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6 Steps To Establishing Credibility Online
Author: Alessandro DeBarros

Credibility is a key ingredient for any successful business
venture. Building and enhancing the credibility of the product you offer is an ongoing and full-time effort. So how can busy online entrepreneurs add building credibility to all the other responsibilities they are trying to juggle?

Why not make sure the web site you use works as hard as you do
to establish credibility? Let's look at elements that can be
built into a well designed web site to enhance credibility in
the eyes of your potential customers.

1. Offer A Guarantee Nothing beats a solid, believable guarantee
for building credibility online. It may be hard to believe but
the buying via the Internet is still unfamiliar, and
uncomfortable, territory for the majority of people. It is up to
you, the business owner, to put their minds at ease.

One way to do this would be to offer an unconditional, 100%
money back guarantee. Include the cost of shipping and handling
in your guarantee. By assuming all of the risk, you will earn
instant credibility points with most potential customers.

2. Provide Contact Information Even the best guarantee won't
help establish credibility if the potential customer can not
contact you. Post accurate contact information on your web site
and make it easy to find. Provide as many methods of contact as
possible, do not simply post a link to an email address.

For maximum credibility, post the complete mailing address,
phone number (preferably a toll free number), and email
addresses for customer's to use if they feel the need to contact

3. Use Testimonials Testimonials are the Internet equivalent of
word of mouth advertising. They can be very effective tools for
building credibility provided they are believable. To get
quality testimonials, ask your past customers for their

Obtain their permission to use their word and names as part of
your advertising. Do not use celebrity endorsements, most people
assume these are paid endorsements.

4. Provide A Brief Bio Familiarity is one of the most effective
tools for building credibility on the Internet. But how do you
establish familiarity in a faceless, impersonal medium like the
'Net? Simple, tell people about yourself.

Post a page that provides a thumbnail sketch that describes who
you are. Be sure to include personal data as well as
professional credentials. Place your photo on the page so people
can put a face with your name. Creating familiarity will impart
another level of credibility for you and, by extension, for the
product you represent.

5. Emphasize Transaction Security Nearly everyone recognizes the
need to conduct secure exchanges of information via the
Internet. Most web site designers automatically build security
features into the parts of a web site where information is

Unfortunately, most users of the 'Net don't understand that
these precautions are being taken on their behalf. Emphasize the
fact that transactions from your web site are secure. Place
statements to this effect prominently in any location where
personal information is requested. Letting your customers know
that you recognize their security concerns will add credibility
to your site.

6. Privacy Policies Most reputable web businesses have
established privacy policies to protect the information provided
by their customers. Make certain your customers can access and
read your privacy policy by placing links near any location
where personal information is requested. Be sure the policy
clearly spells out if the customers information will be shared
with any other businesses.

A good resource for more information related to privacy policies
may be found at: http://www.privacyalliance.org.

In order to maintain the credibility these elements help to
build it is necessary to deliver on the assurances each element
provides. Be sure to update policies and contact information

Follow through on all guarantees promptly and cheerfully. Review
the security procedures on a regular basis to be certain they
are still adequate for the task. With proper implementation and
due diligence, each of these elements will establish and add to
your online credibility.

About the author:
Alessandro DeBarros is a web marketing specialist for BrandBlast
http://brandblast.com , a CT based firm whose cutting edge
hosting services is quickly being recognized around the world as
a leader in its field. At a current base of 5,000 clients,
BrandBlast specializes in small to medium business hosting,
providing small businesses with the services and support they
need at affordable prices.
Posted on Friday, August 01 @ 13:07:41 CEST by webmaster
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