You know if you’re not a big name online you’re constantly battling website credibility issues, right? Because every time a reader visits your site, there’s visual cues that helps determine if you’re a credible business. What are they? Well today you’re in for a real treat. I’ve put together a complete list of 53 website credibility factors that helps take your influence to the next level. Some are backed by data. Some are proven. But all are worth paying attention to. Check it out.
Bonus: Download a free checklist that will show you how to amplify the 10 most important website credibility factors listed here.
Personal Factors1. Updated Contact Info: In a recent survey, 54% of individuals said that a lack of thorough contact information on a website reduces credibility — and causes them to leave the site. Interestingly enough, 44% of visitors leave a site when there’s no contact information/phone number. What this means is your contact information is more important than you think. In fact, according to this study, contact information is one of the top signals when determining website validity. 2. Displaying Your Phone Number: According to CopyHackers, displaying your phone number increases trust.
An easy-to-find phone number can boost conversion because people feel comforted that, if they need you, they can call. It’s not that they will call. It’s that they can call. The presence of a phone number is the presence of assurance. It’s a cue to trust you. – Joanna WiebeBut if you want to 2x your website credibility, including your company address sends an extremely strong message too. 3. Easy To Contact: Contact forms actually work. And having a link to that form visible at all times lets visitors know (1) you’re a real person / company and (2) they can actually get in touch with you. 4. Detailed About Page That Expresses Yourself: At the end of the day, people do business with people. That’s why having an about page that describes your background and displays your personality is best. Team bios are a bit different. Although you don’t have the luxury of providing a detailed description of each person, sharing some skills, unique abilities and interesting tidbits makes you connect with them more. That’s exactly what Convince and Convert did on their about page: Don’t be afraid to show your audience who you are and various sides of your personality. The more personal information you share, the greater the connection you’ll have with them. 5. Real Image of Yourself: Bright Local’s 2014 study showed that an image of the business owner proves to be a powerful trust factor to readers: 6. Using Your Actual Name: Seems pretty obvious, right? But many site owners still publish content under the author name “admin” or “guest author” leaving visitors guessing who wrote it. Avoid doing that at all costs as it shows you have something to hide.
Page Factors11. De-cluttered Sidebar: A site with too much going on with their sidebar eventually falls into the deadly “sidebar blindness” trap. And according to the Nielsen Group, the best way to combat that is to feature content that’s relevant and helpful. Here’s an example of how Brian Dean did it: Both useful things for his readers. 12. Easy Website Navigation: This has a MUCH bigger impact on website credibility than you think. The ease and great experience you can provide readers navigating can make for an unforgettable experience. That said, Orbit Media concluded that the structure of your navigation can have a huge impact on results. As little as this may seem, it makes a huge difference. 13. A Clear Site Purpose: If you have trouble answering what your site’s purpose is then how can your expect your audience to possibly know? Generally, if your content doesn’t clearly show what your purpose is within the first few seconds, your credibility takes a hit — and visitors will just leave. 14. Web Design Is Too Important to Ignore: Stanford researchers state:
We find that people quickly evaluate a site by visual design alone. When designing your site, pay attention to layout, typography, images, consistency issues, and more. Of course, not all sites gain credibility by looking like IBM.com. The visual design should match the site’s purpose.In other words, the better the design, the more credible you actually seem. And according to this research study, it only takes 0.05 seconds for visitors to decide whether they’ll stay or leave. Fair? Nope. But it goes to show you that content alone can’t help you to get visitors to stay on your site. Investing in design (time or money) is a must. 15. Sites Affiliated With: This one is tricky. Whether through guest posting or interviews, it’s important to be strategic with the sites or companies you’ve been featured in. While it does work well for social proof, it HAS to be a name your readers would know and trust. In fact, business & publicity strategist Selena Soo, displays that perfectly on her site: 16. Showing Social Proof: The biggest misconception about this is that you can share any number. But what if you don’t have a lot of subscribers? What if you don’t have a large number of followers? What if you don’t have a lot of shares on your posts? Displaying those numbers will have a negative impact on your credibility. That’s why if you have the numbers, don’t hesitate to share it:
Purchasing Factors17. Trust Seals Increase Your Website Credibility: Ever wondered how to tell if a website is safe to buy from? This is a major credibility factor. Trust seals automatically helps increase your conversion rate if you’re trying to get visitors to do something. However, recognition precedes presence, according to results from this logo recognition survey: 18. Customer Guarantees: One of the things that gets visitors to open up their wallets are guarantees. Offering up some type of guarantee instantly makes your site more credible. And the longer you offer the guarantee, the more credible you come across. 19. FAQ Pages Helps Address Trust Issues: This is something that will address any trust issues potential customers have. However, only a few will use this to gauge credibility. 20. Customer Reviews: According to a study, as of 2015, around 92% of consumers regularly or occasionally read online reviews. So, if you’re selling a product, the reviews that are given have huge implications on your reputation and credibility. 21. Testimonials Actually Work: And the more real they appear, the more effective they are. Here’s a breakdown of testimonials in order of effectiveness:
- Name and quote
- Photo, full name. and quote
- Video testimonial