Tips in Making Sure Your Small Business has Online Credibility

One of the advantages of having a brick and mortar business is that establishing your credibility is fairly straightforward. People can come over, take a look around, and decide whether or not they want to do business with you. You can be charming, impress them, and show some of the reasons your business is what they need.

On the other hand, online credibility is a bit tricky. For one, new visitors are only on your site for a few seconds – seldom longer. If you fail to make them trust you in those few precious moments, you’ve lost them. And the chances of getting them back are slim to none.

The fact that they’re not physically in your place of business means it’s easy for them to get out. You don’t get a chance to be charming, or show them around, or make eye contact. Online, they’re only there for a few seconds and if your site doesn’t deliver, they’re out the door, so to speak.

So how can you establish credibility online when you only have a couple moments to do so? Take your own surfing habits as a guide. When you’re on a site you’ve never been before, the reason why you stay is usually because the site has visuals that give you clues on what it can provide and whether it can be trusted. The same rules follow with other people. You have to give them visual clues that can grab their attention and make them want to stay and dig deeper.

Here are some things you might want to consider to establish online credibility.

Be Attractive

As with most rules on creating a great first impression, the fact that you need to be visually appealing also applies to websites.  When it comes to websites, looks matter. Do you have graphics? Does your site look tasteful and modern? Or does your site give the impression that it was put together by a fifteen-year-old with a grudge?

Put yourself in your customer’s position. If you were looking for a specific product, saw a site, and the site’s still using clip-arts, would you want to stick around? Thought so.

Building Online Credibility

Have Third Party Validation

There’s nothing wrong about letting people know you can do something very well; as long as it’s true. And if this validation comes from someone outside your company, it doubles the positive effect. Post a positive quote about you from satisfied customers and make sure it’s visible. I suggest putting excerpts of the reviews on your homepage, and attach a link to the main review on another page.

Drop Names

If you’re associated with a well-known brand – you sell their products, have a contract with them, etc. – let people know. Post a logo of them on your homepage plus a short announcement saying, “An Affiliate of Famous Brand, Inc!”

You gain credibility just by being associated with someone already credible.

Make Use of Your “About”

The power of an About Page isn’t always appreciated. You need to create one and make sure it has all the important information your customers need to know: who you are, your business’ history, and how they can get hold of you. When your About is complete, don’t forget to have a link to it on your homepage, in an area that’s most visible. Don’t let your customers hunt for your About.

Go Social

Never underestimate the power Facebook can give your credibility. Post links to your social network accounts on your website. This will not only let your customers know you’re keeping up with the trend, but also – when they discover you have a considerable number of fans/friends/followers in your accounts – raises your cred. Remember, third party validation.

Give Guarantees

If you’re selling on your website, it’s imperative that your customers know their money’s safe when they do business with you. How? Make sure you have decent return and guarantee policies. The more your customers feel safe with you, the higher your credibility is.

Want to try out these tips with your new website? Our web developers and virtual assistants are trained in creating and maintaining websites with the highest credibility.

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