Street Cred is for Rappers, Net Cred is ...

Brett Welch | BC - Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Rappers Need Street Cred. So you need... Net Cred?

What's street cred? The urban dictionary of slang gives us this definition:

Street Cred
Short for street credibility (n) -
repsect(sic) from urban communities. usually something essential for making it big in the rap world.

Now if I may offer a definition of Net Cred:

Net Cred
Short for internet credibility (n) -
Respect from the online community, with tacit acknowledgement that the information or propositions you present online are real and somewhat trustworthy. Usually something essential for making it big online.

Unfortunately, Net Cred isn't really measurable - it's more a feeling people will get when they land on your website.

Think about this: when you're surfing the web, you're often looking for something. It might be a gift for your sister, some information for a project, or news on your favorite singer.

Sometimes you'll find something suitable, but then ask yourself: "Can I trust this website?"

That's when the website's Net Cred comes into play; the more apparent the site's Net Cred is the more likely you will buy the product, use the information or believe the news.

Zooming in on Online Businesses for a moment - for every business, there are some basic building blocks of Net Cred that can be (and should be) used pretty easily. If you are a business owner, here are some things you can add or do to your website to lend a basic level of Net Cred in the eyes of your visitors.

  • Your physical office address. Real companies have real postal addresses - so tell people about it!
  • A phone number. Your customers might not call it, but at least they know they can, if they want to.
  • Watch your spelling and grammar. It's simple, but important. If someone has too many spelling mistakes and poor grammar it's too easy to be dismissed as amateur.
  • Think about presentation. Your website should look good. It doesn't need to be a work of art, but spend some time, effort or money to ensure your site is well laid out and easy on the eyes. Either use a professionally designed template (as our online business builder does) or get a designer to put something together.
  • Make sure your site displays nicely on all browsers. Too many sites only work on Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE), and not Firefox or Safari. Websites need to work across IE, Firefox and Safari for mac users - if your site doesn't display correctly to your potential customer, they will not buy from you.
  • Add an About Us page. About us pages are commonly read by people trying to work out if they should trust a company. Make sure you have one! It should tell the prospect 5 important things about your company: who you are, where you are, what you do, why you do it and how you do it.

That's 6 things - and there's loads more, no doubt.

The point is simple: credibility is a huge question when your customers land on your website. You've got to make sure you are communicating your credibility effectively - or you'll lose them lickity split.