I had an email conversation
recently with a gentleman who
requested my free
SEO help files. He has a nice looking site - off
to a good start. Needs some optimization help, which can
I told him
his website was missing one of
the most important things for a new business, online or
No place on his web can you find a human
name, a phone number, a direct email address, a street
address or city. No way to make contact except through a
contact form. I have no idea who the web belongs to or
where they are. I don't know who I might be doing
business with if I like his services.
There is no way of evaluating who he is.
credibility is a crucial part of conversions to
inquiries and sales. Great web usability and
SEO are wasted if folks who visit your web can't tell
that you are worthy of their trust.
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.
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 (and your business).
Why is credibility important?
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. People like to do
business with people! Well, perhaps not if you are a
used hybrid car salesman. :)
The Stanford guidelines for website
Make it easy to verify the accuracy
of the information on your site.
Show that there's a real
organization behind your site (and if it is just you
and your dog at the moment, that's OK)
Highlight the expertise in your
organization and in the content and services you
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
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.
Details of the study and research
are available at Stanford's website: