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Cultivating Trust: What Impacts the Credibility of Your Website?

Cultivating Trust: What Impacts the Credibility of Your Website?

This article was originally published on Martech Zone.

In our digitally driven world, establishing and maintaining website credibility is the cornerstone of your online presence and the foundation upon which you build your brand. So, it’s imperative to understand what impacts a site’s credibility.

A company’s website often serves as the first touchpoint with potential customers.

This evolving consumer behavior has highlighted the crucial significance for businesses to guarantee their websites offer not only aesthetics and functionality, but also dependability and credibility.

The Human Perspective on Credibility

The question of what impacts a site’s credibility is often brought up in discussions around effective web design and user experience. While there is no doubt that web design is a vital component of determining website credibility, credibility extends far beyond aesthetics:

  • Contact information should be readily accessible. This creates an air of credibility by demonstrating your commitment to open communication.
  • Real-life photographs of team members and products highlight authenticity, providing a human touch that resonates with visitors.
  • A regularly updated blog that provides pertinent, helpful information reassures visitors that the business is on top of industry trends — and actually still in business.
  • Highlighting features in reputable publications and showcasing awards or recognition helps validate the business’s standing, adding a third-party stamp of approval.
  • Having a clear privacy policy and terms of use conveys honesty and integrity, reassuring users that you won’t do anything shady with their data.
  • A fast-loading website values visitors’ time and shows them that your site is current, up-to-date, and providing a positive experience. (After all, 47% of users won’t wait longer than two seconds for a site to load.)

The Search Engine’s Take on Credibility

When it comes to search engines gauging the credibility of your website, it’s clear that a steady flow of fresh content, links to (and from) reputable websites, and strong technical performance are crucial. Search engines reward websites that consistently update content and link to authoritative sources.

Google also places significant importance on the speed of a website. Since 2010, Google has considered page load speed a ranking factor for search results. This policy was further emphasized in 2018 when page load speed became a ranking factor for mobile search results. In this era of lightning-fast digital interactions, slow-loading websites are deemed less valuable and rank lower.

It’s worth noting that Google’s page experience signal replaced the original speed ranking factor, reiterating Google’s commitment to delivering an optimal user experience. To leverage this ranking signal, websites must meet Google’s minimum thresholds for Core Web Vitals (CWV). Also, remember that while speed is crucial, it doesn’t outweigh the relevance and helpfulness of a page’s content.

Additionally, Google’s quality rater guidelines have evolved to consider E-E-A-T: expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Experience was added to take into account that content is produced with some degree of experience, which is tied to the credibility of your website.

The Shared Importance of Trust

Whether it’s a visitor or a search engine gauging your site’s credibility, one crucial factor can have a detrimental impact: a lack of trust. Trust is paramount in all interactions; the digital world is no exception. When they come across trustworthy websites, visitors are encouraged to stay longer, explore more, and, most importantly, engage with your business. And search engines take note of whether you’re providing a positive experience for those visitors that makes them want to stick around. So, building and maintaining trust should always be at the forefront of your digital marketing efforts.

Developing website credibility is a multifaceted task that involves balancing the user experience with search engine expectations. Companies achieving this harmony are more likely to secure online credibility, increase user engagement, and generate more conversions.

With your website usually serving as the first interaction point for potential customers, creating a website that screams credibility is essential. This is an ongoing effort, of course, that involves regularly auditing your website and making tweaks accordingly. But the rewards are great: visitor engagement, improved website analytics, better lead generation, and overall business growth.

So what are you waiting for? Identify and fill the gaps in your website and marketing strategy:

Picture of Tony Patrick

About Tony Patrick

I'm the director of SEO and analytics for Intero Digital's Content & PR Division. I enjoy sports, traveling, the Lake of the Ozarks, spending time with family and friends, and whatever else life throws my way.


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