10 Website Hacks to Boost Online Credibility

As a promotional products distributor or sign shop, you’ll have done your fair share of research on how to separate yourself from your competitors. However, if all of the hard work you’ve put into building your business isn’t reflected in your sales, then it may have something to do with your online credibility.

Credibility is one of the most important aspects of your business. Being credible means people feel like they can trust you; and trust as we all know, is the foundation of any healthy relationship… The same goes for your website.

Fortunately, there are a few changes you can make to your website and online presence to help establish trust between your business and potential customers.

1.) Have a clean, crisp web design 

Nothing screams SPAMMY like a poorly designed website. If you don’t get the design right, nothing else in this article will work. In other words, you need to have a good looking, clean and responsive website with an effective logo, attractive product photos and clear copy.

Here’s an infographic which explains exactly why design is so important.

2.) Prove that you’re safe seal of trust, trust seal, trust icons,

Due to issues of identity theft and credit card fraud, buyers are now more skeptical than ever when it comes to trusting an online business.

So when an online shopper lands on your website, there needs to be a substantial amount of trust to get their sale. Adding a seal of safety approval from an organization like McAfee, the Better Business Bureau, VeriSign or TRUSTe, lets consumers know you are a verified trustworthy vendor.

In fact, a survey conducted by Econsultancy/Toluna confirmed the power of trust seals when it asked participants which factors help them to decide whether or not to trust a website. The highest response from participants indicated that trust seals gave them the greatest sense of trust when shopping on a website.

3.) Offer a physical address with photos 

Importance of contact pageThere’s nothing I enjoy more than Google image researching a company that I am perhaps skeptical of. Including a physical address to your website is a must, as it adds to your authenticity as a business. Have this listed in the footer of your website, as well as under your “Contact” page.

If you don’t want to show a picture of your business (in case you work from home), then provide a photo of a map that pins where you’re located. This will allow people to visualize who and what they’re dealing with.

4.) Be easy to get a hold of 

If you’re guarded, your customers will be guarded as well. Make it easy for them to contact you through a number of different ways: Email, phone number, and Live Chat etc. And don’t make web visitors hunt to find this information. The quicker they’re able to get their questions answered, the less likely they are to get frustrated and leave.

Tawk.to is a free live chat service that can be easily incorporated into your website. But if you don’t have someone that can be actively on it, then adding a contact form to your contact page can be a great alternative.

5.) Proudly display your team 

By including headshots or a group photo of your team, you’re really adding that extra needed step to boost your online credibility. It’s essentially proof that you and your team are real. Without this, all you are is a logo and a name.

Pictures tell us a lot about people and help to add a human element to your business. When adding photos of your team, try to match the setup of the pictures to the look and feel of your company. Does your business come off as more creative, serious, or silly? Its important to keep brand consistency in every aspect of your website. You can take this a step further by adding videos that introduce customers to you and your team.

fun team photo, meet our team, team photo for credibility, staff selfie

6.) Feature testimonials and reviews 

Credibility in a sense is just like your credit score: Having bad credibility (credit) is just as bad as having none. Meaning, having a ton of negative online reviews can be just as bad as no reviews. People want to know what other people have to say about you – and rightfully so, as 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more (*Brightlocal).

Make sure you’re asking all customers for feedback, acting on anything negative, and publishing (with permission) anything positive. Include a name and photo so that they don’t look faked.

7.) Get social

Having an active presence on social media is going to heighten your online credibility… Because at this point in time, nearly every business is on social media. So much so, that when a company isn’t active on at least one of the major social media sites it makes them seem less credible.

Just make sure you don’t overdo yourself by trying to manage numerous accounts. Select only as many social media platforms as you can maintain; I recommend 1-3 sites. Display icons of the social media pages onto your website so users can quickly connect with you.

8.) Share your story

Emotionally appealing to your customers can help you gain both credibility and authenticity. Simply selling a product or service is one thing, but being able to tell the story of your journey or path that has led you to your business is something completely different. And quite honestly, very few business owners dare to do it.

Sharing the story of how and why your business came about is a great way to get your audience to connect with you, and ultimately trust you.

9.) Secure checkout 

Once a customer is ready to make a purchase, there’s one more hurdle for them to leap. They need to feel that the transaction is secure. Ensure that the third-party payment vendor you choose is reliable. PayPal or Authorize.net are recognized brands that most customers feel comfortable with.

Adding an icon or brief text at the checkout area stating that all transactions are secure can be beneficial in putting customers’ minds at ease.

10.) Fix broken links

We started this journey by stating that you need a clean web design. So we’ll bring it full circle by ending it with website maintenance. One common mistake that could cost you potential customers is broken links. Get in the habit of routinely cleaning up your website and ensuring that all links are working correctly.

The same goes for content and promos. Make sure you update your website content often, and to stay on top of seasonal promotions. Nothing is tackier than having a huge Christmas sale banner on your website in the middle of March.

broken link, fix broken links, fix credibility

Building your online credibility can take time. But by following the steps above, you’ll be well on your way to online success.

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