are you, really? And why should I trust you? Without
face-to-face contact or a trusted intermediary who has
vouched for you, visitors to your web site often have these two questions
paramount in their minds when considering doing business with you.
Use these five elements to boost your perceived trustworthiness and coax
possible customers to step forward and buy.
1. Contact information. This is the easiest credibility
booster to implement. Yet amazingly, many businesses ignore the
power of simply stating where they're located on the planet and providing
a telephone number and email
address. Without real-world ways to contact you, some visitors will
wonder whether you have something to hide and whether you can be relied on
to deliver the goods. With contact information, you come across as
legitimate and more
2. Photos. You don't need Hollywood-style looks to make an impact
by including your photo on your site. So long as you aren't frowning
or looking depressed, a photo makes you seem more real, appealing and
accessible. Likewise, pictures of your company location or of your
sales reps who are clearly not models but actual staff members help bring
your company to life. And it's easier than ever to add the dimension
of voice to a site via an audio welcome. To get a credibility boost
from it, record this message yourself instead of hiring a professional.
3. Testimonials. Pithy quotes from named individuals posted at your
site attest to your legitimacy. For greatest effect, testimonial
quotes should be brief, specific, unique or unexpected in their wording
and signed by a full name with a meaningful identifier, such as a company
name or city and state or province. Don't be afraid to ask loyal clients
for a few sentences on why they like doing business with you, as most will
gladly help you out.
4. Expert articles. By far, this is the most credible way to
strut your stuff, to demonstrate your expertise. Provide substantive
articles or white papers that people can freely read at your site or
download. Especially effective are pieces discussing pressing
problems experienced by your target market and describing your solutions.
When well done, articles cause prospective clients to feel, "This is
the person (or company) who has what it takes to solve my problem."
5. Media coverage. Have you been written up in print or
featured on radio or TV? Most people assume that if you've enjoyed
media coverage, you're not only legitimate but outstanding in your field.
So when you do have prestigious media mentions to tout, add "Featured
in the New York Times" or "As seen on CNBC" right on your
home page. Buried on your press page, this information doesn't have the
impact it deserves.
Yudkin is the author of
Web Site Marketing Makeover and ten other books.
A four-time Webby Awards judge and internationally famous
consultant, she critiques web sites and performs
web site makeovers for
Learn more about her detailed critique sessions on five different kinds
of web sites (including sites for consultants and other professionals)
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