How to Increase Your brand's Credibility Online
What? People do business with people they like and trust.
So what? When you earn trust, you increase your chances to sign new clients and engage in long-lasting relationships with them.
Now what? Take a look at your website and online presence. Do you look trustworthy and reliable? Read on to learn how you can increase your agency credibility online.
How can you build ‘trust’ with a potential client when you aren’t face to face with them, looking them in the eye and telling them all about your unique proposition? The client isn’t walking into your professional and creative boardroom with your successful campaigns framed on the walls. They need to be able to gauge your trustworthiness from your online presence.
Potential clients are going to search for agencies online and will make a split second decision whether or not to click on your link. When they get to your website –will they be inspired to look around? Will there be enough elements in place to show you are a trustworthy company? So what do we mean when we talk about online “trust”?
If you already have a reputable brand, half the battle is already won. People have heard your name offline and are searching for you specifically. If your business brand is not yet well known, you have to show “proof” that you are the real deal.
Is Your Website Professional Looking?
The first essential trust indicator is a superbly created, professional looking website that does not look like it was made in the early 90’s. This will send a message that you are old-fashioned and out of touch –not ideal for an agency selling up to the minute digital marketing and advertising solutions. You want to ensure an excellent looking site that entices visitors to stay for a while, look around and find your offering attractive. Offer a static, unappealing webpage that looks like you put it together yesterday and you will suffer a high bounce rate. You know the adage, “you never get a second chance at a first impression." According to Kissmetrics, you have only 3 seconds to tell visitors what to do on your site to keep them interested. If they have a negative experience while on your site, 40% of them won’t ever return.
Putting Your Human Face Forward
Personalization across your website, especially on your About Page, is essential for visitors to see that real human beings are behind the company, not bots. Potential clients want to know your origin story, the team of people they will potentially be working with and your brand “story." It is essential to convey who your current clients are, your companies most notable accomplishments and awards, as well as how you are viewed by your clients. You are putting a human face on your brand and introducing yourself with a friendly, professional photograph and a short bio. We all like doing business with people we like. It’s much easier to form a trusting relationship with a person instead of just a brand.
An Over Abundance of Contact Information
Visitors to your site want to see that you are an existing business with a legitimate address and contact details. When you go the whole hog by including individual employee’s email addresses, occupying different positions along with social media usernames and LinkedIn profile URL’s –you are sending a clear message that you are not a scam artist, fly by night business.
Securing Visitors Data
Auditing for Broken Links
Ensure that you have no 404 error messages popping up on your website from broken links. It sends a strong message that there is a problem on your site and you can instantly lose a client’s trust. You will come across as unprofessional. It is vitally important that you continually audit your site to make sure all of your links are operational.
Some other trust signals include:
- If you have an impressive number of social media followers, make sure you add these to your website.
- If you have a certified seal from Google, Trust Guard, the Better Business Bureau, etc. it shows you can be trusted and have a solid reputation
- Testimonials for your current or past clients can garner high levels of trust from visitors to your site.
- Update your blog regularly and consistently (e.g., on the same day every week). But the content must be relevant, authoritative and informative.
- Collaborate with other companies in your industry to guest blog or be part of their podcast to draw more engaged traffic to your website. You will be seen as an authority in your field and add a level of trust to your brand.
- Work with social media influencers to mention your agency as this also adds to your trustworthiness.
- Attempt to have your team members quoted or interviewed on mainstream online publications. An organization like HARO (Help A Reporter Out) posts daily requests for quotes or feedback on specific topics, and by assisting them, you get your agency name out there as a trusted source.
- Update any old content on your site, so it remains useful to both your visitors and your site.
- Use video’s, webinars, live streaming and podcasts to disseminate your unique offering, latest news, campaign success or agency philosophy.
Your agency can increase its credibility online by adopting every trust signal attribute available to show potential clients that you have a compelling reputation. To stand out, you have to show visitors proof that you know what you are doing and are highly respected for your efforts. When you win someone’s trust, you are well on your way to starting a long-lasting relationship with them.