Don’t Fall for These 6 Website Credibility Traps

Andrew Forbes

Andrew Forbes founded Peak Ed Designs with the goal of offering an educational experience that would better equip his clients for success in the online world. He is a front-end WordPress designer/developer, instructional designer, and online course creator that surrounds himself with a team of experts that synergistically work together to deliver high impact results for our clients. Peak Ed Designs enjoys working with small and medium-size coaches, educators, and entrepreneurs to get their business ideas out of their head and out onto the web.



Featured image for the blog post, Don't Fall for These 6 Website Credibility Traps

Credibility is essential for your business. By building credibility, you’ll earn trust, and with trust comes new and repeat clients. This is especially true for those operating in the coaching space.

Your website is part of your brand and an important way to build trust. Unfortunately, those who aren’t careful can send all the wrong signals to potential clients or customers. Of course, major lapses such as dismal work or poor customer service can damage your reputation, but so too can an accumulation of seemingly minor faux pas.

Avoid these six common mistakes that could be damaging your credibility and impact the “know, like and trust factor” of potential clients.

Your Outdated Copywrite Year is Signalling to Your Audience

Quick, scroll to the bottom of your website. Does your footer include the copywrite year? Is it this year? If not, then Houston, we have a problem.

It’s an easy enough mistake to make and it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it is an oversight. If you’ve made an error like this on your own website, what else will you leave undone?

Don’t allow your website visitors to begin questioning your attention to detail. Make a new year’s resolution to promptly update your header each January.

Your Lapsed Blogs are Scaring Away Potential Customers

When it comes to blogging, consistency is key. Blog posts, like the one you’re reading right now, demonstrate subject matter expertise and provide value to clients. They also help with search engine optimization, particularly when they’re scheduled on a regular basis.

But what to make of an outdated website where the blog posts abruptly stopped two years ago? Have they run out of ideas to share more insights? Does the company still exist?

Of course, gaps may occur from time to time, but if the most recent blog post is several years old, you’re signalling that something may be amiss. This could make it more difficult to build trust and lead to credibility questions about whether you’re the right choice for your customer.

Your Dead Embedded Social Media Feeds are Making You Look Stale

Blogs aren’t the only things that lapse, and so do social media feeds. If your homepage has an embedded social media feed, please be sure that it’s current.

Imagine, if you will, a homepage full of vibrant copy and imagery, portraying your company as forward-thinking, innovative, and dynamic. Off to the side sits an embedded Twitter account where the latest tweet occurred in 2017. What gives?

If a particular social media platform has fallen out of focus for your organization, don’t let its stale stench stink up your website. Get it out of there and keep your website current!

Once again, this may not seem like a major concern, but it’s just another potential indicator that your company is not at the moment. Too many of these mistakes can damage your credibility.

Your Unfinished Content is Putting Doubt in Your Audience’s Mind

You had big plans for your new website. On the launch date, the main pages were all up to snuff, but others still needed a little TLC. These pages contained only a few simple lines of text outlining your services or perhaps a ‘coming soon’ banner. Then you got busy with work and other things took priority.

Years have passed and your website visitors are starting to wonder whether that page is really ‘coming soon’ or not. What’s worse, they’re beginning to wonder if dropping balls is a way of life for your company. The page, as is, is not earning its keep on your site. Get it up to par and use it as a tool to build rapport with your target audience or get rid of it.

A screen reads coming soon, an example of a small credibility hit that can occur on a website.
Coming soon? Yeah, so is Christmas. Leave a screen like this in place too long and risk losing the trust of would-be clients.

Your (Ancient) References are Not Helping Your Audience

You were really proud of your hometown high school basketball team when they won that trophy. We all were. That was 7 years ago. Those kids have university degrees now. Time to remove it from the website.

Even worse is instructional content containing badly outdated information. If you’ve got a page or post that scores heavy traffic for your company, dedicate the time to keep it current. This evergreen content will continue hitting home runs for your website by building trust with your audience well into the future. Killer blog posts really are worth the effort!

404 Errors are Preventing Your Potential Clients to Connect

Steve Smith’s own goal in the 1986 playoffs. The New Coke debacle. A link on your website leads to a 404 error screen. These are just a few examples of major mess-ups.

A 404 error code tells your reader that the page they’re trying to reach doesn’t exist. Maybe they typed in the address wrong, in which case you can’t really be blamed for that. The good news is you can control what your visitors see on a 404 page. Providing them with helpful links to guide them through your website to connect can help turn a mess into a success.

And if you gave them a link to nowhere? That’s on you to fix up! Audit the links on your web pages on occasion to ensure that all pages on your website are in good working order. Otherwise, risk a potential credibility hit.

An address bar on a website contains a typo, leading to a 404 screen.
Despite the popular spoof on Canadians, there is no ‘aboot’ page on Peak Ed Designs website. This is an example of a mistyped address resulting in a 404 error. While there’s nothing a web host can do here, they must be vigilante against their own links leading to such a screen. Rest assured that Peak Ed Designs’ ‘about’ page is working just fine.

Next Steps

Running a business is time-consuming and difficult. Managing a website only adds to the stress. Peak Ed Designs can help.

Our website builds ensure that your brand is well represented on launch day. Our maintenance and content packages will keep it that way.

Let Peak Ed Designs Help Maximize Your Business Credibility with Expert Website Management.

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