Establishing credibility on a website is essential for your business. It helps build trust with visitors, increases engagement, and can potentially boost conversions.
When potential customers visit your website, they look for indications that your brand is credible and trustworthy. But if your website appears disorganized and unprofessional, visitors might subconsciously form a negative opinion of your brand.
Just a few simple mistakes can hurt your website credibility and lead to users choosing another option for their purchase.
Six Mistakes That Hurt Your Website Credibility
1. Wrong Copyright Year
One of the simplest, and most common, website credibility mistakes is having the wrong copyright year in your footer. It signals to users that no one is maintaining your website, or that you might be disorganized or forgetful – major credibility crushers.
Thankfully, this is the easiest mistake to fix. Simply set a calendar reminder to manually update your website’s copyright date at the beginning of each new year. If you prefer to automate the process, there are several plugins available that will automatically update the copyright information each year for you.
2. Missing Contact Info
Have you ever struggled to find an email address or phone number on a website? Did it leave you feeling frustrated and suspicious of the business? That’s not a feeling you want users to have when they visit your website.
Providing clear contact information tells website visitors that there’s an actual person on the other side of the website – one who wants to talk and welcomes their feedback. Make it easy for customers to get answers to questions by providing a contact form, an email address, phone number and physical address if possible. Consider adding a chat feature to show customers that you’re only a click away.
3. Amateur Design
When building your website, remember that your design choices will affect how visitors determine your credibility. Sites that are poorly designed and contain outdated or unprofessional content create distrust, signaling that resulting in a negative user experience.
Choose a design that is eye-catching but not distracting, organized so that users can easily find your product or services. Be consistent with your colors, fonts, headers, footers, and navigation menu to seamlessly connect the overall theme of your website. Add unique, valuable content. And for the love of Google, edit your copy. Nothing says “unprofessional” like misspelled words and typos.
4. Outdated Blog Posts
Blogs provide a great opportunity to generate website traffic and offer up-to-date and relevant content, but only if you are posting regularly. When users look for signs of life on a website, outdated blog posts can be a red flag that no one is home.
If you can’t regularly create new blogs, review your existing blogs to see how you can repurpose older content with updated information. Turn an old blog into an infographic, ebook, PDF, or video. Create a roundup of your most popular posts or posts on related topics, using internal linking to connect similar posts. Or consider posting a curated blog, sharing a piece of related content from another website.
5. 404 Errors
A 404 error, or the “Page Not Found” message, is an HTTP status code signaling the webpage you were trying to reach cannot be found, either because it was deleted or moved without redirecting the user to the new location. When your visitors encounter a 404 error, they may become frustrated and leave your website altogether.
To maintain website credibility, it’s important to regularly check for 404 errors. You can use tools such as Google Search Console or Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider to locate the 404 errors on your site, allowing you to manually fix each one before a user finds them. Redirect users to an appropriate page on your site, or link to the homepage if the page no longer exists.
6. Embedded Feeds
Embedding your social media feeds into your website can be a great way of showing users where else they can find you online, essentially connecting the dots on your online presence. Unfortunately, these embedded feeds can also do more harm than good if you aren’t updating the feed regularly.
If you have an embedded feed but aren’t actively updating your social accounts, your website can feel outdated or even worse, like the business is no longer open. You don’t have to post every day, but make sure to post at least a couple of times a week to keep your embedded feed fresh and active.
Build User Trust with a Trustworthy Site
The overall goal of your website is to sell your product or service, but you won’t reach your sales goals if users don’t trust your brand. Boost your website credibility, and bottom line, by keeping your site up to date and properly maintained.
At Open Sky, we can help you exceed your users’ expectations with a clean, trustworthy website. Contact us today to get started on your Online Health Audit for a comprehensive view of ALL of your online presence so we can build an online growth solution just for you.
Ready to chat more about the possibilities? Let’s talk!