This week, I have to send a big thank-you to one of our awesome clients, Dan K.
After reading our earlier blog post about building web credibility, Dan did a little research on his own and sent us some really cool information about The Stanford Web Credibility Project. This project is studying the components of website credibility, and the site is a great resource for anyone with a website. One of my favorite parts of the site is the Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility, which offers scientific proof that little things – like having a physical address or correcting typos on your site – can make a big difference.
So, with Stanford as a starting point, I combed the web and put together this list of 16 things you can do to boost your web credibility:
1. Make it easy to contact you – your contact information should include an email address, phone number, and a physical address.
2. Use a professional, industry-appropriate design.
3. Make your site easy to use, and make it easy for visitors to find what they need.
4. Update your site’s content. A blog is a great, quick way to add fresh content. If you don’t have one already, start one.
5. Make sure your site is free of typos, misspelled words, and factual errors. Proofread your content carefully. Even better, have a coworker or detail-oriented friend proof your site for you.
6. Include an “About” page.
8. Include a link to your contact information and physical address on every page. People don’t like to spend time searching for your email address or phone number.
9. Use photographs – and try to avoid clip art when possible. Use photos of your actual employees, facilities, etc.
10. Use trust seals.
11. Use customer testimonials and case studies. And, don’t be shy about asking. In most cases, clients who liked your work won’t mind putting in a good word for you.
12. Link to other sites, like trusted organizations, industry experts, anything relevant that you’d like to share with your visitors.
13. Include an FAQ page that answers some basic questions like how your service/product works, payments accepted, return policies (if applicable), anything that might be a point of confusion.
14. Include emblems and/or links if you’re a member of an industry-specific organization.
15. Rein in your creativity: Avoid unusual color combinations (like white text on a black background), and don’t use funky, hard-to-read fonts in your body copy.
16. Don’t write things like “according to research” or “based on recent studies” – unless you can link to a credible study that supports your statement.
Adding a few links or posting customer testimonials may not sound like much, but to the people who visit your site, these small details can be the difference between a new customer and a one-time visitor.
So, check out the Stanford research for yourself — it’s interesting reading. And, thanks again to Dan K. for the information!
If you want to read more for yourself, here are a few more articles and resources about web credibility:
• A good example of what NOT to do on your “About” page
• Read about “Web Credibility Destroyers”
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