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E-Marketing Performance Blog

Establishing Credibility for Your Business, Part IV

Stanford’s Guidelines to Web Credibility:

Show that honest and trustworthy people stand behind your site.
The first part of this guideline is to show there are real people behind the site and in the organization. Next, find a way to convey their trustworthiness through images or text. For example, some sites post employee bios that tell about family or hobbies.

This is probably one of the most difficult tasks in establishing credibility. Anybody can talk a good game and even be knowledgeable in the product or service, but actions–and results–speak a lot louder than words on the web. Unfortunately, new visitors to your site do not have your past actions to take into account, only what you tell them about your past actions.

This is where you need to humanize your self or your staff. I’m not going to tell you to take a staff picture with a dog, and put that on your website, but there is a reason why companies do this. People like dogs and the dog humanizes the staff and makes them appear to be kinder, gentler, and more genuine.

People like to feel a connection to you which is also why it helps to tell about your your family, your interests or your hobbies. Your reader may have kids of the same age, which gives them something in common with you. Some might have similar interests or hobbies, or know someone who does, which again, helps them make that connection to you as something more than just someone out to make a quick buck at their expense.

If your visitors can be made to feel like you’re like them, then they are more apt to spend their money with you than some other faceless, nameless person or organization.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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