All businesses need to have established credibility to be a success; some big companies have reputations that precede them, some gain it through recommendations, and most earn credibility through their experience and website. Your website is the backbone of your business; it can make or break you. It is usually the first thing customers interact with, if they find you online, whether through searches or social media. For online businesses, home-based businesses, or startups, a credible website is extra important because it’s all your customers will get and base their opinions on. We’ve put together a list of important tips to help you increase your website credibility. Get a custom domain: Your business website shouldn’t look like something you put together for free, without much investment or time. Why have a long domain like www.business.wordpress.com when it can be www.business.com, notice the difference? Your own domain makes your business look professional and serious; it wouldn’t be too long and hard to remember. You can get a custom domain with your web host if you’re using Bluehost. If not, you can just purchase your domain name; it can be as low as $2 or as high as $10. With such a low cost, the investment is definitely worth it. Favicon: It’s always about the small details, they make all the difference. A favicon is a small icon that appears next to your website tab in a browser. This can be your business logo or a special icon. If your business doesn’t have a logo yet, now would be a good time to design one. Your logo represents your brand and as your business grows, this is something you’d want to confirm and have customers remember it. And of course, it makes your website stand out and look better. A simple and appealing design: Designing your website is not the hassle it used to be, you don’t need a high budget or top-quality designer to have an intuitive, appealing design. WordPress has multiple open-source themes that allow you to customize your website by changing the colors, fonts, layout and more. There are also many website builders that will develop and design your website together. If you’re looking for unique requirements or customizations, you can hire a freelance designer. Use freelance platforms like Upwork or Freelancer; you’ll find many designers at an affordable rate. Your website needs to represent your business but also have a simple and visually appealing design. Since the homepage is the first page many customers see, make sure not to clutter it with too many banners, content, and widgets. The initial reaction customers get off your website design will define if they get scared away or choose to navigate more. Use widgets smartly: Optimizing the user experience by making it easy and quicker gives bonus points to your website and encourages customer engagement. Widgets are shortcuts that can be added on the homepage for faster navigation. WordPress offers many widgets for news, blog posts, RSS, social media, search, and more. Don’t just randomly add whatever free widgets you find, choose the ones that’ll help your customers and make their experience better, the fewer widgets, the less clutter on your homepage. Constantly update your blog: Your blog is not only an important marketing tool; it also proves to your customers that you’re up-to-date with the latest news in your field. Regularly update your blog with new posts that can help your audience. Be sure that everything is recent and working on your website too, so verify all your info with sources or backlinks. Check here the top 10 business ideas in 2019 and try to apply it to your blog. Your overall website content should always be updated and accurate. This goes for any events, your products, services, business updates, or anything else. Keep your customers in the loop and show them that you’re active to increase their trust in your business. A Contact Page: Many businesses have their contact info in the footer of the website, which isn’t a bad idea but also isn’t enough. You should have a clear “contact us” page on your website where your visitors would be able to contact you. The most important piece of info to have is a physical business address. Users want to confirm you are an established business with a physical presence, not just online. It reassures them that you’re a legit, professional business and increases your business’s credibility. Other important info to add is a telephone number and email address. If you don’t have a physical address, you can use a business address with a mailbox or use a po box alternative which is a remote street address that you use as your mailing address and can also be used as a business address. An About Us Page: Let your customers get to know you by giving them a glimpse of who you are as a business, your goals, experience, and business vision. It’s also a good idea to maybe introduce your team members, with their pictures if possible. Putting faces behind your business makes your website more trustworthy. You don’t need to share pictures, but give your customers an idea of who you are and explain your business and services. Testimonials & Reviews: What better way to seek credibility than from the feedback of your customers themselves? Displaying your positive reviews and testimonials from previous or current customers (add the business name and maybe a picture if available) is highly recommended for online businesses. Many consumers check reviews before dealing with any business, putting them on your website confirms your good business. Professional partnerships or memberships: If you have multiple partners, beneficiaries, or companies you’ve done business with, don’t be shy to show them off too. If you belong to any professional organizations, add them too. Add the companies’ names and maybe their logo, linking back to their websites. Highlight your awards and press: Another thing to show off is any awards or certificates your business holds or verification from third parties. And if your business was ever featured news publications or popular blogs, this is a great sign of your expertise so it should also be added.