A few days ago, my friend was giving me a ride in an unfamiliar part of the city. Then I heard those fateful words: “Oh no… I’m running out of gas.”
Fortunately, as we kept going down the road, two convenience stores appeared like beacons in the night. The first was a QuikTrip – big, clean, and filled to the brim with everything the convenience store shopper could ever need. Across the street was some no-name service station that looked like it had seen better days…probably with the restroom key attached to a hubcap.
“Well,” my friend said, sighing heavily. “The gas is two cents cheaper at that run-down place.”
Guess where we ended up stopping? While my friend filled ‘er up at the well-lit pump, I got us a couple of QTeas and Rollerdogs. Not only was the emergency situation averted, but it sort of ended up being a memorable event. And the two extra cents a gallon? Worth it!
Making an Impression
In today’s digital world, even if a business has a physical location, customers will head to its website to check it out before making any commitments. At the very least, they’ll do a little bit of Googling or pull up some Yelp reviews to see what other people have to say. Your chance to make a good first impression starts the instant someone types “dentists near me” (or something to that effect) into their browser.
And that’s when credibility becomes an issue. Just like that no-name service station, you’ll be losing out if your website is small, messy, and surrounded by competitors who have proof they can deliver what customers are looking for. Your website is your digital storefront, and the same care needs to go into web design that any shop owner would put into keeping the windows clean, minimizing clutter, and displaying important information customers need to know to get them in the door.
Can I Trust You?
The Internet isn’t the Wild West it used to be. Things have become a lot more civilized since those days of Angelfire and Geocities. Today’s Internet user has more refined sensibilities, along with a heap of trust issues brought on by too many experiences with shoddy web design and inaccurate information.
When crafting a website, you need to go the extra mile to get visitors to trust you. Building credibility helps get the results you want. That can mean increased sales, but may also mean a greater willingness among visitors to share personal data or share what they’ve seen on your site. There are many things you can do to begin building credibility right away:
Make Sure Your Web Design is Attractive and Easy to Navigate
People are largely visual creatures. We’re naturally drawn to attractive things, and that includes websites. Well-placed logos, good use of color, and visually impactful images can make a big difference in gaining a person’s trust. Additionally, it’s important to ensure customers can find what they need from the instant they visit your site. Making it easy to navigate reduces potential frustration that would have them heading elsewhere to find the information they need.
Minimize the Use of Ads
Flashing banners had their day, but there’s a reason they’re mostly a thing of the past. Just as a pushy salesperson can get a customer quickly walking out the door, obtrusive advertising is a surefire way to get visitors clicking off of your site. Ads tell users they’re less important than what you’re trying to sell them.
Write Simple, Relevant Website Content
People come to your website because they want to learn more. Overly complex website content may make you feel like an expert, but if it’s a challenge for visitors to read, you can bet they’re heading elsewhere. With your website writing, keep it simple and only use jargon where necessary. Additionally, be sure you’re providing site visitors with relevant content that speaks to their needs and interests. The last thing you want is someone thinking, “Why am I even reading this?”
Use Correct Spelling and Grammar While Avoiding Typos
When you’re reading through comments on a post, are you more likely to trust the guy “who rites liek this” or the one who actually learned how to use a dictionary? The same rule applies to your website writing, perhaps even more so. Even a simple typo can make a visitor wary. If you don’t care enough to keep your own site clean and error-free, how much do you care about the products and services you’re selling?
Keep an Up-to-Date Blog
Blog writing is a surefire way to entice visitors and helps you position yourself as an authority within your field (so long as the information in your blog is accurate and informed). However, be sure if you keep a blog, update it regularly. That lets visitors know your site is active and maintained in addition to giving them a reason to keep checking back in for more posts.
Make Your Contact Information Visible
Having your phone number, email, address, links to social media and any other relevant contact information prominently displayed is a clear indicator you’re the real deal and you don’t have anything to hide. Of course, it also guarantees people know exactly how to get in touch and find you. That’s a win-win.
Utilize Testimonials and Case Studies
Testimonials let others know real people are using and have benefited from your products or services. Even better than the standard testimonial is a case study that showcases exactly how existing customers have benefited and what potential customers can expect to receive when they choose to work with you. An excellent case study writer can help readers visualize how they’ll use your product or service in a real-world setting and create an emotional connection you simply can’t get with sales-oriented website content or ads.
So, How Much Does This Stuff Matter?
At the end of the day, that no-name service station is still going to get business. There will always be people tempted by the prospect of a two-cent discount on a gallon of gas. But if you want to start driving real customer growth, you can’t neglect the importance of credibility. Trust matters in any relationship, and that includes the relationship businesses have with their prospective customers.
At iwebcontent, we value what it means to be a trusted partner with our clients. Contact us to learn how we can add that credibility quotient to your web design and content.