Did you hear the story the other day about how Kim Kardashian lost 100,000 Instagram followers?

Her problem?


When it comes down to it, authenticity – or credibility, as it’s referred to in a recent infographic from Content Ranked – affects everything in your business. While, for the sake of this blog post, I’m primarily interested in authenticity as it pertains to marketing and communications, the effects of authenticity stretch far and wide across your entire business.

You can reference the full infographic below to check out all 53 ways that the marketing and communication strategies used on your website affect your credibility. However, in the next few paragraphs, we’re going to focus on five of the most critical reasons why we’ve seen other companies’ credibility take a hit.

#1 A Photo of You (or Your Team)

Get in front of the camera!

46% of people think that an image of the business owner increases credibility. Consider putting your photo – or photos of your company/team – on your website.

In fact, we would encourage you to take it one step further and take to posting authentic, down-to-earth photos and videos of yourself and your team to Facebook, Instagram, or wherever your audience may be. We have several clients who are comfortable doing this, and they are reaping the rewards! It takes practice, and it can’t be outsourced. You just have to go for it.

#2 Include a Phone Number

This one’s easy, right? Survey says… including a phone number on your site boosts your trust levels 2x.

So, why not?

Pro tip: turn that phone number into a hyperlink to enable touch-to-call functionality. Touch-to-call isn’t just for mobile and tablets anymore, as an increasing number of people are making calls through Facetime and other apps over their computers.

#3 Social Proof (If You’ve Got It!)

Flaunt it if you’ve got it. “Social proof” (i.e. Facebook fan posts, a large number of Twitter followers, Instagram photos your business has been tagged in, etc.) goes a long way in establishing credibility.

There are a number of widgets you can use to pull this content directly into your website. At the very least, make sure you’re linking to your social profiles in the header and footer of your website, and make sure you’re constantly proactive in driving people to your platforms.

#4 Online Reviews

This one’s big: 92% of consumers regularly read online reviews to determine the credibility of a business. Also, studies show that more product reviews translate to more product sales. (There’s “social proof” working for you again.)

#5 Spelling & Grammar

This one is so easy to get a handle on, yet a shockingly high number of “professional” websites are making a huge mistake in the spellcheck department.

Have a second set of eyes comb over your work, or use a service like Grammarly if you don’t have anyone you trust to catch the little errors. Whatever you do, take care of this problem.

Survey says… 42.5% of people leave a site because of poor spelling and grammar. By making small errors in your copy, you’re losing a huge amount of your audience.

Boost Your Website Credibility

For more info about how to improve your website credibility, see the infographic below, or check out the chapter on “Being Genuine” in my latest book, Finally Human.