One of the biggest reasons why people leave your website without taking a next step is simply because you have not yet built enough trust with that person. Building trust is an essential part of the sales process - but also a part that can be difficult without the advantage of face-to-face interaction. So here are five tips to help you establish trust online.
- Get your designing & branding right
- Use testimonials & reviews
- Show real people & faces
- Don't take yourself too seriously
- Provide genuinely valuable content for free
Get your design & branding right
One of the biggest things that you can do to establish trust straightaway is having a clean, professionally designed logo and website. According to this article, a whopping 48% of people cited a website's design as the NUMBER ONE factor in deciding the credibility of a business.
Of course, having a "well-designed website" can be somewhat subjective. Often times, what we think of as "good", others will not. As with most things in life - you generally get what you pay for. If you are trying to save money by using an inexperienced friend or family member who knows a thing or two about setting up a website - what you save in upfront costs, you will likely lose ten-fold in missed opportunities.
Testimonials & Reviews
Not everybody wants to be the first person to try out a product or service. Testimonials and reviews are a great way to show that other people have had a positive exerience with your business. Keep in mind that authenticity here is key. If a testimonial feels fake or like it was written by someone on your own team (or a family member), it will likely have the opposite effect than what you intend. To help testimonials feel more authentic on your site, be sure to include a picture, name, and title of the person you are quoting. Additionally, it is always a worthwhile endeavor to ask your customers to leave you a review on third-party services such as Google, Facebook, and Yelp.
Show real people & faces
When it comes to building trust with visitors to your website, one of the easiest things you can do is add pictures of real people in your business. Stock photos, while handy, are incredibly easy to spot, and no matter how good the quality is, they tend to diminish a users trust in you. It has been a personal observation of mine on most websites that we manage, an "About Us" page is almost always the most popular page besides the homepage, because people like to see the faces behind the business.
The more people are used to seeing the faces behind your business, the more trustworthy people will find you.
Why so serious?
Many businesses avoid using lighthearted humor on their websites, because they fear it will cause them to look unprofessional, or people to not take them seriously. In reality, it is quite the opposite. Nobody actually "prefers" dry, lifeless content. Some may endure it out of necessity - but given the choice between something that is entertaining to read and something that is strictly business, entertaining will win every time. When you can show that you're down-to-earth, light hearted, and approachable, people will automatically feel that they can trust you more.
Provide Valuable Content For Free
I'm sure you've probably heard it a hundred times by this point - but really, everything boils down to value. When you can give people something of genuine value, it automatically creates a level of rapport and trust between you and that person. The key here is knowing what people actually find valuable. Many people produce content for the sake of filling a quota, or because their SEO/Social Media/Marketing guy told them they should be writing 1 or 2 blogs per week. In reality, it is not so important how often you post, but rather, how valuable the content is.
As an example - The Cummings Law Firm compiled a list of common legal documents and put them on their website for free, for anybody to download and use. Some of these documents included a simple lease agreement, a custody agreement, and tenant agreements. Incidentally, when they launched this service, the traffic to their website soared.
When it comes to establishing trust with your audience, this is just scratching the surface. The key objective here is to get you thinking about whether or not your website visitors actually trust you enough to purchase from you. How are you doing on the items in this list? Is there anything you can be doing better?
And be on the lookout for Part II of this article.
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