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Building Credibility and Trust is Crucial to Inbound Marketing

By John McTigueOct 29, 2009

Online, it can be difficult to establish legitimacy—let alone primacy—in your sphere. One of the reasons is simply that it’s difficult for web users to determine legitimacy, but your inbound marketing strategy can account for these challenges.

Consider those characteristics of your website that a first-time visitor uses to determine the relevance, credibility and stature of your organization. These are the keys to your website strategy, the keys to getting found, earning trust and developing relationships with customers online.

Credibility and Trust

building trust is crucial to your inbound marketing strategyIt’s no secret that the web is filled with countless sites that are dishonest; in short, they don’t do or represent what they claim to do or be. While some of these sites are obvious misrepresentations, others are not. When we consider that people only give a website a few precious seconds to establish its legitimacy and relevance before closing out, the first impression created by your web design strategy is key.

Your website strategy should focus on grabbing visitors’ attention immediately with a concise, forthright representation of who you are and why you’re important to them. Though your brand proposition here is brief and precise, it doesn't have to sound like a stiff dictionary definition. Add character and energy that attest to your enthusiasm, expertise and relevance.

One more crucial step - you must establish credibility and trust throughout the blogosphere, social mediasphere and in real-life interactions. In their book "Trust Agents", Chris Brogan and Julien Smith describe three levels of attention that you must strive for, awareness, reputation and trust, in order to build and retain a loyal following.

Leadership and Presence

Ideally, we’d all pop up at the top of the first page of major search engine results when someone types in popular search terms in our industry. This is nice work, if you can get it.

But once a person does visit your site—through a referring site, a web search or anywhere else, it’s essential to establish yourself as an industry leader. Your web design strategy immediately suggests or gives clues to your online presence and, by extension, your brand. Testimonials, blog comments, case studies or other evidence of satisfied customers and interested visitors are crucial.

Your website is entirely your own domain. People can see only what you let them see here, so put your best foot forward.

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The Author

John McTigue

With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.
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