Easy Ways to Earn Website Trust
Your website is competing against a million other websites in your niche. You may have managed to bring in loads of traffic via paid and organic search marketing - all people looking for a trustworthy site but how do you convince them that you are, indeed, trustworthy?
Here is a list of quick and easy ways to earn your site visitors' trust:
1. Web Design:
Web design must be pleasing to the eye to attract people and must be easy to navigate to retain visitors. More importantly, there are key trust signals that should be incorporated into the design.
Take a look at the WooRank homepage.
As you can see the WooRank homepage has been designed using a simple color scheme and a striking visual of the WooRank office. The image alone, will instantly instill trust because it helps to connect the website visitor with a a real working office.
Additionally, it is easy for a website visitor to understand what WooRank offer. It is easy to navigate and easy to gain a better understanding of their service offering. This is all achieved with a well-structured layout, clear headlines, ample white space and an uncluttered design. It is a professional web design that looks well planned and appealing.
When a website design is invested in properly, site visitors trust it more.
Web Design Elements to Avoid:
- Long pages on a vertical scroll, unless you are an affiliate site.
- Horizontal scrolling.
- Static advertisements.
- Elements that require plugins to be downloaded.
- Animated, flashing icons.
- Using unconventional design (unless necessary). Conventional designs utilize familiarity to allow the users better control over site navigation.
2. Accreditation Seals:
Get your business accredited by private or government accreditation bodies to gain your site visitors' confidence. One of the most important accreditation bodies for U.S. companies is the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which is a private and non-profit organization. They have been around for a long time and their seals add credibility to your web business immediately, which gives you an edge over online competition. To gain a BBB accreditation your business needs to fulfill the best business practices. BBB seals are ideally placed on the home page and any other pages the customers visit for a prominent presence. Businesses cannot cheat and simply post an image of the seal as genuine seals are clickable and lead to the seal validation page. Accreditation seals (or trust seals) verify a number of different aspects of a website's credibility, such as how secure data encryption is on your site, how strong your information privacy is and the legitimacy of your business.
Other Accreditation seal providers are as follows:
3. Security Seals:
When a customer is about to make a credit card payment on your site they need to be reassured that the information will be secure. You can communicate your trustworthiness with security seals. These can be used on e-commerce sites and on any sites that ask for customer email addresses. (The last thing a site visitor wants is spam and junk emails in their inbox.) These security seals play a huge role in convincing potential customers to make a purchase on your site.
One of the most common security trust seals is the SSL certificate. With this significant security seal on your site the web browser will show a 'lock' icon and the letters 'https' before your URL. These are quick indicators of a secure website.
SSL Certificate Providers:
- GeoTrust AntiMalware
- GoDaddy SSL
- Entrust SSL
- TrustWave SSL
- Symantec SSL
Other Security Seal Providers:
4. Copyright/Company Registration:
Display Copyright and/or company registration details at the bottom of your website. A sample of a Copyright notice displayed at the bottom of a website is shown below:
An Example of Copyright Information Displayed at the Bottom of a Web Page
It is not necessary to register for copyright protection; you just need to display the copyright symbol or a document claiming the copyright. It is a trust signal that indicates that your website and its content are original.
5. Domain Name:
Your domain name can broadcast trustworthiness as well. Are you more likely to shop from the website www.toysrus.com or www.cheapbabyfurniture.com? Most of us would feel safer shopping from the first website. This is not as significant as a trust signal but it does influence the buying behavior of some valuable customers. Thus having a branded URL rather than a URL stuffed with keywords is very important and will help your site visitors trust you more.
6. Contact Info:
Displaying your phone number and address prominently in obvious places instills confidence that there are real people involved in your business and that it is not a scam. You should also set up an account with Google+ or register with Google My Business to claim your business. This will ensure that you can maintain company contact info and it will also help with local SEO too. We recommend visiting our blog Google My Business: Your Essential Guide
- The information you collect form customers.
- The processes involved in collecting the information.
- How you use the information.
- How the customers can control their information (for example, unsubscribing from a newsletter, changing passwords).
- How well-protected the information is.
8. Payment Providers:
If your website needs to use a third party to process payments, using a reputable payment processor is key to maintaining a trusting relationship with your customer. The most popular payment gateways are PayPal and Google Checkout.
9. Showcase Achievements:
The easiest way to earn the trust of your web visitors is to show them your past successes. If your business website has catered to big names do not be afraid to show their logos or brand names on the home page. You can also post case studies that reflect the positive results your company has provided to customers in the past or display a portfolio of work in a prominent location on your website.
Video testimonials from customers can dramatically improve trust. People are easily influenced by recommendations. If you do not have the budget to create a video then post text testimonials at the bottom of your site with full details of the reviewer. Having any customer testimonials is better than none.
11. Social Proof:
More and more web users research online companies by looking at their presence on Social Media Platforms, like Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn. Being active on these sites instantly increases credibility by seeing the number of likes on your Facebook brand page, so it is essential to create brand pages for your site and grow a reputation in the social arena as well. It is a great idea to post live Twitter feeds from your Twitter brand page on your home page to show that your site is active.
We have some great resource on Promoting your Business on Facebook and on Twitter
12. Error Pages:
If your site's pages do not open as expected your site visitors will slowly lose trust in your web business. Get a custom 404 page created for your website so that even if there is a broken link on the site the visitor is redirected to the intended page.
13. Check Your Copy:
Sometimes small things go unnoticed on your site that can cost you valuable visitor trust. These could be grammatical or spelling errors on the web page content. If you have invested a lot to make your site look good, make sure you take the time to proof read the content and make it perfect.
Having a blog page on your site is useful for many reasons; earning trust is one of those reasons. When you post blogs on topics that interest your consumer market they will trust your authority on the subject, thus helping to build a relationship of trust between you and your potential customers.
15. Email Confirmation:
Sending an email confirmation after a registration with your site or newsletter subscription is a good gesture that makes customers trust you more. Let your site visitors know that you care enough to acknowledge their recent activity on your site.
16. Money Back Offer/Guarantee:
When you offer guarantees on your site it shows confidence in your deliverables. This instills trustworthiness in your site and encourages the buyer to make a positive decision. You could even include a free trial period of your product/service.
17. About Us:
Narrate real stories about your company rather than using the generic promises that every other company makes. Segment your About Us content into relevant parts or display it in bullet lists. Use staff photographs and show that there are real people involved in your business.
18. Outbound Links:
While your site might be completely secure, there is no guarantee that the external sites you are linking to are secure as well. Keep a constant tab on all links to external pages. Check if any of these links lead to broken links or sites with malware threats.
19. Customer Support:
If none of the above factors satisfy your customers then customer support definitely will. Being able to speak with a real person on the other end of a web business, either on the phone or on live chat, can instill a huge amount of trust in your site visitors.
Earning your visitors' trust is one of the major steps to conversions on your website. Your site visitors cannot be taken for granted and earning their confidence and trust must be of prime importance while developing your site content.
How have you changed your website to increase the trust of your site's visitors? Have you seen an increase in conversion?