4 simple ways to build trust and authority with onsite content
A guest post by Kayleigh Alexandra.
There are a couple of significant ways you can relate a business website to a CV.
First, it isn’t always easy to get the right people to check it out. Similar to companies which filter out CVs which don’t list the right skills or don’t use the required format, Google’s search engine filters out websites which don’t contain relevant keywords in their onsite content or offer weak user experiences.
Second, once you do get the right people paying attention, you can easily fail to convince them if the content doesn’t pass muster. CVs that technically contain the right things can still be poorly written, and while a website appearing on the first page of the search results will get clicked on, weak copy will send visitors back to searching again.
Even if you don’t consider your blog a business as such, there is no doubt something you want your readers to do beyond just reading what you have to say. On other words, there needs some action you ask them to take. Maybe you want them to buy something from you, or view you as an expert in your field, or even just subscribe to your email newsletter.
Regardless of the goal, your case needs to be made as strong as possible to convince people your site is the one they’ve been looking for. Let’s take a look at four simple ways in which you can establish trust and authority through your onsite content:
Mention awards or accreditations
If you take a look at the footer of this page, you should see a mention of a National UK Blog Award in 2014. This is an important inclusion because of what it conveys. When you visit a site you’ve never seen before, you don’t know how long it’s been around, or what kind of standard it has typically reached. The site might look decent enough, sure, but this can be deceptive.
This award tells you two things straight away: there’s excellent content on offer (award-winning content, in fact), and the site has been putting out content of that quality for years. Since it’s clear there’s still content being posted on a regular basis, this means there’s an archive of blog posts to browse, giving you every reason to trust in the blogger.
Prominently display reviews
If you’re offering products, include reviews from real buyers. If you provide a service of some kind, include testimonials. We all rely heavily on social proof to guide our choices (when you buy through a big site like Amazon, don’t you place a lot of emphasis on ratings?).
If someone visits your site and can immediately see that many others view your onsite content as worthy of their trust and support, it’ll significantly influence how they come to view it.
I really like the homepage for Breezeful, a mortgage broker, when it comes to reviews. You first see the subtitle of “30+ lenders. Great rates. 5-star reviews”, then get confirmation through detailed (and glowing) reviews below. In addition, you see mentions of media sites which have featured the company, lending even more credibility.
If you don’t currently have any reviews from customers (or frequent visitors), make an effort to procure some. Most of the time it’s as simple as asking; even without an explicit incentive, you’ll often find that people who like your site will be willing to endorse it.
Don’t be overly promotional
It’s so easy to try too hard through online content. Have you ever dealt with a salesperson who’s so pushy — so salesy — that you just know their claims can’t be credible? Soon enough you start to assume the product on offer is essentially worthless, because if it actually was impressive, they wouldn’t need to try so desperately to sell it.
If you fill your onsite content with pleas for action, nonsensical boasts, and references of your products or services, the value you’re providing will be diminished and people won’t trust you to give them good advice. Be confident about what you bring to the table. Help the visitors first, before giving them the opportunity to help you in return.
Answer frequent questions
The inclusion of an FAQ section is something often advised as a part of an SEO campaign. It makes complete sense one of the best ways to be found in the SERPs is to directly address common search queries. After all (given the right markup) it can allow you to have your onsite content chosen for featured snippets.
Answering frequent questions achieves two things for the visitors to your site. It shows them what kind of knowledge and understanding you possess, and it demonstrates your willingness to provide value (particularly if the FAQ section isn’t directly pushing them towards some a method to return value).
WhatsApp has a pretty decent FAQ page: clean, clear, and laden with simple steps. If you don’t have a product or service to answer questions about, just answer questions about your industry or the topic of your blog. Make it a fantastic resource and it will reliably drive traffic.
How do you build trust and authority with onsite content?
There you are, four simple ways in which you can use your onsite content to convince visitors that you’re trustworthy and authoritative in your area. It might take a long time to fully optimise your content, but you should be able to implement these tips pretty quickly — most likely with decent results.
About the author
Kayleigh Alexandra is a community writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to spreading the word about blogs and small businesses of all shapes and sizes. Visit the blog for the latest biz news and inspiring side hustle stories. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.
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