Trust and Credibility…Critical in Today’s Marketplace

The volatility of the global marketplace; the economy, terrorism, political corruption, corporate scandals, scam artists, and more have left us feeling uncertain, unsafe and not knowing who to trust anymore. People only want to buy from companies that have credibility and can meet expectations. People they trust! Both character and competence are vital to trust and sustained success. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) tagline is appropriately, “Start With Trust”.

Does your website have credibility? Do your prospective clients trust you?

There are 2,000,000 search inquiries on Google every minute! When an interested prospect finds you online and clicks to your website, will they contact you? Trust and credibility are the key.

Here are the Stanford University Website Credibility Guidelines:

  1. Make it easy to verify the accuracy of the information on your site. You can build web site credibility by providing third-party support (citations, references, source material) for information you present, especially if you link to this evidence.
  2. Show that there’s a real organization behind your site. Showing that your web site is for a legitimate organization will boost the site’s credibility. The easiest way to do this is by listing a physical address.
  3. Highlight the expertise in your organization and in the content and services you provide. Do you have experts on your team? Are your contributors or service provider’s authorities? Be sure to give their credentials.
  4. Show that honest and trustworthy people stand behind your site. The first part of this guideline is to show there are real people behind the site and in the organization. Next, find a way to convey their trustworthiness through images or text.
  5. Make it easy to contact you. A simple way to boost your site’s credibility is by making your contact information clear: phone number, physical address, and email address.
  6. Design your site so it looks professional (or is appropriate for your purpose). When designing your site, pay attention to layout, typography, images, consistency issues, and more.
  7. Our research shows that sites win credibility points by being both easy to use and useful. Some site operators forget about users when they cater to their own company’s ego or try to show the dazzling things they can do with web technology.
  8. Update your site’s content often (at least show it’s been reviewed recently). People assign more credibility to sites that show they have been recently updated or reviewed.
  9. Use restraint with any promotional content (e.g., ads, offers). If possible, avoid having ads on your site. If you must have ads, clearly distinguish the sponsored content from your own. Avoid pop-up ads, unless you don’t mind annoying users and losing credibility. As for writing style, try to be clear, direct, and sincere.
  10. Avoid errors of all types, no matter how small they seem. Typographical errors and broken links hurt a site’s credibility more than most people imagine. It’s also important to keep your site up and running.

So there you have it…how to build credibility and trust for your company. A very relevant quote from Tom Peters, Business Author “Technique and technology are important, but adding trust is the issue of the decade.”

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Author: Vicki Donnowitz

Vicki is passionate about listening to people's needs and helping them develop customized strategic marketing solutions which deliver profitable results. She is a Partner at DirectiveGroup and has over 25 years of Senior Executive level sales, marketing, merchandising and general management skills in corporations, start up, entrepreneurial and rapid growth companies.