There was a time when search engine optimization meant complying with hard and fast rules, such as using the right keywords and creating lots of backlinks. Today, search engines like Google have become so sophisticated that they’re able to factor in certain characteristics like the credibility of your website.
If you think about it, the credibility of your site is crucial not just for your SEO, but also for your site’s overall effectiveness. If web site visitors don’t trust what they see, they’re less likely to buy what you offer or give out their credit card details.
Luckily for you, you can improve your website’s credibility with the following tips:
- Accelerate your site’s loading speed. Website visitors are generally impatient and aren’t willing to wait more than 5 seconds for a website to load completely. But people’s impatience with slow page-loading time isn’t the only reason why you need to shorten this wait. That’s because a slow-loading website also reduces the visitor’s trust and confidence in your site. They’ll get the impression that you’re incompetent and you don’t know what you’re doing, and they probably will have second thoughts about dealing with (and handing their money to) an amateur.
- Get SSL certification. This is one very reassuring feature for visitors, especially if you run an e-commerce or affiliate website. You’ve probably seen this on the left side of your browser address bar, characterized by a green padlock and a “secure” sign to reassure you that your credit card numbers and passwords will be kept private when you send them to the site. Right now, Google is posting dire warnings for Internet surfers when commercial websites aren’t using HTTPS and SSL certificates.
- Use a more formal look for your site. You need a look that will appeal to adults, and so it should be subtle and professional. It’s like appearing in a suit when you have a business meeting—the look is always important. When people distrust the look of your site, the bounce rate can increase dramatically. So use neutral colors, feature regular fonts, and make sure the information is offered in an organized manner.
- List your address and phone number. Make these highly visible. It’s a reassurance to your visitors that you and your business exist, and that you can be contacted easily.
- Feature photos of your employees and your location. Again, this reassures people of your actual existence. Feature videos of your workers in action, and showcase the products and/or services you offer on your site and in your location.
- Display any 3rd party certifications and assurances of your trustworthiness. This can be a membership in particular professional organizations. If you’re been mentioned in a positive way in a news report, feature a link to that site. Highlight any trust seals that confirm you can receive credit card info securely. You can even feature testimonials from customers, though these are more believable if you also post their photos or Display your social media accounts to let people know that you have lots of followers. Nowadays, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are critical in establishing the credibility of a business.
You have to accept the fact that if you need to make your website look more credible, you need to make it look professional. Follow the simple rules above and you won’t put off potential customers from doing business with you!