Are you worried about your online business’s credibility? Have you been how you can stay ahead of the competition? My name is Francisco, and today I am going to answer all your questions. I am the owner of Planet Marketing, a company that specializes in Digital Marketing; with a particular focus on Facebook Marketing, Google Ads and Remarketing. I am, therefore, well placed to help those that wish to learn more about building credibility for their online businesses. In this article, I am going to;
- Show you why it’s important for businesses to work on improving their online credibility.
- Give you 10 awesome tips for building the credibility of your online business.
Why online credibility is important for businesses
Let’s face it; competing online tends to be difficult! That’s particularly the case for new businesses. You may have had that killer idea that you thought was going to propel you to the top of the world, only to realize that a thousand others have already been working on the same thing for years! What do you do if that turns out to be the case? Do you simply throw in the towel? Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to make your online business venture competitive. Of these, perhaps the most important is working on your online credibility. But why is it so important for businesses to strive to boost their online credibility?
- People are much more likely to want to buy from a credible business than one whose credibility is shot. Take the issue of online reviews as an example. Would you buy from a business that has a plethora of negative reviews or from one that has received mostly positive reviews from its customers?
- The credibility of a business can be worth even more than the sum of all of it’s major assets. Boosting it means you will be boosting the value of your business.
- A credible business gets more when interacting with its suppliers, financiers and other businesses. Credibility is what enables you to, as an example, negotiate favorable lines of credit.
How to build your business’s online credibility
The following 10 tips are things that we, at Planet Marketing, currently use to give our clients an edge against their competition. They are in no particular order. Focus on what is most important for your business or clients.
- Get Online Reviews on 3rd Party Sites for Google Ads and BingAds
Online reviews are one of the most important ways through which you can boost the credibility of your online business. Let’s assume that you own a vehicle shipping company, as an example? There are probably thousands of businesses that are similar to yours in the United States alone!
So, how do you stay ahead of the pack? Online reviews are one way through which you can boost your business’s competitiveness in today’s cutthroat environment. Statistics shows that up to 90% of the people who are out there will first look up the reviews about a business that are left across the internet before visiting a business! To put it simply, people TRUST online reviews, in spite of the fact that they may have been left on the internet by complete strangers!
- Get Star Ratings in Google Ads and in Google Shopping
Not only do people refer to online reviews when looking up your business online, but these reviews (from a select group of companies) can be syndicated to Google where they appear as Star Ratings in your business’s Google Ads and in Google PLAs. Star Ratings are important. According to Google, businesses that display Seller Ratings in their Google Ads can expect a CTR increase of up to 17%.
If you need to learn more about how to get Google star ratings, feel free to read the article in the provided link. At Planet Marketing, one of the third party companies that we recommend when it comes to online reviews is Shopper Approved. Google has license about 32 companies for Seller Ratings and 30 companies for Product Ratings and Shopper Approved is on both lists! You can sign up at a discount by using our link.
Disclaimer: We are a Shopper Approved Affiliate and can get paid should you decide to sign up using our link. However, we have recommended hundreds of businesses to Shopper Approved and the vast majority of them have expressed satisfaction! You also get a huge discount should you sign up using our link!
- Use mircodata for star ratings in organic traffic
You may have noticed that star ratings sometimes appear in organic traffic. This is another way through which you can boost your business’s online credibility and visibility.
Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex use schema.org/ to make it easier for people to find the right web pages. You can implement the schema for organic ratings using a plugin for your CMS. WordPress has a free plugin Schema Creator by Raven.
Magento has many free plugins for rich snippets. This is where you can find Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. Use Google’s Rich Snippet Tools to test if your markup is correct. These star ratings show up in Google/Yahoo/Bing/Yandex organic SERPs, not paid search.
- Better Business Bureau (BBB)
Although many companies don’t want to pay to join the Better Business Bureau (BBB), it does provide a lot of credibility. Even Google looks at this as a good SEO ranking signal.
- Local Chamber of Commerce
Thats because spam sites don’t usually want to pay the money to join BBB. Real companies, on the other hand, join BBB and are accredited. While our clients hardly ever get business referred by the BBB, they keep them because it’s an edge on our competitors.
Make sure the local chamber of commerce you are using will allow a follow link back to your site. However, this is not strictly necessary since this is building credibility for your audience, not search engines. Real companies are part of some organization whether it’s BBB or the local Chamber of Commerce. Most Chambers of Commerce have a monthly networking meeting. It’s a great place to spread word about your company and to not be so dependent on Google for your business. You need some offline business too!
- Google Reviews
Remember everything that I mentioned about getting star ratings at the top? Well, Google Reviews is another way through which you can get star ratings in your Google Ads and in Google Shopping. The great thing about Google Reviews is that you can enable it absolutely free of charge. Should you opt in, your customers will be given the chance to leave a review once they have purchased your products. Here is a great article that I have previously written about Google Reviews. Feel free to check it out.
- Have a portfolio
This one is mainly for service based companies who can showcase past work. Portfolios are great for web designers, but regular businesses can use them too. Instead of calling this “portfolio”, it can be called “clients”.
Although here at Planet Marketing we don’t have a portfolio, we plan on starting one next month to increase credibility.
- Have active Facebook, Twitter accounts
Have you ever thought of purchasing something off a website, but when you went to their Facebook Page there hadn’t been an update in a couple months? This has happened to me a few times. I know what a spam site looks like under the hood, but I’m a developer. Keep this in mind if you are marketing your site. Post something on your social channels.
Indeed, Facebook and Twitter are good platforms on which to keep the conversation going with your clients. They are also great places on which to answer questions from your prospects.
- Great Design
Having a great website design is another good way through which you can increase your eCommerce website’s credibility. Ask yourself; would you trust your important financial data on a site that looks half backed?
If you are launching an eCommerce website, you actually need to hire the services of professionals to make sure that you have set up everything right. Otherwise people will think that you are a bogus company that wants to scam them!
- Mobile Friendly
Most of the searches that are now taking place across the world are coming from mobile devices. However, most businesses make the mistake of neglecting the mobile side of things. Truth is, you may have set up a great desktop site, but if you are not careful, it will look like crap on mobile devices!
Though debatable, you may actually need to set up a mobile version of your website. At the very least, make sure that the theme that you are using for your site is mobile friendly. You can also use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to make sure that your site looks great and is delivered fast on mobile devices. That is another great way through which you can boost your business’s online credibility!