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8 Easy Ways to Boost Credibility and Online Sales

Credibility is a big concern on the Internet. If you're selling products or services online, it's essential that potential buyers trust you. Follow these strategies to build trust with your web site.

1. Obtain your own domain name. Your domain name is your unique address on the Internet such as To find a list of domain name registration services and check the availability of your preferred domain name, go to

2. Pay for hosting. Why should you pay for hosting when there is free hosting available To have a short domain name and convey a professional image, you must pay for hosting and obtain your own domain name. Free hosting has many limitations and often provides limited space for personal use. Your URL (web address) will be long and look like filename.htm. Most free hosting companies place advertising on your web pages that distracts from your message and slows down your pages. And it's difficult to get listed in major search engines when using a free hosting service. Hosting fees average $7-$30/month. Pay this low fee to increase credibility and gain your prospects' trust.

3. Provide useful content. Content is the most important component of your web site. It gives visitors and prospective buyers a reason to come to your site, return, and refer others. It builds credibility and makes you an authority on a particular topic. Examples of content include articles, reports, newsletters, software downloads, discussion boards, book excerpts, and resources. Tailor the information to your ideal audience.

4. Update frequently. Studies show that people will spend more time at a site that changes regularly. Add new information often to motivate potential buyers to return to your site and build trust. It may take from four to seven visits before they buy. Remove outdated information.

5. Make it easy to contact you. Provide contact information or a link to your contact page on every page. Include the name of a contact person, business name, email address, 800 number, fax, and street address. Mention a local phone number (international prospects can't use 800 numbers).

6. Make purchasing easy. Convenience and instant access are the most attractive features of doing business on the Internet. Make your order form easy to find. Provide plenty of links to your products/services page and order form and lead your prospects to your order form. Accept credit card payments. Give your customers several ordering options, including a secure online order form, and ordering by phone, fax, email, and regular mail. Some people won't trust posting their credit card online but will provide their credit card information over the phone or fax. Overcome buyer resistance with a money-back guarantee.

7. Boost credibility with testimonials. Testimonials from experts and satisfied customers demonstrate the benefits of your products and are a powerful way to boost your prospects' confidence. Testimonials are more effective than you touting your products. They convey benefits and confirm your claims. For maximum effect, provide the full name, title, company name, city, and state of the people providing testimonials.

8. Use correct spelling and grammar. Typos will weaken your credibility and sabotage sales. Spellcheck all documents and any changes you make. Remember that words like your, you're, their, there, its, and it's are not caught by spellcheckers. Read your web site carefully. Have others read it too and consider hiring a professional proofreader.

Apply these strategies to build trust and increase sales.

by Leva Duell Copyright: 2004

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