Do you remember your first website? I wish I had a screen shot of mine. It was set up in GeoCities and it was an unholy mess in bright yellow and orange, with a hint of red, if my memory serves me correctly. Websites looked a whole lot different way back then… Don’t believe me? This is a screenshot of Marie Forleo’s site in 2001.
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Fast forward a few years to 2006 and I had a really lovely Flash website in orange and silver, with sliding doors that opened and closed when you changed pages. They even made swishing sounds as they opened and closed. I had lots of traffic, or what I thought was a lot of traffic and all the visitors loved playing with those sliding doors.
Marie Forleo has moved on. In 2006 she had her photo and audio on her website, and it has orange. Ah, the rest of the world has caught up with me!
Of course no one ever called us of course, we didn’t have our phone number on the site and when we finally got around to adding it we put it at the bottom of the page because we didn’t want people to think they had to ring us right away… Did I mention I have a business degree? No? Good, because you wouldn’t think it from the downright ridiculous things we had (or didn’t have) on our website.
In fact, we didn’t have very much on our early websites that boosted credibility at all!
1. You don’t need to spend a million, but a professional logo and website are a big credibility booster.
2. Always include an “About Us” page on your website. People want to know who they are doing business with.
3. Share any relevant education and awards you’ve received that are relevant to your work. You worked hard, so shout it out.
5. Use a secure server for your shopping cart. This will avoid any alerts from popping up on a customer’s antivirus program.
6. Include your full mailing address on your website and avoid a P.O. box. Services like Mailboxes Etc. can provide you with a street address. This helps with location marketing and enabling local customers to find you better.
7. Include a phone number on your website, preferably at the top of the page unless you prefer to be contacted in other ways.
8. Respond to public inquiries. It’s shocking how many website owners don’t bother to answer their email.
9. Respond to customer inquiries even faster. These people are your bread and butter, so treat them like gold.
10. Join relevant organizations and display your participation. For example, Better Business Bureau in the US or FSB in the UK.Other organization logos on your website can boost your credibility.
11. Consider date stamping all your content. While leaving the date off evergreen content makes sense, when people plan to reference your content, they want to be able to see how current up to date it is.
12. If you update your content frequently, have a stamp that indicates the last date your content was updated. Doing so helps identify you as a current source of information.
13. Keep your copyright statement up to date with the current date. There’s nothing worse than seeing “Copyright 2004” in 2018!
14. Use your real photo on your website and in your business social media profiles. Hiding behind cute avatars does not boost your credibility.
15. Reduce spam complaints and use a confirmed opt-in (a.k.a “double opt-in”) process for your mailing lists.
16. If you reference other content to create your own content, always state your sources. It’s common sense and courtesy.
17. Readily collect and publish testimonials on your website. Detailed testimonials with real names and photos or videos are best
Of course this is a quick list of just 17 ways to boost your website’s credibility, what would you add?
Kevin Arrow is the CEO of the Online Visibility Academy where ethical entrepreneurs can train in digital marketing skills
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