Credibility is obviously an important element in business. When we first meet someone, or interact with a business, we form some judgment of credibility. When discussing websites we realize that on the internet you lose the advantage of a face to face encounter yet nevertheless credibility is still just as important.
This means that we need to consider how we can establish credibility on a website so that it can be successful. Let's look at some elements that the best websites use to establish credibility:
SEO to Be Found
To have any credibility potential customers have to be able to find your website. When an internet user performs a search looking for something that you have to offer, a product, a service, or information, you want your page to be at the top of the search results. Internet users typically look at only the first few results from their search, rarely do they ever go to page 2 and even rarer still is going to page 3 or beyond.
You want to position your page so that when a searcher types in words that are relevant to your site they find your site in one of the top spots of the first page of search results. You establish your site in these top results with a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. When your page is found in the top spots of the search results it is similar to a referral. Being one of the top results in a search gives you a bit of credibility just by being found there.
Look and Usability of the Site
Once you've been found in the search results by a potential customer they will click on your website. The site needs to look professional and needs to load quickly. It needs to be pleasing to the eye and easy to navigate. If your site looks like it was designed in the garage of your cousin's house then the searcher will quickly leave the site, never to return again and your business will lose any credibility. You need to have a top notch web design that is easy to use.
Along with the look the site needs to be easy to navigate so the searcher can find the information or products they are looking for. The content needs to be well written and informative and useful. It needs to be easy to read and understand with no spelling and grammar mistakes. A professionally look and usability of a website offers even more credibility in the sight of the user.
If you are a reliable company then you want your customers to be able to easily get in touch with you when they need to. Your contact information should be easy to find on the website and all possible information should be given. Your mailing addresses, the address of the brick and mortar site, the phone number, fax number, and email should all be included on a contact page. When a potential customer sees that they can easily get in touch with you if there's a problem it makes you seem reliable and gives you credibility.
As a user browses your site you will gain further credibility when they see product reviews, testimonials, site visitor comments, when they see social interactions on your site. When they can see that you have gained acceptance and appreciation from others you gain further credibility.
When you look at the best websites online they haven't gained credibility and become successful with just one element, and it didn't happen overnight. It's a number of elements all working together over a period of time that make the best websites successful. Credibility is just one of those key elements.