As content marketing increasingly becomes the standard avenue for building trust and gaining credibility with customers, your website is going to have to keep up with the trend. Heavy-handed and ‘salesy’ strategies that may have worked a few years ago in order to get email opt-ins or conversions just aren’t going to cut it anymore.
Consumers are looking for someone they can trust – period. And trust isn’t something you can fake.
So for business owners and marketers looking to succeed in this age of inbound marketing, having a website that conveys trustworthiness, credibility and authenticity is going to be paramount.
So how do you do this? How do you make sure your website stand out among less credible resources online?
5 Ways to Increase Your Website Credibility
1) Show Who’s Behind Your Business
Let’s face it, your business’s biggest asset is you. Don’t hide behind your logo or business name. Let your website visitors know there are real people behind your business and/or brand.
You can do this in a variety of ways, including:
Prominently display your contact information (refrain from using general email addresses like email@example.com when possible).
Display photos of your business and location (if you have a brick and mortar storefront, public office space, etc.).
Profile employees (if you’re more than a “one man band” in business).
2) Show Who’s Writing Your Content
This is, I believe, going to be a make it or break it proposition for businesses in the content marketing age.
Don’t assume that your audience demands your personal involvement in all areas of your content marketing such as emails, blog posts and social media updates. Most will understand that you simply don’t have time to do it all.
If you have staff to perform these functions for you, be transparent by having them include their names and credentials.
3) Show That Others Like You
Offering social proof on your website is a not-so-subtle way of saying, ‘Hey, others like me, why don’t you?’ Help alleviate fears your website visitors may have about connecting with you by showing that others have done it before.
You can include social proof on your site by using social media counters, showing the number of email subscribers you have or by displaying verifiable testimonials.
4) Show That Your Content is Current
There are obviously some sites and types of content that are, by their very nature, timely and up-to-date (think news sites, travel booking sites, shopping sites, etc.). But if it’s not immediately obvious that your content is fresh and timely, you may be losing credibility without even realizing it.
Make sure your blog posts are dated, and that any ‘newsy’ type content is clearly labeled as current. Of course, if you’re not regularly updating your website, this is going to hurt your credibility, so be aware of this up front.
5) Be Clear About Your Biases
Whether you have an eCommerce site, a content-based site or a site that simply represents your online and/or brick and mortar business, be clear and transparent about the purpose of your site and any potential conflicts of interest that could arise.
For instance, if the ultimate goal of your website is to sell your web design services, don’t masquerade your site as something else. Be up front about what you do, why you’re doing it and if or how your content may be affected.
In a time where content needs to be reliable and authentic in order to stand out from the pack, content marketers are going to need to be diligent about conveying this credibility to their website visitors.
By following the general rule of being clear and transparent about all aspects of your site and business, you’ll be well on your way to gaining the trust and respect of your website visitors both now, and in the future.
What tactics do you use to establish trust and increase your website credibility?
Suspiscious Photo via Shutterstock