with less than credible ones.
Awards act as a shiny badge of credibility that customers can take comfort in. If there are any industry or other awards your company has won recently, be sure its clear on your site, and if not, enter to win some.
19. No Gimmicky Interruptional Advertising!
Honesty is the best policy, and gone are the days that anyone actually fell for the youre the 5,000th visitor! trick. If anything flashes or pops up on your site, you can bet you arent going to be taken seriously.
20. Highlight Experts on Your Team
If there is anyone on your team that would qualify as an expert, find a way to include this on your site. It gives customers that personal feel, and makes them feel that they are in good hands.
As you can see, building web credibility takes a lot of work and patience, and that is precisely why you should do it. Your competition may not be up to the challenge leaving you standing above the crowd.
What things do you look for when you are visiting a potential vendors website? How do you try to help your website visitors feel confident in your company?