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!
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