Doing business online today is all about trust. Any business can place itself online but building trustworthiness and reputation are what counts. But, how do you boost your online credibility?
Potential customers have nothing to go on except what they see on the screen.
Think about that for a moment. Don’t we warn our children to check who they’re engaging with online? Because it could be anyone sitting at the keyboard behind the screen.
In business, it’s usually not as sinister, of course. But people will still decide in a split second and click away if they see something that spooks them.
You want to make sure your website visitors have the best experience possible in order to develop a great reputation. Here’s how to easily boost your online credibility.
Be Real and Transparent
Remember the warning to children; it could be anyone behind the screen. Make sure your customers see a real person or team behind your business.
Don’t be afraid to show your face, smiling, of course. People like to see who’s running the show. If there are no images of you or your team on your website, it can make potential customers wonder if the business is real.
Even worse, they may click away in case it’s a fake website or a scam.
A nice image and interesting blurb will make it easier for visitors to remember you and your business. A bit of personality goes a long way.
Many business owners today have great fun adding their hobbies and funny habits onto their profiles. If you need some inspiration check out these websites in this post by Romona Sukhraj Head of Editorial Content at Impact Branding and Design.
Profile images and descriptions help connect you to your audience. It lets them see you’re a real person with real strengths and weaknesses and thereby builds trust.
Use Social Media to Add Authenticity
Social media posting is an excellent way to let your clients see you’re authentic and so boost your online credibility.
Post regularly about your normal life as well as business news. People love seeing funny quotes and videos. They also love finding out snippets of information about the person or team behind the business.
Use a mix of different posts. Things like events, business news, comments on topical issues as well as useful information.
Be sure to use images whenever you can and add a comment of your own when you re-post or re-share.
The idea is to build a relationship with your clients and that means engaging with them. Dropping in and out of relevant conversations will add to your online credibility. So, take the time to promptly reply to any direct messages or comments you receive.
Check your website for errors
This has to be the easiest one to put right but so many entrepreneurs and business owners forget to do it. Or they may only check blog posts rather than all website pages.
But, does it matter? According to Agility PR Solutions, the bounce rate of websites with spelling and grammar mistakes is 85% higher than error-free sites. Additionally, they add that high bounce rates affect your Google ranking. Which in turn, affects your online credibility.
The top three mistakes
- Missing a word out. Often small words such as – to, the, at, it. But, these words will be noticed if omitted from a sentence. Missing words could be the result of copying and pasting, so proof-reading your work before hitting publish is essential.
- Grammar mistakes. Simple grammar mistakes such as using the wrong word. The most common ones are: ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’ (you are); ‘of’ when it should be ‘off’ and ‘loose’ instead of ‘lose.’ If you need to brush up on grammar and spelling Elizabeth O’Brien’s Grammar Revolution site will tell you all you need to know.
- Spelling mistakes. These can include words with one letter missed out, two or three letters in the wrong order, as well as straightforward spelling mistakes. Words such as ‘receive’ with the ‘i’ and ‘e’ the wrong way round. Or ‘professional’ spelled with a double ‘f’. Even ‘business’ spelled with a ‘y’ instead of ‘i’!
Make sure you’re not the person with mistakes on your website. Check over the content and if you’re not confident with words, get a professional copywriter to do it.
At the very least use your online spell-checker or run your words through Grammarly.
Is your website secure?
A research survey conducted by Hubspot showed that 82% of respondents would leave a site if they saw the “Not Secure” warning.
If you land on such a site and click on the URL bar where it says ‘not secure’ you will see a warning. It tells visitors not to enter any sensitive information. This includes passwords or credit card details as they may be stolen by hackers.
So, if your website sells anything that involves entering this kind of information and it’s not secure, you could be losing a ton of customers as well as your online credibility.
It isn’t a big deal to ensure your website is secure. And why risk losing existing and potential clients?
The thing that makes a website secure is the Secure Socket Layer Certificate or SSL Certificate. To find out more check out Hubspot’s Beginner’s Guide to SSL which goes into more detail.
Let visitors know your website is alive
Have you ever come across a website and quickly realized there’s no sign of life? Like a ghost town that once had a happy community, it’s now silent and empty.
The latest post is dated about five years ago. All the information is sadly obsolete and no longer relevant.
Perhaps there’s a handful of posts that were written at the start of the blog’s launch.
Many websites like this are still on-going concerns. Unhappily these businesses are damaging their online credibility with a website that feels ‘dead.’ Worse still they’re missing out on potential customers and possibly losing existing ones.
Keeping your website up-to-date shows your audience you’re trustworthy and open for business. Posting blogs regularly is a great way to earn credibility.
It can be anything from two or three times a week to once a month. As long as your posts are useful to your customers, blogging will build your online reputation.
Review your online presence regularly
Doing all of the above will help to boost your online credibility. But, it doesn’t stop there. It should be an on-going effort. Website design changes all the time so keep on top of trends.
Check out your competition to see what they’re doing, but stay relevant to your audience.
Need help with your online credibility? Want a copywriter to check your website content for errors? Short of blog posts or topic ideas? Book a free 20 minute consultation today.