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Based on three years of research including over 4,500 people, Stanford has produced a list of ten guidelines to improve the credibility of any website. We've distilled that list down to seven aphorisms we know to be true based on our own experience.

  • Show that your business is genuine with photos of your offices. Smiling stock photos hurt more than help.
  • Make it easy to contact you by listing your phone number, physical address, and email address.
  • Look professional by using a professional design that matches your brand's image.
  • Make your site both easy to use and useful to reward visitors. (Forget about flash.)
  • Keep your content fresh to show that you care. (The easiest way is with a Twitter widget.)
  • Avoid having ads on your site as they annoy users. When writing, try to sound sincere instead of promotional.
  • Avoid downtime, typographical errors, and broken links.

Source: Fogg, B.J. (May 2002). "Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility." A Research Summary from the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab. Stanford University.