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How to add credibility to your web site

The Stanford University compiled a list of 10 guidelines for building the credibility of a web site. These guidelines are based on three years of research and on several studies about that topic.

The Stanford list confirms the recommendations we gave in previous issues of this newsletter and the tips that are available in the marketing tips section in IBP. Although the information in the Stanford list is not new, it is still very important if you want to be successful with your web site.

Why is credibility important?

Credibility is crucial if you want to make money with your web site. Your web site visitors must have trust in your company. It's pointless to spend a lot of work on getting visitors from search engines if these visitors don't convert to sales.

The Stanford guidelines for web credibility:

  • Make it easy to verify the accuracy of the information on your site.
  • Show that there's a real organization behind your site.
  • Highlight the expertise in your organization and in the content and services you provide.
  • Show that honest and trustworthy people stand behind your site.
  • Make it easy to contact you.
  • Design your site so it looks professional (or is appropriate for your purpose).
  • Make your site easy to use -- and useful.
  • Update your site's content often (at least show it's been reviewed recently).
  • Use restraint with any promotional content (e.g., ads, offers).
  • Avoid errors of all types, no matter how small they seem.

What does this mean to your web site?

Make sure that your web pages are optimized for human web surfers before you start with your search engine optimization activities. Your web pages must be appealing, credible and convincing.

If done right, getting more visitors means getting more sales

When you're sure that your web pages generate sales, optimize them for high search engine rankings. Focus on people first, then on search engines.

If you have convincing web pages, getting more web site visitors means getting more sales. These web site promotion tools help you to get as many visitors as possible.

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February 2006 search engine articles