Persuading people to do business with your company in the physical world is hard enough. But add in the skepticism that pervades the online corporate market, and you’re looking at a much tougher barrier to entry when trying to attract customers. Ease their wary woes by proving that you operate a reputable and ethical enterprise. The following three suggestions are quick, easy, and effective ways to improve the credibility of your company’s online presence in 2012.
1. Review and edit your site’s content.
If you didn’t hire a professional writer or marketing specialist to develop the content posted on your website, chances are you need to review it for both accuracy and grammar. Ambiguous or confusing information leaves potential clients less-than-enthused to do business with you, no matter what your line of work is. If spelling and grammar errors sprinkle the information found on your site, potential clients will question your authority and professionalism. Never, ever underestimate the value of quality content. Nobody wants to give their money to business owners who don’t take their job seriously enough produce quality content.
2. Advertise the licensed and bonded status of your business.
Showing potential clients that your company is licensed and bonded can go a long way. If you manage a business that offers services in multiple states, create a new page for your site. Feature a table of the states you’re licensed in, including the legal name and specific license number for each state. This allows customers to easily verify the legitimacy of your business no matter where they are.
Many business owners purchase a surety bond during the licensing process. Surety bonds are crucial risk-mitigation tools that provide additional consumer protection. If you have a surety bond, ask your surety bond company if they can provide you with an image that says something like “Your Company Name: bonded through July 2012 by Surety Bond Company.” You can post this on your site along with your licensing information to ensure your customers that you adhere to industry regulations.
3. Display authoritative badges.
Adding badges to your website is a quick, easy, and cheap way to add some credibility to your company’s online reputation. If any publications, associations, or industry websites have publicly featured or referred your company, start there. For example, when Insurance Journal wrote an article about the company I work for, we added a badge on our website that mentioned our coverage in the publication.
You might think that getting access to authority badges is out of your control, but that’s not actually the case. There are a number of steps business owners can take to get quality online badges that promote their company.
- Join the Better Business Bureau.
- Verify your website’s security through a service like VeriSign.
- Get endorsed by or form partnerships with industry associations.
- Write guest articles for publications, and then promote them on your site.
With the ever-increasing prevalence of internet scams, people are becoming increasingly skeptical of working with companies they find online. Don’t let this bother you, as it just goes to show that consumers are becoming more informed. By integrating a few quality control strategies into your website, you can make your life as a business owner easier while also assuring customers that you operate a reputable enterprise.
This article was written by Danielle Rodabaugh, a professional writer, editor, and marketing specialist. Danielle has helped develop the online reputation of Surety Bonds.com since its inception in 2009.