Steps to Build a Website with Credibility
Credibility is an attribute that we all strive for, both in our day-to-day lives and with our businesses. Trust is especially important online where we don’t have the face-to-face interaction with the visitors to our website. My intent of this article is to show you some steps to build a website with credibility.
Online, all we have to show that we are trustworthy and reliable is our website.
Establishing credibility is extremely important to building a successful brand and business online. Without it, you will struggle to bring visitors to your website and convert them into paying customers.
We live in a world that is dominated by the internet – shopping, booking tickets, ordering food and buying goods and services online. This means that as consumers we are growing much savvier online. This is particularly so if it involves parting with our hard earned cash.
It’s highly unlikely that we are just going to hand over our money to just anyone. Therefore, giving off a sense of trust is vital.
Why No One is Buying!
Your website has been around for several months now, but nobody is making any purchases or even signing up for your email list. Now you are scratching your head wondering what the problem could be that is causing your visitors from engaging with you.
There could be several reasons that people who come to your site are not engaging, but there is one very important reason that most website owners forget about. That reason is: do your visitors trust you? Do you lack credibility with your audience?
In real-world interactions, credibility and trust are spread by word of mouth. There is someone who knows the good things about you as well as the bad things. The person that you are and the value and the service that you provide earn you the reputation that you have.
In the real offline world, you could very well have a great reputation and your credibility and trust rating could be superb. However, obtaining that same level of trust is more difficult to obtain online. Instead of starting from scratch online, try to influence your offline relationships to bring trustworthiness to your online audience.
Building trust with your online audience takes time, but the tips listed below can help push your trust level upward, especially if you are just starting your online business.
Honesty is the Best Policy
Times will come when problems will arise, sometimes with a product, software, or customer service. Just like in your personal life, sometimes things happen. Don’t try to hide those issues because it will only make things worse. Hiding issues will not be beneficial to your character or your business.
Don’t underestimate the relationships you have built with your visitors and customers. They can understand that mistakes do happen and they will bounce back from your mistakes because their relationship with you was built based on your trustworthiness and credibility.
Your Word is Your Bond
Just as in your personal life, when you say you are going to do something, you should do it. If you tell your visitors you can do a particular thing for them, don’t go back on that. This will show people that your word is your bond. They will begin to see you as someone they can trust and count on.
If you won’t take the time to fix or change the perception visitors have of you and/or your online brand, why should or would your visitors believe that you can do anything that can help them? You are your own best promoter when you can walk the walk and talk the talk. Just do what you say you can do for them and visitors to your website will begin to trust you because they can see you as one who has integrity.
Be Steadfast Online and Offline
Don’t believe for one second that you can separate your character (personality) that you exhibit online from the person you are offline. You are the same person no matter if you are online or offline.
When people see you on social media partying like its 1969 every weekend, people see you as that same person when they see you on your website on any weekday morning.
The person that you are when you are offline can and will have an effect on the success you may or may not have online. You can only be the person that you are, so don’t try to mask that because your visitors will see through the pretense.
Online and offline you are one and the same person. Optimistically, we should all be people, whose personas exude these characteristics:
- Communicates well with people both verbally and written
- Be real (do not put on a mask)
If we take a look at ourselves in the mirror, hopefully with integrity we can all say we have these qualities both online and offline. If there are some who can’t do that, there is work to be done on to change how people perceive you. It’s not like we can’t do things with ourselves to improve our characters.
Establish Your Authority
As a matter of first importance, you should establish that you are an authority regarding your niche. You must know your stuff. Faking it online won’t get you far. Online networking is not the same as giving somebody a business card.
In the social domain it’s difficult to prove who you are, the place you have worked, what references you have, who your customers are, who your contacts are inside just a couple clicks. Your substance on every single social stage must shout results.
It must be evident you know your stuff. Offer credit to your sources and never take other individuals’ work as your own.
One of the first ways to give a credible and trustworthy impression is with a well-designed professional looking website. Many small businesses are continuing to underestimate the value of investing in a good design for their website. But the design is one of the first things people see when they visit your website.
If your website looks like it was thrown together in a matter of hours by your neighbor’s kid, it’s going to give the wrong impression. A professional modern design will instantly give you more credibility. Showing visitors that you have invested in your online presence and created a resourceful space is instantly going to put them at ease.
Ensuring you have a custom domain with your business name will help build trust with your website visitors. Opting for a free domain such as ‘mybusiness.something.com’ doesn’t really scream ‘I’m a professional business’ does it? For about $11 a year you can have your very own domain name.
Being seen and available on social media is an ideal way to show you are a credible business. Social media can allow you to connect with your audience on a more personal level. This can also show that you are a real person instead of a faceless, nameless robot. While you don’t need to be on every social media platform, it is a good idea to have a profile on one or two of the most popular ones.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that social media is only about you. You should be using social media networks in order to help you establish your authority of the niche and to create a relationship of trust with your social media communities.
Social media should not be used as a stage to chatter about you. This is why there are business accounts and personal accounts. Don’t use them interchangeably.
Use social media to learn more about your target audiences. If you don’t already know what they want or need, just ask them. When you take the time to come to know your audiences, the better you will come to understand their needs to enable you to better help them. Helping them will instill a sense of trust from them because of what your actions show them.
Let the Content Stand on Its Own
Be sure that you know how to create your own unique content. It is fine to share other people’s content when it provides helpful information to your audiences. But, don’t rely on others’ content alone.
The majority of the content that you share with your audiences should be your own creation. The reason being is that presenting your own unique content to your audiences will allow them to better come to know you. Knowing you better will begin the process of your audiences being able to begin to:
- Trust you
- Observe your leadership abilities
- Understand your expertise in the niche
- Build relationships with you
Writing bad content that is not helpful to your audiences is a waste of your time and your visitors’ time. It will also be detrimental to your online business. You need to write excellent content in order to get the necessary traffic and to turn potential leads into conversions in order to earn income.
Writing original content will allow the search engines to increase your website’s chances of getting increased exposure. Also, Google likes to see websites that contain a lot of quality content. Having high-quality content results in having a better website and will help your website obtain better rankings in Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Ranking high in Google’s SERP will have a successful outcome for your online business.
The purpose of your content should always be to provide answers or solutions to their problems and questions, but they also want to get those answers quickly. Therefore, use short paragraphs and get to the point quickly. This will allow your audiences to scan the information and find the important answers fast.
Writing unique content is difficult, but it becomes much easier when you are writing about something that you know about and is of interest to you.
You know that you have written a great article when years from when you first wrote it people are still viewing it and it is still being shared from one person to another and thereby, continues to bring traffic to your website.
Small online businesses, especially new ones, generally have a more difficult time developing credibility and trustworthiness from their audiences. Everything you do on your website will have an effect on how your audiences see your online business. Having or not having credibility will be the mechanism that will determine the success or lack of it for your business.
Keep this quick guide summary handy when working on your website:
A. Make your site friendly.
1. Show images of:
a. site founders
b. Other team members
d. Your office
e. Events you attend
- Tell stories.
- How your business started
- What is important to your business
- How you serve customers
- How your customers benefited from working with you
- What is new with your industry
- Make contact information clearly visible.
- Contact information should be:
- Place phone number in the header area of each page/post.
- Use a contact form for visitors to send messages to you.
- Place a physical address in the footer area of each page/post.
- List your social media addresses.
- Quick Responses
- Don’t lose business by wasting others’ time.
- Not necessary to send auto-response emails to confirm your receipt of an email.
- If someone sends you an email asking a question, don’t send a reply if you are not going to answer the question.
- Don’t be afraid to use the phone to follow up with others. A quick phone call can impress.
- Join some organizations
- Help boost your reputation
- Trade associations
- Better Business Bureau
- Chamber of Commerce in your state
- Ask your customers if they are willing to give a testimonial
- Volunteer are community events
- Provide credentials
- Provide a list of your educational degrees and Certifications
- Show what your professional experiences are
- List awards received
You can’t purchase your credibility; it has to be earned. You have to put forward a real commitment to build your credibility. Building a sense of integrity for your online business should be made a part of your business strategy because it is always developing.
Concentrating on finding answers and solutions for your audiences and giving them reliable and ongoing valuable information will all go toward helping you attain the credibility that your online business needs to be successful.
The strategies outlined in this article should definitely be implemented as some of your first steps to build a website with credibility. After all, your website is the face of your business and is the best way to create trust and credibility with your audience.
Please feel free to contact me if you need help with anything. Just make a comment below or you can always get in touch with me through wealthyaffiliate.com (here is a link to my profile).
Founder of Mom’s Trusted Affiliate