5 More Elements That Kill Your Website’s Credibility

  1. Using Google Images as Your “Professional” Images
    Anyone can go to Google images perform a generic search, save the image files and post them back onto their website, but please stop using them as your professional images. If I can find pictures from your site on Google (and the original isn’t from your site), you lose credibility. Here are just two of the many ways to find good images for your website: 1) Use stock photography. It’s cheap and sometimes you can even find free images on these stock sites. Generally, stock photography costs less than having a professional photographer come in and take pictures. Also, the photos on stock websites are of great image quality, which only improves the credibility of your site. 2) Call in a favor with a photographer. It doesn’t have to be a professional photographer, but at least have a friend with a good camera come in and take some real photos of your building, property, people, etc. I would much rather see amateur shots of your company on your site than generic images that people take off Google images any day.
  2. Reusing the Same Set of Images
    This point follows closely with the previous one, but is important enough to merit it’s own bullet point. Now, I am all in favor of using images to their highest potential, but if you only have one image of your customer service staff, then show it once on the site and that is enough. Please do not use the same image over and over (unless its your company’s logo, trademark, etc).
  3. Images of “Visa, Mastercard, AMEX” and “Paypal Payment Methods”
    These images were originally intended to improve credibility on websites during the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Now, they just make your site look outdated. Just about every company these days accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and if they don’t they will clearly state it. You don’t need to show it with an overused image. The same thing goes with Paypal Payments image, if you use Paypal, show it. Have a link to Paypal payment methods in the shopping cart checkout section, that’s really all you need to promote your working with Paypal.
  4. Not Including Enough Company Info
    Your website is the primary means of communication online for customers and potential customers to get a hold of you, so why wouldn’t you want to give people several different ways to reach you? A phone number is nice, but in all reality, if all you have is a phone number of your company on your website, you didn’t put enough effort into reaching out and connecting with customers on your site. Generally the more ways for people to contact you the better it is for your image. On a contact page you should at least have: 1) The company’s address; 2) A phone number; 3) email address; and 4) a contact form. If your company is on social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) add links on your website to those pages. This way people have a variety of methods to reach you. People want to know about your company and make personal connections with them. Personal connections keep people coming back. That’s another reason to have a company address listed on the site. If you say your company is the number 1 seller of solar panels in Eastern Washington, giving an address (of Eastern Washington) drastically improves your credibility.
  5. Long Pages of Scrolling
    There are certain unstated standards when it comes to web design. One of these has to do with scrolling pages. It is a fact now that scrolling on websites pages is acceptable (which wasn’t true in design standards about 5 years ago) and is frequently used. Some types of pages are more acceptable to have longer scrolling times, such as blogs, tutorials, specific product lists, etc. Others however, should not have long pages of scrolling. Take photo galleries for instance, these should not be long scrolling pages; instead, try using a sample of thumbnail images and when you click on them it pops up with the full size. This will improve credibility and shorten page lengths.
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