When it comes to your business, regardless of the age or size of operation, you absolutely must have a website. Without one, you lack credibility, which makes you appear untrustworthy and unsafe because you are an unknown entity in the business world. As a result, you may have to spend more time on persuading customers to trust you instead of devoting that time to making sales, bringing in more traffic, and generating qualified leads.
Not only is credibility essential to building trust with your customers, but it helps you develop long-lasting relationships that bring about new opportunities. Let’s take a look at the four types of credibility, what factors influence them, and what benefits credibility brings to your business.
It is important to distinguish the different types of credibility channels, as this will help you decide on what factors you want to implement with your website. Certain types of credibility will bring about different perspectives and viewpoints about your business, so it’s important to really hone in on these.
1. Earned Credibility. This comes from business customers who have a positive experience with your website. This can include finding helpful information, receiving expert advice, or enjoying exceptional customer service. These things create value and trust.
2. Reputed Credibility. This comes in the form of referrals or testimonials from third parties such as friends, co-workers, clients, customers, and family members. What you want here is unbiased reviews that are positive in nature and are posted on your website.
3. Presumed Credibility. This is based around how familiar & comfortable customers feel about your business and is driven by their assumptions about you. It can be influenced by things like interviews, guest posts, and Youtube advertisements.
4. Surface Credibility. With surface credibility, it comes from a subjective opinion that a customer forms about your website. They may feel like the design is unprofessional, that the navigation is confusing, or that you have fantastic content.
Once you know about and understand the above credibility types, you can use them to stack the deck in your favor and influence these channels in order to get better results.
To make this easy, let’s break down what tools you can use for the 4 different types of credibility..
1. Cite your sources! By providing factual evidence to support any claims you are making, you automatically increase your trustworthiness. Plus, customers will begin to trust you more and more without needing to fact-check.
2. Don’t place requirements on customers. Do not force your customers to register their personal information before they can purchase from you or initiate a live chat with you.
3. Provide helpful FAQ sections. Rather than treating your FAQ sections as another sales page, create questions and answers that are upfront and honest.
4. Forget the jargon & buzz words. Use specific and concrete statements as these help your customers understand what you are saying without the vague messages. Don’t create more work for your customers. Only use specialized jargon for very specific niches that are targeted towards customers that use this type of language in their everyday life.
5. Update your blog consistently. Consistent content shows your customers that you are active and present in the market space. It also helps to re-engage them and bring them back to your website. The content needs to be authoritative, expert-level, and solves common pain points that you’ve identified.
1. Have testimonials, reviews, and study cases. New customers want to know what to expect when they purchase from you, contact your customer support, or generally engage with you. Testimonials help show visitors what it is like to be a customer with you. Reviews allow you to have a conversation with customers, which boot credibility and sales because it shows that you are willing to a) engage with your customer base, b) solve problems, and c) willing to invest your time.
2. Use trust seals. Those credibility banners you see at the bottom of websites that often say “something, something, verified” like “PayPal Verified” or “Accredited Business” go a long way to helping you build credibility. Why? It allows you to borrow credibility from already verified sources,
3. News stories/press. Positive media exposure will give you a massive boost. The more prestigious the news organization reporting on you, the bigger the boost.
1. Guest posts. When you write for well-known publications, not only do you reach a wider audience, but those who come over from the guest post will have heard about you before even landing on your website homepage.
2. Advertising campaigns. When ads are done right through Facebook, Youtube, Google, you build familiarity with your audience before they visit your website. When someone hears about you before discovering you, this builds credibility.
1. Brand yourself. Having an established tone of voice, color scheme, and message will anchor you with an identity. This automatically establishes credibility because customers can “see who you are” before getting to know you.
2. An organized nav bar. If your navigation menu bar for your website is organized, you are automatically more trustworthy.
3. A professional design. Just like meeting someone in-person for the first time, that first impression really matters. A customer’s first impression of your website is going to be based all on aesthetics and how they feel about it. Get a professional design done to make a lasting impression.
4. Make sure your typography is clear. You want larger reading fonts for quicker reading speeds and a legible and clear reading experience. Clarity will always win here because it makes it easier for customers to understand you.
5. Don’t have technical problems. Make sure you have no broken links, slow web pages, or technical glitches. This decreases a customer’s confidence in your business because if you cannot maintain a website, how do you maintain your products, services, or business overall?
Other areas to look at include ease of use, good on-site search options, exceptional grammar, proper contact information, high quality images and visual, and clear policies.
When you show the signals that you are trustworthy and have the expertise to provide what your website outlines (your services, goods, content), you gain a lot of power in how your customers interact with you.
With the right reputation and credibility, it can solidify you as someone to go to in your market. This kind of advantage is long-lasting because it promotes your business passively every time someone new comes along and sees your user-testimonials, reads your blog content, or clicks through on an advertisement. Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive to build a website nowadays, so establishing a web presence is virtually risk free and affordable.
If you are starting a small business you could drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions on the new website credibility. We will get back to you as soon as possible.