Article by Effie Cinanni
Website credibility is a key factor that no small business owner can realistically afford to ignore as it affects sales and customer engagement.
Website credibility – why it matters
Without a reliable, credible website your ability to:
- Maximise your sales.
- Enhance interactions with your customers.
- Communicate your value to prospective customers,
becomes difficult and limited.
Think about your own experiences shopping online. What are some of the key reasons you have abandoned an online shopping cart?
- The website payment gateway wasn’t secure.
- Postage or shipping charges where not disclosed till near the end of the transaction and were too expensive.
- No physical address that you could easily find on the website.
- Customer service phone numbers and email addresses where difficult to find.
- The website ‘returns policy’ was non existent or difficult to find.
The above are just a few. If a prospective customer doesn’t think that they are dealing with a professional, trustworthy, service provider, the chances are they won’t complete the online transaction.
Here are some easy to implement changes that can help improve the credibility of your website.
1. Easy to access customer service
Make sure it’s easy for people to get in touch with you via your website. Remember customers like to have customer support options. For example:
- Phone support
- Email support
- Live web chat
Making it easy for customers to get in touch with you means they can quickly ask a question about your product or service. This makes it more likely that they will make a purchase as it helps them to feel more secure knowing they can easily get in touch, if they have a problem.
2. Include your contact details
Put your contact details on your website. Sounds simple right? You would be surprised how many websites don’t! At a minimum you should include your phone, email, and a physical address even if it is a PO Box. Often when we can’t find contact information on a website we immediately wonder whether they are hiding something or why are they withholding this information.
Links to social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram are also helpful in building credibility as they show that the business is trading and promoting itself on several platforms.
3. Reviews and customer testimonials
Google reviews, Facebook reviews and customer testimonials all help to create an increased level of social proof. This helps build credibility for your brand and your website. If you haven’t added these social icons to your website I suggest you do.
4. Logos and security badges
Are you an accredited service provider? Do you have a Public Practice Certificate or perhaps another well recognised qualification? If so, make sure you add these logos to your website. Including logos of well known institutes or industry bodies can help boost the credibility of your website.
If you run a product based business and sell online, security badges can be very useful too. If customers know that their online transactions are going to be secure they are more likely to provide their credit card details.
5. Articles and press
Don’t underestimate the power of print media. Articles, editorials or mentions in the press are another great way to build your brand and create online credibility. Add these articles or add a link to them on your website. If there are some great images used in the article, share these on your website too, which again helps to build the profile of your business.
6. About Us page
An informative “About Us” page listing credentials and experience is also a great way to boost credibility. After the “Home page” the “About us” page on a website is one of the most visited pages. So if yours could do with an update, go for it.
Many of the suggestions above are easy to implement. Take a moment to review your website and evaluate if there are any opportunities to improve it.
Remember with the right knowledge and a can-do attitude, you can make the changes needed to help grow your business.
Effie Cinanni is Founder and Director of Small Chilli Marketing, a Melbourne based consulting firm specialising in marketing and communications for small business. She is an Associate Member of the Australian Marketing Institute and a Certified Practising Marketer (CPM). She has experience across a range of industries including; IT & software, allied health, children’s services, real estate and professional services. Effie is degree qualified in Marketing & Finance and has worked in marketing and business consulting roles for over for 15 years. Her experience encompasses all facets of marketing, including strategy, planning, digital, communications, branding, event management and online.