Before you start trying to drive traffic to your website, you need to master one factor.
I’m talking about credibility.
Without a credible website, you’ll struggle to get more customers and increase conversions.
Plus, credibility shows you’re trustworthy.
If you’re offering something without a trusted name or brand behind it, people will be hesitant to buy what you’re selling.
Well, with so many other options available on the market, it’s too easy for people to find what they’re looking for somewhere else.
This goes for ecommerce stores, blogs, or any business that has a website.
If a visitor sees a red flag on your website, they will leave.
It’s that simple.
Some of you may not even realize you have components on your site that drive people away.
That’s why I came up with this list of the top 20 ways to add credibility to your website.
Even if you don’t necessarily have elements driving people away, you can always add more components to improve your credibility.
Having a trustworthy website will also improve your search ranking in Google’s algorithm:
Being credible will drive more traffic to your site as well.
This doesn’t just go for websites that sell a product or service.
If you have an informational site, credibility will make it easier for other websites to cite statistics, images, infographics, and other data off your website when they conduct research on the subject you cover.
This will also help drive more traffic to your site.
No matter what type of site you operate, here are some easy ways for you to improve its credibility.
1. Limit advertisements
While advertisements may be a nice form of income for you, they aren’t popular with your visitors.
How much do you rely on ads to make a profit?
If it’s just a small percentage, I recommend getting rid of them altogether.
If you’re an ecommerce site or have a website that makes money from other revenue streams, ads aren’t always necessary.
But say you run a blog and ads are your primary income. In that case, you’ll need to keep them as limited as possible.
Take a look at the types of ads people dislike the most:
Take these numbers into consideration.
Avoid popup ads, and use minimal banner ads.
Although 43% of customers still dislike banners, it’s not as high of a number compared to some other options.
2. Customer service that’s easily accessible
If someone visiting your site has a question or problem, they shouldn’t have to hunt for customer service options.
This should be readily available.
When customer service is unreachable, it makes the visitor feel uneasy.
Especially if it’s during normal business hours.
Note how Apple Support gives customers a variety of ways to reach customer service:
They even have a recommended option.
People love to have choices.
Not everyone wants to pick up the phone.
It’s great when companies have customer service available via online chat.
If you can swing it, give it a try.
3. All your contact information
This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised how often I can’t find contact information on websites.
When I see that, I think it’s sketchy.
What are they trying to hide by withholding their phone number?
Make sure your site has:
- physical address
- email address
- phone number
- links to social pages (Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn)
Failure to do so will make your page appear untrustworthy.
4. Reviews and testimonials
Showcasing customer testimonials on your website helps generate social proof.
This is especially true if you can get a testimonial from an expert in your industry.
You should also have a place on your site where customers can leave reviews.
While good reviews are obviously what you’re looking for, some unfavorable comments may actually boost your credibility as well.
If all customer feedback on your website is positive, it may appear fake.
Even if some people didn’t have the best experience with your business, allowing them to leave a review for others to read will establish trust.
It also helps prove you’re an actual business and not a scam.
Interact with the customers who left a review on your site.
This will help build credibility as well.
5. Security badges
What kind of security measures are you taking to protect users who visit your website?
Showcase those badges on each page.
If you use Norton, proudly display that badge on your site.
If you’re looking for services to improve your site security, Norton may not be a bad place to start based on this information.
6. Validation from other media sources
Have you been featured in a magazine, newspaper, or on a website?
Any positive press about your company should be proudly displayed on your site.
If established media sources have verified your business, it will increase your legitimacy in the eyes of anyone who visits your website.
Find a good spot on your page to add any videos, screenshots, or links to all those stories.
Your website is a great place to show off any awards or achievements.
Whether it’s local, regional, or national, anything helps.
Even if you won an award a couple of years ago, put it up on your website.
Showcasing awards from the past shows you’ve been credible for a while.
It establishes your company’s history over time.
Companies that have been in business for longer periods tend to be well established and appear more credible than those that just started.
If you’ve been operating since 1950, don’t be afraid to plaster that fact on your website.
8. Social proof
We just talked about how customer reviews and testimonials can help establish social proof, but you can take this one step further to add even more credibility to your site.
Do you have any partnerships or relationships with celebrities?
Use that to your advantage.
Look at how IcyHot does this on their website:
The picture of Shaquille O’Neal is the first thing you see when you visit their page.
Knowing such a prominent figure stands behind the brand helps reassure visitors the product is legitimate.
This added comfort builds trust between the brand and the consumer.
9. Guest posts
Guest posts are one of my favorite ways to build credibility.
There are two ways to do this, and you should take advantage of both:
- let guests blog on your website;
- write posts for other websites.
Here’s why both can lead to success.
By allowing other people to write on your website, you show visitors that someone else is willing to associate their name with your brand.
This is especially true if that person is an authority figure or person of importance within a particular industry.
But you should also try to get featured on other blogs as much as possible.
It will give you a chance to get your name exposed to a wider audience.
Since an established person or brand is letting you write on their page, it automatically tells their readers you are a credible person.
You can include a link to your website, which will drive more traffic from people who already trust you.
Both of these strategies, especially combined, can drastically improve your business.
10. A design that’s simple and professional
Keep your website simple.
Don’t go overboard with flashing lights or other bells and whistles.
It needs to be clean.
Take a look at the top factor that influenced credibility based on visitor comments:
Over 2,600 responses were factored into these results.
The design look had the biggest impact.
11. Typography and grammar
In addition to the design, you should also consider your typography.
Don’t choose a font that’s difficult to read.
Use a large font and short sentences whenever you’re writing.
Make sure you proofread everything too.
Grammar mistakes and spelling errors are a great way to show customers you don’t care enough to check your work.
That will put you on the fast track toward losing credibility.
This can easily be avoided if you take the time and effort to make sure your writing is grammatically sound.
12. Ease of navigation
Customers shouldn’t struggle to find what they’re looking for on your website.
The menu options should be limited so it’s not too overwhelming.
Adding a search bar so your readers can look for something specific is a great way to improve your navigation as well.
All of this helps enhance the user experience, which helps with your credibility score.
13. No glitches or technical errors
You also need to make sure your website doesn’t have any bugs or glitches.
If a customer clicks a certain link, it should bring them to the right page.
Any error messages will hurt your credibility.
To prevent these problems, you need to do regular maintenance on your site.
14. Page loading speed
Let’s take our last point one step further.
In addition to not having any errors, your website should load fast.
It not only affects your credibility but also helps with your conversion rates.
The faster your page loads, the higher your conversion rates will be.
It’s that simple.
Don’t try to find the cheapest web hosting service on the market. You get what you pay for.
It’s worth it to pay a little extra to avoid technical glitches and always have fast loading times.
15. Photos and biographies of your staff
Adding a page that introduces your staff to your visitors will help establish trust.
It shows you’re not some nameless and faceless brand—real people work for your company.
This simple page will make it easier for customers to relate to your business.
16. Clearly state all policies
Don’t assume website visitors know your company policies.
All of these should be clearly stated on your website.
This will help you from a legal perspective as well in case there is a dispute.
Make sure things such as your return policy or money back guarantee are outlined in detail.
If you’re an ecommerce business, consumers may be hesitant to shop if they don’t think you stand behind your product.
17. Back up all your data
Any time you’re referring to statistical information, studies, or other data, don’t forget to cite your sources.
Just say something like, “According to research conducted at the University of XYZ…”, and include a hyperlink to the original source of information.
This will show people visiting your site you’re not pulling numbers out of thin air.
If you read my blogs regularly, you know by now I always hyperlink data claims to their sources.
18. Be upfront about your prices
Don’t try to sneak hidden fees past your customers.
Let’s look at the top reasons for shopping cart abandonment:
Don’t wait until the last minute to tell customers you’re charging them tax, shipping, or other fees.
You should have all your prices clearly listed on the website.
Adding extra costs in the shopping cart could make the customer think you’re trying to sneak one by them.
It’s just not good business practice.
You also shouldn’t say things like “Contact us for pricing.”
Why wouldn’t you just list your prices?
What are you trying to hide?
Those are questions that will go through the customer’s mind if you do that.
19. Make sure everything is up to date
Companies make changes over time.
You may move, get a new phone number, and hire a new manager.
None of this is unreasonable.
But failure to update these changes on your website is a big problem.
If customers are trying to call you and they are getting a phone number that’s out of service, that’s an issue.
Or if they try to mail you something and it gets returned back to the sender, that’s a problem.
I’m referring to physical mail as well as a bounced email.
This can damage your reputation.
Earlier I mentioned that it’s a great idea to add employee photos and bios to your page.
But you need to keep those up to date as well.
Let’s say your company’s Vice President has their photograph on your home page. Underneath the picture, it says, “Call today and ask for me directly.”
Imagine someone calls only to find out this person no longer works there.
How does that make you look?
It hurts your credibility.
The customer may think that person never worked for you.
It’s just not a good situation for anyone involved.
20. Secure the checkout process
Refer back to that graph we just looked at regarding shopping cart abandonment.
Note 18% of those respondents said they didn’t trust the website with their credit card information.
In addition to adding security badges to your page, you have to make sure your checkout procedure is secure.
Look at this example from Dick’s Sporting Goods:
The secure link will make their customers feel comfortable about entering their personal information, including a credit card number.
Having a credible website is essential for every business.
If your site looks sketchy or untrustworthy, it can drastically impact your traffic and conversions.
Making minor adjustments to your page can really improve the way it’s viewed through the eyes of a visitor.
The tips I gave you on this list are really easy to implement.
First, remove anything from your site that appears untrustworthy.
Next, add certain elements that improve the overall credibility.
It won’t take much time at all.
Trust me, you’ll notice a big difference right away.
What type of feedback have your website visitors given you about the user experience and navigation on your pages?