Online success comes from building your brand’s credibility.
Your online credibility is important to two separate entities – your potential clients and Google. Building credibility with potential clients means proving your brand is a brand they can trust and do business with. Credibility with Google means organically ranking higher in search engine result pages (SERPs) and increasing your site’s authority.
Both Google and potential clients will look for a lot of the same features from your site, so we’ve compiled a list of 10 ways you can increase your online credibility and build trust in your brand.
Your blog should demonstrate your expertise in your particular field of business. It can be educational, persuasive, or entertaining, but it should always provide quality information to your reader. Deliver quality content that your customers want to read and can influence their decisions in the buying process.
Additionally, blog posts are a great way to keep your website’s content fresh. New content populates Google and allows for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) opportunities. Take your time, do your research, and produce blog content that speaks to your customers in the same language they use.
Make sure your website is secure. If you do not have an SSL certificate for your website, you are setting yourself up for a potential security breach. A website that is not secure not only opens your site to spammers, but also puts your customers’ personal information at risk.
Even Google dislikes websites that are not secure. Especially today, the majority of websites are secure, and the random website that is not secure sticks out like a sore thumb. Red flag!
Along with the SSL, your website should be using security plugins. For a list of plugins we recommend, check out Our Top Five WordPress Security Plugins. If you need any additional help with an SSL or security plugins, contact your website provider, or reach out to us!
Infographics should be eye-catching, easy to read, and content dense. Why say lots of words when few words do the trick? You can include these throughout your website to show that you have done the work on quality content.
Readers that have a hard time concentrating on a lot of content at one time will benefit from infographics. When created effectively, infographics dissect information and then display it in a way that is easy to read and understand. The visual element also allows the information to be processed more quickly. Overall, infographics allow readers to consume the credible, important information you want to highlight.
Backlinks are links from one website to another. Quality backlinks from reputable sites will increase your page authority and online credibility. Your website needs to be visible, and trustworthy backlinks direct actual potential customers right to it.
One of the ways to increase the number of backlinks to your site is to reach out to your trusted partners and related organizations. Check the authority scores of the backlinks you are trying to get, and go for the big fish. A backlink from a spammy site is useless and potentially harmful for your site. Including links to trusted sites within your own content alerts those sites that you exist and can provide helpful information to their readers as well.
SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
Get your business on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin. Post a few times a month. Posting allows potential customers to see who you are, and that you are a real company with real people. It also does the same for Google. People crave authenticity. Posting engaging, transparent posts showcases who you are while also allowing you the opportunity to get to know and converse with your customers.
Social media platforms also allow customers to leave reviews. In fact, 93% of consumers admit their purchase decision was influenced by online reviews. Encourage past customers to leave reviews, and respond to as many reviews as you can, even if they’re negative. Positive reviews reassure potential customers that your brand is trusted by real people. Negative reviews may seem disheartening, but they can also be an opportunity to show customers that you are: 1.) open to making changes in areas that need improvement or 2.) able to handle and professionally respond to negative reviews.
Cross platform promotion is another benefit to having social media accounts for your business. Social media links should be included in either the header or footer of your website. You can also insert them into communication that is sent out to your customers, such as in newsletters. Linking to your social media accounts not only provides credible backlinks, but also reminds customers to follow or like your pages.
Google wants what the person clicking on your website wants – speed, ease of navigation, mobile responsiveness, and clickable contact information. Customers may not be able to define in words what makes a website enjoyable or not, but they know a badly designed website when they see it, and they leave it quickly.
Your website should be easy to use and not leave consumers confused. Professional looking sites with obvious call to actions and buttons, such as Add to Cart and Contact Us, are a lot more likely to snag the sale. The Contact Us page should be easily identifiable as well. Contact information, such as a phone number, email address, and physical location, provide customers with peace of mind in knowing your business is reachable in case of a problem or issue.
Additional Technical Tip: Brand Consistency
While logo creation may seem more creative than technical, the way you utilize your logo throughout your site affects the online credibility.
First, logos should always remain consistent with your brand’s style guide. You don’t want five different variations of your company’s name scattered throughout the site within different logos. That is confusing and negatively affects the aesthetic of your site.
Second, using consistent logos and brand messaging establishes trust in your brand. Customers rely more on brands that are easily recognizable, and brands with consistent presentation see an increase of up to 23% in revenue. Recognition is key to building trust in your brand, and continuously putting out content that aligns with your brand’s message will make your brand more visible. (Just remember to stay honest and transparent.)
Third, make sure the logo in the header of your website links back to your homepage. Not only does this add an internal link (which we’ll visit later) to your site, but it also allows customers to easily access the front page again if they find themselves lost.
Photos should be included throughout your website. If possible, avoid only including stock photos in your site’s media. Try to include photos of your business and staff members to give customers an insight into the every-day life of your business. Stock photos are perfectly okay to use (as long as you have permission or licensing), but photos taken for your specific business adds a personal touch.
Video is an investment and Google knows that. People love to watch short videos and having them on your website makes their experience there better and increases your score with Google. Some ideas for video with longevity on your website would be to create a video about your business or add testimonials where appropriate all over your website.
USE KEYWORDS NATURALLY
Resist the urge to stuff keywords into sentences where it doesn’t make sense. Google is smart enough to crawl your content and identify the keywords you are trying to emphasize. Keywords allow Google to understand what your content is all about, and then determine where to place it in search engine results pages (SERPs).
The higher the search engine rank, the more likely customers are to organically find and visit your website. A higher search engine rank also shows credibility in your website when it appears as one of the top results on the first page. To read more about how to get your website ranking higher in search engine results, check out our How to Rank Higher in Search Engine Results blog post.
Internal links are exactly as they sound – links to other pages or elements within your website. Think of this in terms of “if you want to know more click here”. For example, if you post a video on your About Us page, add written content suggesting a click to the FAQ page after that. Make it make sense, and link internally to other pages on your site when you can.
Organic credibility doesn’t happen overnight. It takes work to build trust in your website for both your potential customers and for Google. Be consistent in showing that customers can trust your brand. Make your changes, do the work, continue doing so and assess success in six months. Don’t post a blog and check your ranking the next day, it doesn’t work like that. Be consistent and commit to the long haul of content creation and technical work on your website to build your online credibility.
If you find yourself struggling to generate sales or build trust in your brand, reach out to us! We have years of experience in building online credibility for our clients’ websites, and we’d be happy to talk with you about developing your own strategy.