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Vol. 1 issue #136 Jan 26, 2005
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Five Credibility Boosting Elements for Web Sites
2005 by Marcia Yudkin

 

Who are you, really? And why should I trust you? Without
face-to-face contact or a trusted intermediary who has
vouched for you, visitors to your web site often have these
two questions paramount in their minds when considering
doing business with you. Use these five elements to boost
your perceived trustworthiness and coax possible customers
to step forward and buy.
 

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1. Contact information. This is the easiest credibility
booster to implement. Yet amazingly, many businesses ignore
the power of simply stating where they're located on the
planet and providing a telephone number and email address.
Without real-world ways to contact you, some visitors will
wonder whether you have something to hide and whether you
can be relied on to deliver the goods. With contact
information, you come across as legitimate and more
reliable.

2. Photos. You don't need Hollywood-style looks to make an
impact by including your photo on your site. So long as you
aren't frowning or looking depressed, a photo makes you seem
more real, appealing and accessible. Likewise, pictures of
your company location or of your sales reps who are clearly
not models but actual staff members help bring your company
to life. And it's easier than ever to add the dimension of
voice to a site via an audio welcome. Record this message
yourself instead of hiring a professional to get a
credibility boost from it.
 

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3. Testimonials. Pithy quotes from named individuals
posted at your site attest to your legitimacy. For greatest
effect, testimonial quotes should be brief, specific, unique
or unexpected in their wording and signed by a full name
with a meaningful identifier, such as a company name or city
and state or province. Don't be afraid to ask loyal clients
for a few sentences on why they like doing business with
you, as most will gladly help you out.

4. Expert articles. By far, this is the most credible way
to strut your stuff, to demonstrate your expertise. Provide
substantive articles or white papers that people can freely
read at your site or download. Especially effective are
pieces discussing pressing problems experienced by your
target market and describing your solutions. When well
done, articles cause prospective clients to feel, "This is
the person (or company) who has what it takes to solve my
problem."
 

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5. Media coverage. Have you been written up in print or
featured on radio or TV? Most people assume that if you've
enjoyed media coverage, you're not only legitimate but
outstanding in your field. So when you do have prestigious
media mentions to tout, add "Featured in the New York Times"
or "As seen on CNBC" right on your home page. Buried on
your press page, this information doesn't have the impact it
deserves.
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Marcia Yudkin <marcia@yudkin.com> is the author of Web Site
Marketing Makeover and 10 other books. A four-time Webby
Awards judge and internationally famous marketing
consultant, she critiques web sites and performs web site
makeovers for clients. Learn more about her detailed
critique sessions on five different kinds of web sites
(including sites for consultants and other professionals) at
www.yudkin.com/websitequiz.htm .  
 

 

 

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