Welcome to the second part of our WordPress website credibility guide. The tips shared in this part is mostly applicable to blogs with moderate or high traffic. Although I’m pretty sure the latter is already using all the techniques we’re going to see today, and many more. If you’re a brand new product, I suggest you spend a little time gathering people to fit into the following categories. (For example, find someone who’ll review the product for you).
6. Showcase Your Most Successful Products
When was the last time you saw a movie that started its trailer with “from the creators of XYZ comes another blockbuster…”? Not so long ago, right? That’s because it’s an age old marketing technique that just works. Portraying your most successful products automatically elevates your new product’s value in your potential customer’s head.
If the previous line doesn’t make sense, take a look at the latest movies directed by Cristopher Nolan. Almost each of them will contain the tagline “from the creator of the Dark Knight Trilogy…” Why? Because I’m Batman. Just kidding. It’s simply because the Dark Knight Trilogy was one of the most successful trilogies ever fetching a combined total of over $2 Billion worldwide. Therefore I’d be very interested to see Mr. Nolan’s latest work. The same rules apply to online marketing.
Case Study #8 – WPBeginner
Screenshot of WPBeginner’s Footer
Take WPBeginner for example. If you haven’t heard of them before, you would most likely conclude it to be good blog with tons of great tutorials.
When you land on their homepage, you’re not going to (immediately) find a reference to the products they’ve built. They’ve chosen to humbly put them under the “Sites We Like” section in the footer. That’s the showcase. When you learn that they’ve created a popular product you’ve heard of (or you’ve been using), your mind will spontaneously (and sometimes involuntarily) increase their brand value. That’s the beauty of showcasing your popular products.
7. List Your Achievements or “Featured In” or “As Seen On” Sections
This method is a time-tested, simple and effective authority booster. When your work gets featured or reviewed in influential blogs and magazines, don’t forget to portray it!
Case Study #9 – CloudMagic
I was looking for a new email app for my Android phone which had an iOS version as well. Given the sheer number of options in the Google Play Store, I started eliminating apps based on (1) design and (2) number of downloads. After 10 minutes of sifting through tons of apps, I was left with three.
I checked out the reviews of the second one (CloudMagic) and learnt that it was featured in TIME Magazine and the Wall Street Journal. I was sold! It’s important to mention that the app’s functionality was flawless. It didn’t give me the errors my last email app was giving. Thus, as I’ve mentioned before, your product should be great. (And that was supposedly the relatively easy part).
This is CloudMagic’s dedicated clientele page. Notice how they portray their reviews.
Case Study #10 – Quicksprout’s Blog Page
Here’s a screenshot of the Quicksprout blog. Take a look at how Neil brilliantly markets himself by mentioning all his achievements while maintaining absolute humility.
8. Client Testimonials
Showing your potential customer what your old clients have to say about your product is a sure-shot way of earning trust and increasing credibility. Of course, word of mouth works infinitely better, but client testimonials are the closest we’re going to get in a world with 7 billion people.
Again, like social sharing, you need to find a balance between the tones used in the user reviews. A overwhelmingly positive one might throw-off the sceptical buyer.
Client Testimonials brings us to a topic we discussed in part one – Customer Base. Remember how an influential client is a hidden weapon? The same rules apply for customer testimonials.
The more influential your client is, the more weight his/her testimonial is going to carry.
Case Study #11 – StudioPress
StudioPress is company that created one of the industry standard WordPress frameworks – Genesis. They have the highest selling WordPress framework of all time and is trusted by professionals everywhere.
Take a look at their landing page. They’ve included their customer testimonials in the same page, at the bottom.
All the people mentioned there are influential in their niches. This inevitably increases StudioPress’ stature and (sort of) justifies their slightly higher price tag.
9. Team Bios
Images have a tremendous impact on our “snap judgement” characteristics. They play a significant role in our subconscious mind, which inadvertently affect our decision-making process. There have been numerous reports documenting how a good sales pitch along with a complementing photograph can be a powerful combination in significantly increasing sales.
Let’s extend that analogy to team biographies. When we look at the photographs of the team members, we are inadvertently establishing a basic connection with them. If you were to meet one of them on the street, you might go – “Hey, I’ve seen you before… aren’t you in the team behind product XYZ?”
There are multiple ways to portray your team’s bio. It is usually seen that a combination of the following items make for a good team page:
- A good, clean and preferably personalized photograph of each team member.
- Social media handle – Twitter and LinkedIn are the two most common ones used.
- A message – may be in third person or in first person.
Avoid stock images.
Stock images are something you must try to avoid at all costs. Your team page, to begin with, is an optional page. Its objective is to introduce your customer to your team. Therefore we would encourage you to not use stock images or “portraits” of photogenic models in your team page. (But hey, if your team member happened to entail these characteristics – kudos!)
Crafting a team page requires significant time and energy, even though many business WordPress themes include a staff post type and/or page template. You should only focus on this once the product and the webpage is taken care of.
Case Study #12 – WooThemes
Here is a screenshot of WooThemes’ team page.
10. “Popular Posts” Widget on Sidebar
Most blogs have a widgetized sidebar containing multiple widgets. The most common ones include the Categories widget, Tag widget, newsletter subscription box and the social media widget.
The Popular Posts widget is a really interesting one as it aggregates the most popular articles (or pages) in your blog – solely based on your visitors. Ideally you should not modify your popular posts and let the plugin automatically generate it based on page-views, shares and other metrics.
Case Study #13 – The New York Times
NYTimes is one of the most influential magazines across the globe, and a personal favourite. I’ve always found its sidebar widget really useful – I frequently used it to email an article to my friends and colleagues. The widget sorts the most popular posts based on 3 different metrics:
- Most Viewed
- Most Emailed
- Recommended for you (which is primarily based on my reading habits)
This data is incredibly useful for analytical purposes, besides improving user experience. Lucky for you many magazine style WordPress themes like Spartan include a tabbed posts widget so adding this feature to you sidebar can be as easy as drag & dropping the widget.
11. Related Posts (Bonus)
Related posts placed at the bottom of your article play a significant role in lowering your site’s bounce rate. After finishing an article, when you’re presented with a fresh bunch on the same topic – you’re more likely to continue your reading and click on any one of them. This significantly reduces your site’s bounce rate, as your visitors spend more time on your site now.
It is important to note that you should have a minimum number of related articles (8-10), with the correct tags and category, in order for this method to work. You can use the YAARP Related Posts plugin to achieve the same.
Word of Caution: You should know that generating related posts requires extended computational resources, and hence puts extra pressure on your hosting server. If you’re on a shared hosting environment like BlueHost, please remember to enable WordPress caching.
Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve learnt in these two posts:
- Showcase your influential customer base
- Showcase your membership or download strength (depending on your product)
- Display the number of email subscribers to your newsletter (optional)
- Show your social shares, but be careful at the same time
- Display the number of page views of your articles
- Showcase your most successful products
- List your personal/business achievements (related to the product)
- Showcase your client testimonials (close resemblance to point #1)
- Create a team bios page (once the rest is taken care of)
- Use widgetized sidebars to generate additional traffic and improve user engagement
- Display related posts at the end of each post to improve bounce rate
In a nutshell, here’s what you need for a successful business model:
- Build a good product – something you are proud of.
- Market it. Done right, people will buy your product.
- If both steps were done right, people will continue to pay for your product/service.
That is exactly why you’d gladly pay 599$ for an iPhone because Apple is a pinnacle of trust and credibility. Hopefully you’ve learned some helpful tips to grow your business. Let us know if you have any questions, or any tips to add, in the comments below!