Credibility is a tricky thing.
Website credibility is even trickier!
But help is at hand. After all we should know a thing or two. We’ve been building, developing and writing marketing-driven websites for clients of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds for the past 15 years.
The first thing you must understand is this: it’s tough to get credible online because everyone seems to have a “skeptic” meter in them. People don’t give you trust easily. They need to be convinced.
1. Stay away from sounding big if you’re a tiny business
Far too many people are ashamed of being a one-man or one-woman business. They want to sound and act big because they equate big with power. It’s a shame really because the beauty is in being who you are. Own up to being small if you’re just a small business owner. That goes for the kind of information you’re sharing on your website (you are sharing details, aren’t you?). Stop using jargon. Stick to writing like you speak. Use words that you use with friends and clients. Make it simple to understand. People are far more interested in you if you showed a bit of your character on your website.
2. Keep your website simple and neat
First-time website owners tend to want lots of stuff for their websites. Music, sploshes of colours, everything they think would appeal to their audience. The key to credibility is to keep your website simple and neat. So what if you just have 5 pages? You can always add more later when you have more products and services. So what if you think it’s too simple? A simple website means website visitors can easily find their way around. Keeping things neat and simple exudes more credibility than a Yahoo Homepage.
3. Tell us more about yourself
If you’re new, you have to tell us more about who you are so that we can believe you. You can tell us about your personal likes and dislikes but far more important is why you’re doing this (business) and what keeps you excited and up at night. Where did you live or go to school? How did your childhood influence your path up till now? What makes you angry or makes you feel you’re human? You don’t need to tell us everything you did since young – just the very things that have contributed to you and your life and your business and why we should believe you.
4. Build your credibility boosters bit by bit
If your business and website is fairly new, we don’t expect you to have a tonne of glowing reviews and thumbs-up. But that doesn’t mean you can’t build some credibility boosters into your new website. Have some friends and family use and review your products. Or even new customers. Sometimes you may not even need to get testimonials or reviews. Could you show us how you make your product or deliver your service? Could you explain the ingredients which go into your special products? Could you give us a tour of your shop? These little details go a long way to help establish your credibility.
5. Keep your website updated and fresh
This is a key part of maintaining the credibility you’ve gained. The first touch point and perhaps the last touch point of your business these days is your website. Are you keeping it as fresh as you can? A website can get outdated very quickly especially if you’re busy with the business. Pick one day in a month (say the last day of the month) to review what needs to be added to your website or what needs to be removed from your website. What if you have nothing to add or remove? How about updating that old photo of you in the About page? How about updating some personal details? How about writing an article or two to educate your customers about choosing your products? Keeping your website fresh shows you care about the people who visit and you care showing them the very best and most recent news and developments about your business.
The devil is in the details as most people say. We say, credibility is how you build it and you certainly can build it with details that matter. A website without credibility does not cultivate trust. People will never “buy” you or your products if they don’t trust you.