Is your business website credible?
Website credibility? What’s that?
A visitor to your site should be thinking:
“I trust these people, they are coming across as honest. The information on the site is objective and unbiased They are clearly intelligent, experienced and very knowledgeable.”
A study by Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab with 5,500 users highlighted the following insights into how to convince site visitors that you are a credible organisation. They put together a set of guidelines including the following.
- The sites should have a professional looking design (appropriate to the business sector). Visitors evaluable sites within seconds just based on how they look.
- Ensure content can be verified, e.g. add links to external source material. Don’t worry about people leaving your pages to check references; that’s less important than appearing to know what you are talking about).
- Show that you are a real organisation with real people (i.e. not a scam site); provide contact information, including a physical address, telephone and email address. Provide links to your Social Media Profiles. provide staff profiles, photos and office photos if you have an office (i.e you could add a picture of your office to your contact page).
- Highlight staff expertise; individual staff biographies showing expertise in appropriate areas. Hilghlight awards won Accreditations. professional memberships and affiliations with other credible organisations. Biogs can include hobbies and personal details that provide a human aspect.
- Ensure your websites is well organised and easy to use. Pages should be quick to load and clanguage should be clear and easy to read.
- Update website content often. If a site has not been updated for a year then the visitor may thing you are no longer in business.
- Avoid pop-ups and adverts, promotional tone, typos in your content, broken links. As these all undermine your credibility.
The above research findings were published by Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab
It could be argued that these guidelines are over-simplistic – and that it depends on the audience you are trying reach what is seen as credible or not credible; and that’s probably true – but they are useful nonetheless.
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