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FutureNow Article
Tuesday, Mar. 18, 2008

5 Ways to Optimize Your Website Credibility

By Jeff Sexton
March 18th, 2008

In response to our “Ask the Experts” post, Nathan wanted to know how to test and optimize for Trust and Credibility online. It’s a great question and a huge issue, so forgive me if I link off to a lot of resources before getting down to practical “how to” information.

First of all, take a look at Dave Young’s screencast on “Building Trust and Credibility Online.” Dave does a fantastic job of breaking down specific techniques he used to build a website capable of inspiring confidence. Once you’ve taken a look at that, I humbly suggest you look at my series on Inspiring Online Credibility.

After reviewing those articles, I would recommend these five things to virtually everyone:

Test your contact info. If you’re not already prominently displaying your contact number, test making your phone number larger and showing it clearly on the top-right corner or right-hand column.

Test different images. Your images should actively help to evoke credibility. Let visitors “see for themselves.” (Dave’s screencast goes into specific ways in which a roofing company uses videos to inspire confidence.) Generally, stock images won’t help you in this regard.

Test your Point of Action assurances. Do you have privacy policies, hacker safe icons, guarantees, etc? Are you placing these assurances next to the appropriate calls to action? (Bryan offers some ideas in this screencast.)

Test your ‘About Us’ content. Do you recognize the power of the About Us page?Are you letting visitors see into your values, motivations, and history and track record? Are you making visitors aware that there are likable, committed, stand-up people behind your organization?

Substantiate your claims. Visitors are rightly skeptical of unsubstantiated claims. If you make a claim (“best value,” “most reliable,” etc.), prove it. Proving what you say will build credibility. Determine your most important claims, then support it by avoiding the 7 deadly claims.

I hope this helps, Nathan. Best of luck to you. Let us know how it goes!

. .

[Editor's Note: Got a question for FutureNow? All you have to do is "Ask the Experts".]

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Comments (20)

  1. Great post Jeff, I know there are some areas I need to work on. I am planning on adding a photo on the Contact Us page, I think in reading past posts that adding photos of real people, add to the creditability of the company.

  2. [...] read the full article here addthis_url = ‘http%3A%2F%2Fwww.stepfront.com%2Fonline-retail%2F5-ways-to-imrove-website-crediblity%2F’; addthis_title = ’5+Ways+to+Imrove+Website+Crediblity’; addthis_pub = ”; [...]

  3. Dave’s screencast – what is the URL of that?
    The the 7 deadly claims series is very good. Do you know rhetorics? I mean ave you ever learnt it?!

  4. David,

    I’ve been reading and thinking about Rhetoric for a few years now, and would recommend its study to anyone. If you’re interested, I’d recommend Jay Heinrichs’ book Thank You for Arguing”, along with his blog, figarospeech.com

    Also check out the Wizard of Ads trilogy by Roy H. Williams and subscribe yourself to the Monday Morning Memo.

    Thanks for the comment, and I hope this helps.
    -Jeff

  5. Jeff, this is a really good post. To be honest, I’ve never taken a hard look at what I can do to improve my contact page, even though it’s one of my most viewed pages. Adding photos to a testimonial page is something I suggest with most of my clients, but fail to do with my own.

  6. Jeff,

    Could you please give link to Dave’s Screencast which you mentioned in the post.

    Also just a minor comment, not sure if worth implementing or not. If the visitor to GrokDotCom wants to search for some blog posts, he needs to go and click SEARCH ARCHIVES link. Might be better if a search box can be made on right hand side column of every post somewhere, like just below See More Posts. I am not sure if most of people struggle to find Search Archives Link in case they want to search. But this happened to me. So might be worth testing :)

  7. Sorry I found the link to Dave’s screencast, I am not sure how I missed it when i read this post few days back.

  8. 5 Ways to Optimize Your Website Credibility…

    Jeff Sexton offers five ways to increase your website’s credibility. Even more useful are the links to related articles and screencasts on the same topic. …

  9. Jeff, these five aspects are very important, website creditworthiness will have the very big improvement. I will carry on the corresponding improvement to my website. Thanks.

  10. If people focus on the quality of the content on their sites, the payoff will be much larger than just optimizing the layout, or versions of each element.

  11. Florida Web Designers,

    As a copywriter, I can’t help but encourage anyone who wants to focus in on their website’s content. And I’d add, that that a website’s Images, contact info, substantiation of claims, and “About Us” info are very much part of it’s content. If you follow the links, you’ll find that these items go well beyond superficial “look and feel.”

    That said, bad web design can turn people off and keep them from reading your content from a lack of trust or credibility. So it pays to focus on layout and individual design elements [from a messaging-centric perspective] to ensure that they are helping to establish that much needed trust and credibility.

  12. Thanks Jeff for great info. I can try including these things on my one page website. Even though I don’t sell products but still people do call me looking at my webpage. So might be worth try including this info on my small website too.

  13. Thanks, that’s great and useful for me.

    Nino Guevara Ruwano
    (www.AstroDigi.com)

  14. The effect of this will make your site/blog has a kind of personality to it which is yours. The problem is sometimes making the visitors know who you are is a turn off for them.

  15. It’s amazing for me.

    Thank you very much.

  16. [...] [...]

  17. The the 7 deadly claims series is very good. Do you know rhetorics? I mean ave you ever learnt it?!

  18. it’s one of my most viewed personality somewhere, like improve my contact page, even though just below See More Posts. which is yours. to it every post The problem

  19. testing your page elements is a great way, plus it keeps your content fresh. In my experience, this can be especially beneficial in the about us page, despite many webmasters thinking this page is simply there by default.

  20. thanks for sharing the informations , It is usefull, i like it!and now
    i want to ask a question here:How to improve one of the words in the search engine rankings, many people have said to do this keyword external links, is not it? Need to pay attention to any problems you have good suggestions, thanks!

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Jeff is a Persuasion Architect, Web copywriter, blogger, and instructor of FutureNow's Persuasive Online Copywriting workshop. Follow Jeff Sexton on twitter

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