6 ways to establish your business credibility online
Establishing online credibility as a business can be difficult.
There may be preconceptions about your business type, or maybe there are other organisations vying for the same customers.
To stand out from the crowd and succeed online you need to be credible, trustworthy and knowledgeable.
You need establish your values as a business and differentiators from the competition.
This weeks blog post talks about 6 of the most popular ways to establish credibility for your business website and social media channels.
Everyone says it but that’s because it’s a tried and tested method of boosting credibility.
A blog lets you share your ideas and working practices, giving a level of transparency to your business activities. This makes your business look honest which will boost your online credibility.
People also see that you regularly update your content and that you aren’t about to run off with their money.
Then there’s the fact that blogs can boost search rankings, which in turn boosts credibility: everyone secretly believes the highest-ranked companies on Google are the most credible and the higher up you appear, the more credible you are.
There’s no way round it – to be a credible online business nowadays you need to be active on social media.
If you share real content with your followers you’ll also be able to boost your credibility further: pictures of your work environment, your completed work, staff members, happy customers.
Engaging with other businesses, people, and especially customers will also work in your favour – it shows there’s a real person behind the business.
Customer reviews and testimonials
Review websites (Google, Yell, Yelp, Trip Advisor, etc.) can be a great way to boost your credibility.
The views of other people on your business will do far more for your credibility than anything else: people are always going to trust other people more than they trust any business.
Bad reviews aren’t necessarily bad either – if you respond well and improve on the criticism then you’ll be shown as a business that listens and responds to their customers.
Of course, not every business is suitable for review websites. Where this is the case, social media can play the same role. By asking people to post or tweet their views to your company page you are effectively telling the world you’re a credible, trustworthy business with nothing to hide.
Some would say that testimonials have a poor impact because they can easily be made up and put onto the website by the business.
But the fact of the matter is that one of the most-visited pages on any website is the testimonial page.
It goes back to the idea that people trust what other people have to say. You can get creative too – why not ask if you could video someone’s testimonial?
Be an expert
This is pretty self-explanatory: use your online presence to portray yourself as an expert.
You can link this with blogs by picking topics you know a great deal about and writing about them, aiming to provide some useful information for your audience/potential customers. This will help establish you as an expert in your field and make you even more trustworthy.
Look for any professional affiliations for your market segment too – proudly displaying icons of affiliation on your website will help to boost your credibility.
The same goes for industry awards. There are many associations and groups that can be found online – just make sure they are credible!
Be easy to reach
There is nothing that shouts “dodgy website” more than the absence of contact details.
Don’t be that business. A contact form isn’t good enough. And having just an email is definitely not a good way to establish credibility. Adding a phone number to that email is a good start, especially if it’s a landline. But to really shout credibility and trustworthiness you need a phone number, email, postal address, and social media profiles.
The more evidence you can provide that shows you’re a real business that is active online and in the physical world, the more credible you will be.
Have a good website
Having a good website doesn’t just mean having a beautiful design, it’s about the language that you use, the kind of things you share about your business in your content, the availability of contact details, and how user-friendly it is.
Your website is how people assess your business, and it usually happens instantly.
It is probably going to be the first impression you make and you want that impression to be a good one. The better the first impression, the more credible your business seems.
There is no doubt that establishing credibility online takes a little while. And it can be a daunting task at first.
However, if you follow these six steps you will be closer to establishing yourself as a credible and trustworthy business.