Your online credibility is related to your online visibility for obvious reasons. If you cannot be found because your website is not ranking and you have no other online profiles then what does that say about your credibility? Or, if your website does not create a good impression when people see it for the first time then they quickly form an opinion and move on. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
But credibility means “believable” and one of the best ways to help with that is via third party endorsements. The “review” industry has become huge with some websites that offer reviews becoming quite controversial. Yelp is one such site but it is not as popular and therefore not as important in the UK as it is in the USA. Reviews are a double edged sword as they can be used as a marketing tool but they can also turn round and bite you. Every business should be using Reputation Marketing – building a great online reputation and then telling the world all about it.
Consistency is important for your online credibility. How does it look to your potential customers if you look different or send different messages depending on where you are found online? We mentioned brand consistency when talking about online visibility and that was really about the look and feel of your online presence. But the messaging is just as important. What happens if on one site you stand for “X” and on another you stand for “Y” or simply don’t stand for “X”? That is mixed messaging and not only does it confuse your potential customers it also confuses the search engines.