No matter what your organization does, people will be more likely to conduct business with you when you are perceived as an expert or an authority in the field. No one wants to deal with an organization that is inexperienced, volatile and amateurish. At the same time, customers are willing to pay more for proven experience and a great track record. Here are 10 ways to project authority and credibility to visitors from the moment they arrive on your website:
1. Look Professional
Be sure that your website is designed in a manner that immediately presents an established and professional company. Website visitors often make judgments about the organization by their first impression of the website. Think of your website as silent salesperson. Would you rather buy from a well-versed, sharply dressed salesperson, or a sloppy, poorly dressed one?
2. Check Your Copy
Double-check all the content on the website. Nothing is more unprofessional than having a website with typographical errors, broken links or poor grammar.
3. Display Your Work
Feature case studies, customer testimonials, endorsements and reviews that demonstrate clear and specific results regarding product or service customer delivery.
4. Be Current
Update your site’s content often or at least make sure it doesn’t have outdated content, such as a three-year old press release on your homepage or last year’s date in the copyright notice.
5. Be Helpful
Write articles, blog posts or whitepapers that provide useful information, guidance and advice for your customers and at the same time position you as the expert in the field.
6. Look Credible
Show that there’s a real and credible organization behind your site with a physical address and a picture of your office or facility. Mention any professional associations with which your organization is affiliated.
7. Present Your Team
Have a page on your website that lists your key team members, with their names, pictures, backgrounds and biographies.
8. Do Your Research
Quote research that supports your claims and list the source, preferably a well-known publication or institution. Remember to use data to support your assertions. Dress up your numbers with understandable analogies, and incorporate them into the appropriate context.
9. Show off Your Accomplishments
Showcase awards, industry honors and any other professional achievements earned by your organization.
10. Be Accessible
Make it easy to contact you by listing phone numbers and using online forms to contact your company online. Avoid using a list of e-mail addresses, as this can be easily harvested by spammers.
Because first impressions are so important, you should regularly check your website to make sure that everything is in order. Keeping these 10 tips in mind is a good first step to ensure that your website is always ready for prime time.