Website Credibility in 10 Easy Steps

Web Site Credibility

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Credibility is difficult to build and extremely easy to lose. These 10 steps will help you maintain your credibility.

Stanford released the following 10 points for increasing credibility after a 3-year, 4,500 person study .

  1. Make it easy to verify the accuracy of the information on your site. - The web makes it extremely easy to link to other sites that back up your material. No need to create a 3 page bibliography. Simply link to the material inline. Those that want additional information will be able to review your information and see that you have done your homework on the subject.
  2. Show that there's a real organization behind your site. - Web sites make it easy for smaller companies to look just as big (or bigger) than larger organizations. While this can be both good and bad for either group, showing that your company has more of a presence than a P.O box will help increase your credibility.
  3. Highlight the expertise in your organization and in the content and services you provide. - Besides stating your "qualifications", it is always better to show off your expertise by writing articles that clearly shows your understanding and your authority on the subject.
  4. Show that honest and trustworthy people stand behind your site. If you provide a simple bio of the people in the organization, you can highlight your expertise and show that your people can be trusted. Testimonials are a great way to help build credibility.
  5. Make it easy to contact you. - This is one of the three essential purposes of a website . Show your contact info on every single page.
  6. Design your site so it looks professional (or is appropriate for your purpose). - Your website should look like your business. Templates will never do that for your business. Make sure that your design is built around your customers and can communicate directly with their needs.
  7. Make your site easy to use -- and useful. - Make sure you use good navigation and make it simple for people to "progress" through your website to the information they are searching for.
  8. Update your site's content often (at least show it's been reviewed recently). - Whether you are using a CMS or have a company blog, make sure that you are providing up-to-date, pertinent, information that will answer your customers current questions. Your industry isn't stagnant. Your website shouldn't be either.
  9. Use restraint with any promotional content (e.g., ads, offers). - Your customers didn't come to your site to see advertisements. They came looking for specific information. Make sure people can clearly tell what are ads and what aren't.
  10. Avoid errors of all types, no matter how small they seem. - No one loses credibility faster than those that have broken links, bad grammar, or pages that don't display correctly. Take a second to review your site.

These are simple concepts. However, making them a part of your everyday operations is more difficult, but the benefit will be well worth the effort.