Website Credibility – A How To Guide (Pt3: Case studies, Trust marks, Maps, Video, etc.)
Over the past two weeks we’ve been delving deeper and deeper into the question of how you can foster trust with your website’s audience by appearing as credible as possible. We’ve already covered the basics as the value of craftsmanship, and the optimal use of testimonials, so this week we’re going to cover a range of slightly more advanced ideas…
A good case study is a clear and succinct illustration of how, through the provision of your services and products, you were able to successfully solve an issue for your client(s). A great case study shows how you were able to solve an issue facing the person reading the case study…
You can group under this header all the logos of, associations, accreditation etc. that you’re rightfully eligible to showcase on your site. They add value because they again provide a form of 3rd party validation that you and your business have been audited somehow by the approving body and have been deemed “Kosher” by them. Showcasing credit card / paypal logos on an ecommerce website, as well as assurances regarding the security of the site, serves the double purpose of also informing customers regarding their payment options.
Anytime you can showcase a map that highlights your activity in a particular area, you’re asserting your credibility for that region. If you want to emphasize that you’re active on a global scale, your best bet at getting that message through quickly and effectively is a global map of your operations / clients / facilities / projects / etc… A similar effect can be obtained by showcasing a list of all your offices / branches / facilities addresses in the footer of your website, in fact one survey said contact information was a website’s most important content asset for establishing credibility – beating case studies and testimonials.
At a very fundamental cognitive level seeing, is very literally, believing, and nothing provides a better visual experience than a short video clip. Short being key here – anything much over a minute will never be watched. You need to get your message through in the first 15-30 seconds tops. The type of content that works really well is any situation where you can showcase footage of your company’s principals being interviewed by a recognized media outlet. The reason this is such a powerful combo is because it:
- Gives you company a face – By virtue of having a face to associate your company with, it’s transformed from an anonymous body, into something much more tangible and real. it can be related to personally.
- 3rd party validation – The simple fact your company has been approached to provide a statement to a recognized media outlet attests to its expertise on the topic covered.
News / Blog
Running a weekly / bi-weekly blog or news feed is a big commitment (believe me, i know…), but the benefits to your credibility are massive:
- Showcase your know-how – This very post and blog are an example to this principle – If you’re reading this, and thinking – “Hey… This guy makes sense!”, i’ve pretty much proved my point…
- Showcase you’re active – Having an active website where content appear timely and up-to-date is a great way of demonstrating how active and dynamic your company is.
Embedded Social Media Presence
When you’re able to showcase that you have a considerable following on social media, it’s a good idea to showcase that on your website. Like many of the other credibility ploys we’ve mentioned previously in this series, this is ploy is based around showcasing 3rd party validation for your company / brand / organization. Put simply – If 3,000 people like your Facebook page you’re unlikely to be a complete a**hole…
Whatever content and design you plan for website it’s imperative you remember that unless you establish yourself, your business and your service/product’s credibility, you will not be able to drive your audience to complete your calls to action, with direct and dire consequences for your bottom line. Ultimately it’s really very simple: