Before any customer parts with money – they need to be confident that your business is credible. If they have never worked with your company before, they need to assess the risk of paying for your product or service. In 2001, Stanford University did an extensive study on website credibility and created the ten website credibility guidelines; which are still very useful and applicable over 20 years later.
How to make your website credible
Using Stanford University’s website credibility research and our own knowledge of creating more engagement and increasing sales on websites – we have created a checklist to improve the credibility of your website.
1. Make it easy to contact you
Sounds obvious but make it easier for your website visitor to contact you. Small to large businesses are guilty of making it extremely difficult for a customer / potential customer to get in touch. What do you need to do to make it easier to contact you?
- Create a proper contact page with a form they can fill in to send you a message
- Add a contact button to your navigation. Whether that be on the main navigation, in the footer or even within the content on your pages
- Check your contact form works. Even if it worked a few months ago. Test it again, as an update to the site might have broken the form
- Keep the contact form fields to a minimum. Avoid asking for information that isn’t relevant. Name, contact, email and a message box is usually enough.
- When they have submitted a message, display a notification to let them know the message has been sent
- If it works for your business, provide other methods to contact you. For example, phone, email, WhatsApp, live chat etc.
2. Show the people behind your website
Show that there is a real organisation and trustworthy people behind your website.
- Have real images of key members of your team on your about page
- It goes without saying, please avoid using stock images of random people who do NOT work for your company
- Share your values, mission and ethos on the website
3. Avoid errors on your website
Check and test your website for any content or technical errors.
- Review your website on different devices. How does it look on a mobile, tablet or desktop? Your website should be responsive on all devices
- Check your spelling and grammar. Ask someone to proofread your content. Hire a content writer or even use Grammarly if you have to
- Test your website. Check for any technical or broken areas on your website and fix them immediately
4. Show you are the expert
Demonstrate you are the leader in your industry but keep it simple. Avoid jargon and generic phrases.
- Make sure you are clear and concise in what you offer
- Your content needs to be readable and accessible. Remove the jargon and complex phrases that will confuse your ideal customers
- Leave no sentence open to interpretation
- Share your knowledge and information about your niche without overwhelming your visitors
5. Improve website usability
Your website needs to be usable and accessible to you to engage your website visitors.
- Ensure your website is consistent. I.e. Action buttons will always be a certain colour
- Make sure your users know what to expect from every link, button or interactive element
- The navigation needs to be clear and simple. Consider the user journey and how this will flow through your website
- Your design needs to be balanced. Avoid clutter and organise your information well
6. Security is essential
A spammy website that signals it is not secure is a quick way to lose credibility. Demonstrate to your website visitors that your website is secure.
- Get an SSL certificate. This will help you to encrypt data on your website and make it safer for your users. Contact your website hosting company to ask about this, or get in touch, and we can help you with this!
- If you have an e-commerce website, show the different payment badges on your website. You can place these badges in the footer or on the product pages. It will reassure your customers
- Again, if you’re an e-commerce business, let them know about their rights with a terms & conditions policy and a returns policy. Give your customers the reassurance they are looking for
You want more conversions, and your target market is looking to work with companies like yours – demonstrate you are credible, and your engagement and conversions will increase.
Improve your website
If you need help improving your website, just get in touch with the team at Code Galaxy today, and we will be happy to help.