Make a WebsiteWord-of-mouth is and always will be the best form of advertising. Online shoppers are more inclined to buy on recommendations from family, friends and peers. Consumers also trust reviews written by experts and other customers.

Consumers need to be able to trust a company before they make a purchase. Entering personal bank details into a website can be a concern for some people and they need assurance the product they are buying is worth parting with their hard-earned cash.

Online businesses therefore have it in their own interests to attain online credibility together with a responsibility to ensure your customer’s bank details and personal information are secure.

So how do you go about raising your brand profile to improve creditability?

Establish on online reputation as an expert in your field

You can raise your online profile by engaging with users on social media networks, Q&A forums and third party websites. There are always questions being asked by consumers looking for advice and reassurance, and by giving detailed answers you can show you have in-depth knowledge in your subject area.

Social media networks are the most obvious platform to do this, but you can also join communities on third party sites that publish content related to your industry. Ideally you should be offering articles for publication, but not only that, be active and comment on other people’s work, especially if you have relevant information to add.

Recruit influencers

Influencers are a great way to raise the credibility of your brand. Celebrities that advocate your products are the best choice, but alas are not in reach of us all. However, bloggers are mini-celebrities in their own right and most blog about niche subjects.

A search on Google will more often than not bring you up a list of bloggers publishing content about your industry, many of whom have a strong band of followers who look to experts for advice.

Look for bloggers you believe in and who are attracting engagement from social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and even YouTube. If they post videos, all the better. Send them a sample product and ask them for a review in return.

You could also ask influencers to host your guest posts or invite them to speak on a podcast you are preparing. You should also promote their blog and business to create a bonding relationship in order to continue improving your credibility as time goes by.

Is your customer service visible?

Companies have started using social media networks to conduct their customer service and support. There is little choice really. If dissatisfied customers are posting complaints on your social accounts, it will damage your reputation if this is ignored.

People are forgiving when they are treated fairly, and by adhering to the old adage that the customer is always right, handling complaints in favour of customer’s shows you are a company that cares about its supporters. Other customers will recognise this and know they can trust you to resolve any issues satisfactorily.

Payment security

With online crime on the rise, consumers are wary about entering their bank details on the internet. Furthermore, if your company is compromised by a data breach it could seriously damage brand loyalty.

Your online security should be kept up-to-date to protect against potential breaches before they happen. You should also display secure payment boxes to assure customers that it is safe for them to enter personal details securely.

By raising your online credibility, you will be awarded with higher page rank and authority scores whereby you will attract even more customers. Get them talking about your brand and your products on social media networks and offer great value and customer service which compels them to recommend you to others.