Marketers know first impressions are important, and so it is that many online marketers put a lot of effort into designs that put their best foot forward. Even if you’re a lone operator working from your bedroom, you want people to see your site and immediately “feel” that you’re a legitimate business they can trust.

A common problem, however, occurs when you stop delivering that feel-good vibe after that first impression. People see your site, and it looks pro, but the further they dig in, the more their trust dissipates until you have no credibility at all. Are you cutting corners that are affecting your business?

trust

Source: flickr.com/photos/opensourceway

 

Here are just a few common mistakes that can completely destroy your site’s credibility.

1. A Useless Contact Form

This is probably the most common credibility mistake found on websites, often even very professional-looking websites that belong to successful businesses. And this is very worrying because it’s a huge mistake!

Imagine, for instance, putting a bunch of time, effort, and money into offline advertising campaigns only to find that the phone number used in the ads was for an unplugged phone! I think we can all agree that if this happened in a reputable company, there would be heads rolling and possibly people getting fired.

But online these same companies often have incorrect contact information on their contact pages or forms that don’t work. Credibility out the window – no doubt about it. Not to mention that people can’t even contact you if they still want to. When’s the last time you checked your form?

2. Misspellings and Ugly Grammar Errors

The occasional mistake happens in online content, and honestly, people probably give it a lot more leeway than they do in the real world. But a lot of companies seem to have taken this far too close to heart and don’t even bother having someone edit their work. One accidental mistake that slipped by is one thing, but several mistakes on one page is the work of an amateur.

If necessary, have someone go over your content before posting.

By the way, the term “ugly grammar errors” is used above because perfect grammar is not usually the norm online – readers tend to prefer conversational language. That said, use some common sense. Bending the rules is different than talking like you’re uneducated.

3. Broken Order Pages

Less frequent than contact forms but nonetheless a common issue are broken order forms and shopping carts. What are you even doing online if you’re not making sure people have the ability to buy your product or service? It’s a good idea to have someone test your order forms once a month, and if a product suddenly stops selling or experiences a sharp drop in sales, you should probably double-check the functionality on that page.

4. Keyword Stuffing

Most of us realize that keyword stuffing has gone the way of the dinosaurs but apparently not all of us. And the truth is it never really did do the trick, did it?

Here’s the reason. Keyword stuffing may have fooled the search engines at one point in Internet history, but it never fooled your prospects. Simply put, no one trusts a business that stuffs their page full of nonsensical, readable content as a representation of their business.

Is your website credible? Maybe it’s time you took a look with an open mind and a fresh set of eyes. Go to your site and do some clicking around. Read your own content. Imagine you ust arrived there randomly – would you trust your business? You can also have a friend who has never seen the site check it out and go through the order process.

Don’t underestimate your site’s credibility factor; doing so can be a very expensive mistake.