The internet can be a pretty scammy place. Many “online businesses” are just there to dupe people with alluring offers. Once visitors fall for the trap, the so-called “business” simply ghosts them, leaving them increasingly wary of conducting future transactions over the internet.
These immoral websites cast a bad light on legitimate business websites such as yours, making it difficult to prove that your online business is indeed genuine.
You’re likely aware of this trend, and so it almost goes without saying that your business website has an “About Us” page that puts a face to the name. It conveys your brand story and introduces your team members thereby making your business more “human.” You also have various ways for a website visitor to contact you, such as email addresses, telephone numbers, a contact form, and maybe even a live chat/chatbot.
Website Credibility Checklist
If you wish to make your website truly trustworthy, you cannot overlook the importance of the following five elements that contribute to your business’s credibility big time. If you are able to check all of them off your checklist for making your website credible, you are well on your way to success.
First and foremost, if you haven’t already, install an SSL certificate to secure the connection between your hosting server and your visitor’s web browser.
Once the SSL certificate is in place, internet browsers will show a padlock sign next to your website address, which implies that all the information exchanged by the visitor on your site is safe.
In addition to boosting your website’s trustworthiness, an SSL certificate will also influence your search engine rankings and conversion rates. Without it, your visitors’ browsers will indicate your website is “not secure” which simply doesn’t look convincing.
If the content on your website, such as blog posts, often links out to unreliable sources or seemingly spammy websites, it won’t do your own credibility any good. Because even if the link is a “nofollow” link, to some extent, you are vouching for that website.
And the last thing you want as a business is to vouch for a questionable website, as it reflects badly on your own site. So, see to it that each and every external link on your website is pointing to an authentic source or site.
If you wish to have a trustworthy website, you can’t afford to have grammatical inaccuracies plaguing your content. To many entrepreneurs, grammar seems , but make no mistake, even honest spelling mistakes have a big impact on your site’s credibility.
Poor grammar and frequent typos may distract visitors from focusing on the meat of the matter. It suggests unprofessionalism and sloppiness in business practices, which would most likely put off your visitors and prospective clients. Thus, make sure every piece of content and copy on your website is grammatically impeccable.
Your business’s physical premises must be readily accessible to people with disabilities (such as wheelchair-bound). Likewise, your business website should be equally accessible to everyone so that nobody experiences any disability-related biases, as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
So, testing your website’s accessibility is critical as not only would it expand your potential audience base, but protect you from costly ADA lawsuits by disabled individuals and advocacy groups.
An accessibility statement is, in essence, a separate page on your website that clearly states your business’s commitment to website accessibility and achieving ADA compliance. In particular, it declares your business’s target level of accessibility (A, AA, or AAA) and the measures you’re taking to attain ADA compliance.
Consequently, an accessibility statement is crucial for any business website and many visitors will want to check out your statement as an indication of whether you care about equal access or not. This, in turn, affects your business’s credibility too.
By far the most off-putting thing you can have on your website that hurts your credibility is ads. You may think that ads can serve as a modest source of extra monthly revenue once your website starts gaining traction. This may be true, but nobody, literally not one soul, finds advertisements agreeable.
Not just native ads or display ads, but even sponsored content (such as paid guest posts) is frowned upon by the more savvy members of your audience. Your best bet would be to stay clear from any form of paid advertisement on your business website.
If you want to have a business website that instantly establishes a sense of trust in the visitor’s mind, you must incorporate all these elements at once.
Sure, it might take some investment of time and money, but most of these activities are one-time changes that extend your website’s credibility for the rest of its life. Others are just the best practices that you need to keep in mind in your website’s day-to-day operations. Once done, rest assured, visitors won’t doubt your website’s authenticity for years to come.
About The Author:
Lucy Manole is a creative content writer and strategist at Right Mix Marketing, SEO-focused link building agency. She specializes in writing about digital marketing, technology, entrepreneurship, and education. When she is not writing or editing, she spends time reading books, cooking and traveling. You can connect with her on Twitter at @RightMixMktg
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