Just quickly before I cover the six ways to increase the credibility of your online content, it’s probably worth asking why credibility is so important.
The fact is that the search engines today are smart. They’re a whole lot smarter than any of us really care to consider, and the second you underestimate their smartness, you’re dust. Credibility sounds a very human sort of quality, an attribute with which we might credit certain people. But this is also now how the search engines are operating. They’re learning to make judgements in the same way we do, learning to identify people worth listening to, and those worth ignoring. Words are no longer enough, backlinks are no longer the be all and end all of online marketing.
Today it’s important to view the search engines as though they were real people. A jury of 12 good men and women true, analysing your credibility, and making a judgement as to how you stand. The better your credibility, the more the judgement swings in your favour, the more weight your backlinks carry, the more effective your content, the higher your website ranks and the more traffic your business sees. Credibility is the cornerstone of online marketing success, and so it’s critical to treat it as one of the most important aspects of your marketing. So how do you go about increasing it?
1. Don’t use jargon.
Whether in your website’s content, your blog posts or article marketing, use plain English. You might think you sound clever and knowledgeable talking in acronyms and using long words, but actually your readers will be turned off very quickly. If they understand the terminology, they’ll see your use of jargon as an indication of a lack of confidence, and if they don’t understand the terminology they’ll suspect you of trying to hide something.
Not only does this help real people, the search engines will see you as being more transparent, more approachable and more accountable.
3. Reply to enquiries promptly.
If a potential customer receives a courteous and helpful reply promptly they’ll be much more likely to become an actual customer. Hanging around for ages before being given a hurried few notes in an email doesn’t cut it. Address your customer, format your text carefully, sign off professionally. Treat email like you would a letter, not like a text to your friend.
4. Use an ‘about’ page to introduce yourself.
In a world of online anonymity and avatars it is often very helpful to stand out a little by having a clear, personal about page. Use photos of you or your staff, and even of the place of business. Have a friendly and informative section which introduces the business and key staff. This works for both visitors and search engines remember.
5. Avoid excessive superlatives.
Your product might be super fantastic and be capable of delivering hyper results at light speed a million billion times better than the nearest competitor. But such language will only make you sound like a tacky carpet retailer from the ’90s. If your product is good, then be honest about it – don’t get so excited about it that you’re virtually wetting yourself – that’s a sure way to put off your customers, and the search engines.
6. Use testimonials.
If other people have been pleased with your services or products then incorporate their testimonials on your site and promote them through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
There are of course plenty more ways of boosting online credibility, but I hope these at least help point the way a little more clearly. If you think I’ve missed an important tip please do add it to this post by leaving a comment below. If you found this post useful, I’d be grateful if you would quickly Google+ it for others to find.
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