3 ways to make your content credible

There are literally millions of pages of information on the web. In fact, Netcraft’s March 2012 survey estimated that there are approximately 644,275,754 active websites in existence, and this is a figure which has undoubtedly grown over the last few months. With such an enormous amount of information available at the click of a button, how can you make your content-driven website stand out from the crowd as a genuinely useful and credible resource?

It’s tricky. Even huge sites like Wikipedia strike fear into the heart of those with a need for definite data, thanks to their user-edited content, and many users take the information posted on smaller, less established blogs and websites with a heavy pinch of salt. However, whilst it may seem difficult at first, it’s certainly not impossible to establish your website as a reliable content resource. By backing up your claims and demonstrating your knowledge, you can ensure that your content is taken seriously and help to establish your brand as a leader in its field.

Here are our three top tips for making your content credible:

1. Use statistics
Everyone needs a sprinkling of facts to back up their opinions, and using statistics is a great way to prove your point. A surprising or particularly interesting statistic often makes for a great headline or article opener (look to our first paragraph and you’ll notice that we practise what we preach). Just make sure that they’re genuine, which brings us to our next point …

2. Link to your sources
You should always use a reputable source when using a quote, figure or fact. For instance, if you are reporting on a piece of research or a study, read the study itself, rather than an article on the subject – with business blogs in particular, you’ll often find that the information has been put in a certain context to reflect positively on the services of the company that has authored the piece. When you’re doing your research, make sure that you get to the original source of the information, and link accordingly so that your readers can do the same.
3. Write with authority
Statistics and sources are all well and good, but in the end, the credibility of your content comes down to the tone of voice you employ. If you use a confident approach and demonstrate your high level of knowledge, your audience is much more likely to value to your opinion. One of the best ways to write with authority is take a particular stance on an issue. Instead of just regurgitating the facts that are already posted on hundreds of other websites, your writing should take an original, unique approach to a certain issue or event, using the facts to back up your argument. Not only will this make your piece more engaging, it’s more likely to be talked about, shared, and ultimately respected as a credible piece of content.