At a networking event, I met a woman who said she was spending thousands of dollars a month on her website and she wasn’t getting the results she desired. Her eyes welled up with tears because she couldn’t figure out what she was doing wrong.
My heart went out to her because she was where I was over five years ago. I was familiar with the frustration and overwhelm that you feel not being able to pinpoint the problem.
We got together via Skype and I performed a website review for her. As I went through the site I could see the telltale signs that she did the website herself. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing your website yourself. You just need to make sure you know about design and functionality.
My first website review was so beneficial that through the years I made sure that once a year I had one done. Those were all valuable lessons that I have added to when critiquing someone else’s website.
Before anyone can buy from you—whether it’s a book, product, or service—they need to know who you are. People are inclined to do business with those they know, like, and trust.
When it comes to your website, you want to demonstrate your credibility.
There are certain things that jump out on a page when you land on it. This first impression could be the difference between people staying on your site or bouncing off.
Here are five ways to build website credibility:
1. It needs to be professional.
First, you need to make your website look professional. Pay attention to the navigation bar. Is it overly crowded? Does it display properly?
The other day someone sent me to their site and as my screen opened up, their site was all the way to the left leaving the rest of space blank. Clearly this was a DIY site and they didn’t know how to set it up properly.
If you are going to invest your hard-earned money in a product or service and you get to a website that doesn’t look professional, would you make a purchase? I doubt it. Right away you get that lack of trust feeling.
If a person doesn’t take the time to set up their website correctly what does it say about the rest of their business? Your website may be the first impression someone gets from you and you want to make it a positive one.
2. It needs to be obvious.
It needs to be obvious to the person who lands on your page what your website is all about.
If you are offering recipes and the person is looking for business tips, they need to know that right off the bat. The website review I did for the above mentioned person was not clear at all. I had no idea what her website was about. If I’m confused, so are the others that are landing on her page.
3. It needs an opt-in-form.
Now that you have them on your page and they know they are in the right place, do you have an opt-in form? There needs to be really good reason why someone will give you their email address. This is an important element of your site that you don’t want to miss. There are going to be people who come to your site and leave. It could be they didn’t see what they wanted. It could be they aren’t ready to purchase your product or service. That doesn’t mean in the future things might not change. If you don’t give them an option to sign up to be on your email list how can you “remind” them you exist and what you have to offer?
Your question might be, “what are they opting in for?” It could be a recording of a webinar, an e-book, audio, etc.
It has to be something they value which means you have to know who your target audience is so you can give them what they want.
Think about it; everyone is vying for their attention. What can you offer that’s different?
4. It needs testimonials.
Testimonials are powerful because someone else is singing your praises.
It’s easy for you to say how wonderful you are, but when it comes from other people, that’s social proof. It’s a game-changer because someone else who’s experienced working with you or has heard you speak at an event is now sharing the experience they had with you to the world.
Your testimonials could be in the form of an endorsement from someone else. Perhaps you worked at an event with another business. They could let other people know they would highly recommend you. That will boost your credibility.
Whether it’s a book you’ve written, a speech, product or service you offer make sure you ask for testimonials.
Here’s what I do at events: I ask people for video testimonials after I’ve given a speech. They are there in the moment and can share how they feel. You can see and hear real people talking about the experience they had with me.
It’s much easier than having them go back to their office and take the time to write something out and send it off in an email.
5. It needs to be fresh and relevant.
Keep your site fresh and relevant. At a bridal show, I met a photographer who asked me to visit his website. He couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t getting brides to respond to him. Before doing so, I asked if he was open to suggestions. He agreed and I visited his site. Immediately I could see the problem. I felt like I was in the 80’s.
His images were beautiful, but the design was all wrong. If I were a bride, I wouldn’t hire him based on his site. Once his site was modern and fresh the leads started coming in.
Your website needs to speak to the people who visit it. Ultimately you’d like them to say, “Yes! I’m at the right place.”
Sometimes when it’s your site, it’s harder to see things from the perspective of your website visitors. You know what you want to convey but is it clear to others?
Credibility is earned through dedication to detail and hard work. Start with these five ways to build that credibility and you will be on the right track.