In 1993, at the very dawn of the World Wide Web, Peter Steiner, an illustrator at The New Yorker, created an iconic cartoon. It featured two dogs in front of a computer. One of them said to the other, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” It was an instant smash, pinned on office walls all over the world. It referenced the anonymity of the internet in a very amusing way.
But those were simple days when the internet was mostly just newsgroups and email. Today, anonymity can be a big problem — especially for businesses and others who want to instill trust and credibility in their readers. How do customers know they can trust a particular online business? How do readers know they can trust a writer’s opinions on subjects ranging from politics to religion to Lady Gaga’s newest outfit? Put simply: how can people know that your website isn’t run by a couple of dogs?
We’ve discussed this issue before, 7 Reasons People Don’t Trust Your Website. But the number one most important thing that you can do to create credibility is to have an About page. And the number two most important thing is to have that page be informative and interesting. The last thing you want is for people to think, “This website looks interesting, but I have no idea if I should trust it.”