The classic cartoon to the right illustrates the basic problem all of your prospects face when they try to decide whether or not to buy your product or service. If they don’t know you or haven’t been referred to you by someone they trust, they have no idea if you are a “dog” or not. Since anyone can put up a website, are you for real? Visitors to your site are constantly evaluating on a conscious and unconscious level whether they believe they can trust you – whether you will deliver on the promise you are advertising. This is a measure of your credibility. Webster’s defines credibility as “the quality or power of inspiring belief”. The greater your credibility, the more likely that someone will buy from you site unseen. So, how do you increase your credibility or believability through your website? There are many ways. I’ll discuss the first here and more in a later entry. Design. The professionalism of your website’s design goes a long ways towards convincing your prospects that YOU are professional. A nice design is not only attractive and inviting, but it actually subtly conveys the message that you want your visitor to get. For example, a massage therapist’s site should probably subtly convey a feeling of relaxation and healing whereas a baseball team’s website should convey excitement, action and fun. If you’ve settled for a template design for your website, you’ve missed a huge opportunity to convey credibility and the unique feeling, or selling point, that you offer. Anyone with experience in visual communication can instantly recognize whether a website design is effectively contributing to your credibility or limiting it. Feel free to submit your site and I’ll be happy to review it. Just send me a note via the Contact page. What challenges have you run into in terms of the design of your site?