Any business owner will tell you that customer perception is as valuable, if not more valuable, than brand identity. One of the most important customer perceptions in the online marketplace is credibility. In fact, credibility is so important that it will dictate your entire relationship with a potential customer. Perceptions of your website’s credibility are the influencing factor between a customer making a purchase and a user clicking off your site forever.
One of the most effective methods for improving the credibility of your website is to increase the number of backlinks to your site. A backlink is a link from a third-party site that can be in the form of a reference, a citation, or a tag. Increasing the amount of external, third-party websites that are linking back to your site shows that you are a credible and authoritative source. However, as link building experts explain, for this method to be most effective, it is important that your backlinks stem from quality sites; otherwise, backlinks can end up doing more harm than good. Not only will increasing the number of trustworthy backlinks to your website help to boost your credibility, it will also help you to expand brand awareness and your search engine ranking.
Avoid Paid Advertisements
Research has found that the overuse of paid advertisements can damage a brand’s image. This is because consumers report feeling that brands that use paid advertisements, especially in search results, are less trustworthy and credible than the sites that appear organically.
Make it Easy for Customers to Contact You
Making it easy for customers to contact you is a quick way of increasing the credibility of your website. Your contact information allows customers to connect with you on a personal level and find out the information they need to reassure to be reassured. Providing a phone number and the physical address of your business also helps to build customer trust. It will set customer’s fears at rest as your street address brings legitimacy to your site, showing you are not another anonymous internet scam.
Fix Website Bugs
If your website frequently experiences bugs and other functional issues, this will be a big red flag to the user. Even if you have high levels of security on your website, a customer will perceive a site to be unsafe if it often experiences bugs.
Support A Range of Payment Options
It is important that you are able to support the customer in their choice of payment methods. You should offer a variety of payment options, so customers are free to choose the method they feel most comfortable with. This does not necessarily mean that you need to offer every single payment option under the sun, rather, focus on the most popular, mainstream payment options. In addition to facilitating debit or credit card payments, you might also want to offer services like PayPal payments.
You should do some research into your target market to discover more relevant information about your customer’s preferred payment methods. The ways that people shop online differ from country to country, so it is important you offer relevant payment methods.