3 Ways to Increase Web Credibility Through Content Presentation
Not very long ago, when looking for information, we turned to sources like books or maybe our parents and grandparents. These are sources that we knew were reliable from experience or simply by sensing the superior aura of a library. The way something or someone makes us feel strongly influences our perceived level of trust. Therefore we can easily judge offline sources by our relationship with them, their external features and previous experiences.
Those who can design for credibility gain a strategic advantage. — BJ Fogg
On the web, it all becomes a little more difficult. Most of the times we use diverse search engines to find information, which ultimately leads us to numerous websites that all seem to know something about the one thing we are looking for. How do we know whom to trust?
With this question in mind and inspired by Fogg’s guidelines for web credibility, I created a list with discoveries, that demonstrate how you can increase your web credibility with reliable information. In the following I want to show you three different ways to increase your web credibility through the presentation of your content.
Highlight your expertise
Are you an expert in your field? Then don’t be afraid to show it. People are looking for expert information, which means they might just be looking for you, so don’t hide! Of course you must not just make bold claims with no reference to back you up. There are many recognized ways to present yourself as an expert without looking arrogant. Don’t put yourself on a pedestal and don’t scare visitors off by intimidating them. Rather, you should tell them in a nice way to stop looking because you offer just what they want.
Claim your expertise
Off-Road Studio, a creative agency, offer a broad portfolio to show examples of their expertise. The user can very easily take a look at their work, which is a great source for deciding on whether or not to trust them as a creative agency. The different references are very well structured and presentd in a very visual way.
Quotes speak volumes
Spree show personal quotes on their site to demonstrate the trust other people already have in them. The quote itself is very to the point and in a rather sloppy language, which makes it very authentic and trustworthy.
Zendesk not only references to the total number of companies that trust them with their customers, they also present a selection of popular brand logos. Zendesk is not afraid to use influential customers, such as Sony Music and Adobe, to show off and convince others of their trustworthiness. The recognition of popular companies gives us a sense of familiarity and tells us: “If they even use zendesk, it’s got to be great.”
Spree show the phrases Powered by BankCard Services and Powered by Skrill next to their pricing information. Together with the logos, this makes the whole pricing plan appear a lot more secure. The association with the popular online payment systems immediately makes the payment process of Spree trustworthy.
Offer accurate information
The Internet is by nature a medium that offers anyone the chance to become an author. Anyone can start a blog, participate in discussions, or publish any kind of content. To help people trust you as a source, make it easy for them to verify the accuracy of your information. For example, you can offer a list of your sources and link back to the original site in case you reference some external content. Also, you can offer background information on research that you did to gain certain insights.
Wikipedia used to have a very unreliable image because entries could be made by anyone on any topic. For a while now, they are trying to change this by focussing more on trustworthy sources and offering references. They even offer a whole list of policies and guidelines for articles, which motivates people to give Wikipedia more credits for their content.
The pharmaceutical concern Pfizer offer a detailed section on their research, ethical and social commitments and their partners. This information is very well structured and easy to access, which gives the user a feeling of confidence and trust. Pfizer makes it look like they have nothing to hide and willing to share any kind of information on their company.
Offer up-to-date content
The web doesn’t forget. Any information that was published five years ago is still available, if not manually taken offline. This makes it very important to not only keep your information updated, but also to show that you recognize the importance of it. This way you show your users that you understand and share their desire for current content, which makes you more trustworthy as a source.
Focus on latest topics
TechChrunsh always covers the latest news on startups, internet products and technologies. The fact that they focus that much on keeping us informed about all the latest news makes their content very trustworthy. No one wants to read about old and boring stuff, we want to read about exciting, unexpected, groundbreaking news.
Make recent content easy to find
Weblogs, by nature, display their content in a reversed chronological order with the latest entry on top. This structure of content has fundamentally influenced our expectation of content presentation on the web. We no longer look for the most recent content at the end, like we used to do in offline media, but we expect anything recent to be presented on the very top. TNW perfectly meet our expectations by displaying their most recent articles on the front page by default. On request the user can sort content by popularity or the extent to which the article has been discussed.
Gnosh is a very creative website for dips. Their concept is simple and their appearance very out of the ordinary. Yet, the little copyright note at the bottom of the page tells people that the site is up-to-date and . It’s only a tiny little detail, but I personally check this date a lot to make sure a site is still being operated.