Does Your Website Make You Seem Real?

Whether or not your website converts leads into sales comes down to one main ingredient: credibility.

By Dahlia Lilleslatten, Communications

Ever been on a website and started to wonder if the company is even real? The people pictured are bad stock photo models, there’s no phone number to call and no office address to stalk on Google Maps—just a contact form that goes who knows where. What are they hiding?

In order for your website to be an effective sales and/or marketing tool for your organization, it must exude authenticity and trust. It must strike a connection with the user and give them confidence that you’re a legitimate organization run by good humans.

So ask yourself, does your website make you seem real?

If you’re not sure, these areas of focus may help…

Design Matters

Hardly a surprising assertion coming from a creative agency, but web design matters. A well-designed site shows that time, effort, and money have been channeled into developing your online presence. If you show you care, chances are your future clients will care, too.

Original Content is King

Updating your blog with thought-pieces and case studies is critical to engaging with future clients. Original content reinforces your website is active and comes with the added bonus of showcasing your company’s extensive expertise.

Want even more legitimacy? It’s high time you hunker down and tackle those neglected social media channels that have been on the back-burner since 2015 (pro tip: hire an intern if you don’t have the faintest clue where to start).

Who are the People Behind Your Company?

Are you using photos of real people — or stock photos? Chances are, your audience can tell the difference within a second. Humanizing your website will help instill trust in your brand and prove that it isn’t being run by ‘bots. Consider including photos of your office space, or if you work remotely, take a screenshot of your team over Zoom. Many companies feel pressure to portray themselves as being larger than they actually are, but this might not necessarily work to their favor. Transparency should always be a priority and can prevent confusion from arising later down the line.

Location, Location, Location

If you have a real office or offices, including your address(es) and a map is pretty compelling evidence that you’re real.

If you’re fully distributed and don’t have an office, then include a phone number that forwards to one or multiple people on your team (as of this writing Google hasn’t killed off Google Voice yet).Or provide the real name and email of the best person to contact.

‘No Such Thing as Bad Publicity’

If your company has ever been featured in the press, flaunt it! While we’re all aiming for a feature in Forbes or The New York Times (ahem…as we were 10 years ago), don’t let the quest for international fame deter you from posting a feature or mention from a lesser-known publication.

Word of Mouth

Nothing is stronger than social proof. Ask some of your clients to provide testimonials, and use headshots alongside them if they’re OK with it. Showcase a list of clients so users can see the types of organizations that have trusted you enough to buy from you in the past. If possible, build out case studies with metrics and successes that reinforce that you’e clearly doing something right.

It All Comes Down to Connections

Do you have ties to a reputable organization or research institution? Connections to well-established, credible sources (think: universities, or industry leaders in your field) attribute added know-how and prestige to your business. For example, North Street’s culture page proudly touts our affiliation with such organizations as the Entrepreneurs’ Organization  The Legal Marketing Association, and EOS. Make those connections known!

Now Hiring

To state the obvious: real companies hire real people. Make it known you are hiring by updating your jobs page when new opportunities become available.

Just Google It

Chances are, the first place future clients will look to uncover information about your company is on Google. Shortly after, LinkedIn. Have you created a GoogleMyBusiness account? When you search for your own company, what do you find? A wealth of information, or crickets?

Feeling inspired and want to dig deeper? Additional reading:

The Do’s and Don’ts of Law Firm Websites
Why Google My Business is Critical for B2B and Professional Services
Stock Art Misfires and How to Fix Them (Part 1)

About north street

We engineer the thoughtful transformation of great organizations. Our proven process helps us understand what your competitors are doing right — and wrong. Want to learn more? Let’s chat.

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