Trust is an issue that decides whether a visitor becomes your client. The first impression of your business is based on your website. Your site has only a few seconds to impress the visitor and convince them to look further. During those seconds your website must speak for your business field, values and leave a professional impression.
Why is trust so critical?
The Internet is an anonymous environment which makes trust an important issue. How can I be sure that you really exist? Are you really as good as you say?
In 1993 a comic by Peter Steiner was published in The New Yorker that stated: “On the internet nobody knows you are a dog.” The comic symbolizes the anonymity of the internet where you need no identification to communicate or receive a message. So it’s easy to pretend to be someone you aren’t online. This has made consumers suspicious and careful.
The main reason why you need to create trust online is the insecurity of consumers. A good first impression is a presumption to create a trusting relationship with consumers that convinces them to invest their money into your business. The question is how to convince visitors that you are trustworthy?
I’m sure you know the expression “don’t judge a book by its cover”. We are taught from childhood to look further from external surface and value the inner beauty. That’s not how things work online. Think about how many websites you’ve shut down because they had a horrific design?
Web design is one of the key factors when building trust at first sight. Design is more than “we are cool”. The idea is to communicate a story, speak for your values and business field. A great design is so natural that you can’t almost notice it.
In addition to visual appearance, concentrate on simple and logical structure. There is nothing more frustrating than a website that you don’t know where to navigate.
Read more, how to create a user friendly website design.
Client testimonials and logos
We care about what other people think, no matter whether we admit it or not. It has the power to convince us that we are not the only ones who think about buying this product/service. The more reliable the testimonial source, the bigger influence it has on the trust factor.
Add client testimonials on your website. Ask permission to use their photo, job title and company information. We’ve seen enough fake reviews online. They’re easy to avoid adding a face and a name to the testimonial.
There are two types of testimonials: clients and influencers. Clients are regular people whom the visitor can identify with. Influencer is a well-known person whose opinion matters. The type of the testimonial varies due to the industry.
If possible, use client logos similarly to testimonials. This usually applies to B2B field. If you have well-known clients use them to advertise yourself! If the big names have chosen you as their partner, then others are more willing to do the same.
Give the company a face
People like to communicate with other people not with companies. Human touch gives the company transparency and shows more confidence. Make sure you have a team page including all team members photo, job title and contact information. If possible, add social media follow buttons like Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn etc. Don’t forget to create profiles with faces when running a blog on your website!
Many people are shy and think adding a social media profile to a company site is interrupting their personal life. From a company’s point of view it creates a more personal contact – people like to know whom they communicate with. Also it gives an image that “we have nothing to hide!” where each team member is a part of the community and ready to communicate for their business publicly.
There is tons of information on the internet, to be more specific 5 million terabits. This is a lot! Think how difficult the navigation is with this amount of information available. We have developed a strong criticism to sort out the most relevant information. We need only a few seconds to tell whether the website is worth more of our attention. No wonder that some claim humans to have an attention span of a goldfish these days.
To get visitors attention you need content that is:
The biggest mistake made is amateur SEO copywriting that sounds something like this:
“We sell quality closets. We have closets for different rooms and purpose. We have wardrobe closets, hall closets, kitchen closets, module closet and other closets. You get the best closets from us!”
…well that sounded very unnatural. The visitors will notice the unprofessional content. In addition, keyword stuffing is against Google rules that results in removing your site from indexing.
The clearer your message, the better your visitors understand it. Don’t write an encyclopaedia on your website, but bring out your strengths and reasons why the visitor should buy from you.
Keep your promises
What’s the biggest trust killer? When you break a promise.
Every business desires to leave an indelible impression with magical promises and best offers. But what if your offer doesn’t meet clients’ expectations? Let’s say that you have an offer that promises free delivery. The client is excited, he chooses items to the shopping cart and starts to pay. What a disappointment when he discovers that free delivery is only for orders over 50€. What? Are you joking? The client is furious. He has just spent half an hour finding the products he love and now the whole offer is a lie.
If you don’t want to piss off your customers, keep your promises. Whether it’s a special offer, newsletter content, free material etc. The worst way to lose a client is betrayal – it’s almost impossible to repair that bridge.
Be a leader
Your name counts on the internet. The reputation of tough leadership develops with public communication. The more you are on the picture, the greater value it gives to your business reputation (of course, when the stories are positive). Active communication on social media is one indicator. The influence of social media has risen and consumers care about how you communicate with them publicly.
Privacy is a delicate topic online. People are not willing to share their personal information especially when they don’t know why this information is needed. Do you really need to know the client’s birthday when selling pet food? Ask only the information really needed.