Are you in the process of moving your business online, or simply trying to build its online presence? In this article we discuss How To Establish Trust On Your Business Website.
Once your website is operational, your next course of action is to attract visitors and generate valuable online traffic. However, simply attracting this traffic won’t guarantee you customers and sales.
Your business needs to create a relationship of trust between your brand and your site’s visitors to convert the latter to paying customers.
“Building trust is a process. Trust results from consistent and predictable interaction over time.”—Barbara M. White
It isn’t always easy to instil your website visitors with a sense of trust in your brand, especially if you aren’t a large and particularly well-known organisation. However, there are many steps you can take to ensure that your brand appears transparent, trustworthy and reputable on its online channels.
15 Steps to Building a Trustworthy Business Website
1. Encrypt Your Website
Today’s consumers are more technologically savvy than ever before, and most of them will avoid having to deal with unencrypted websites. If your website is not encrypted (that is, your domain has an ‘http’ instead of ‘https’ suffix) some search engines will even warn their users that your site is unsafe.
Most customers who see one of these warnings appear while trying to access your site will immediately become suspicious of it. Unfortunately, this suspicion could quickly lead to losses of visitors, customers and sales for your company.
It’s good IT practice to only visit websites protected by SSL encryption. So it stands to reason that you should encrypt your website if you want people to visit it.
When you purchase your web domain and register for hosting, ensure that you buy an SSL certificate to encrypt your site and keep it secure for your future visitors.
2. Purchase a Credible Domain Name
Speaking of purchasing a web domain, it’s important to use your business’s brand name in your domain name to whatever extent possible.
If your brand’s name is already in use in its .com form, you can check its availability on trusted local extensions like .co.uk or .net. Extensions like .xyz and .biz tend to get viewed as less trustworthy than more commonly used options.
It’s important to avoid using a domain name that contains numbers. Numbers can be memorable additions to a domain name, but it can look suspicious and may even encourage people to view your brand as simply another number.
If your brand name contains a number (like One Shot Marketing, for example) spell it out in letters rather than using the corresponding numeral. We recommend avoiding the use of punctuation marks like hyphens if possible.
3. Add Your Company’s Brand and Location Details
If your business has a physical location, adding its address and a Google Maps link will help to instil a sense of trust in your web visitors. Having an address and a map available gives people the impression that there is someone at a physical location who can be held accountable should any issues arise.
You can register your address and company name to enable people to use local government business indexes to view your enterprise’s registration. These features will give your web visitors the power to research your company and develop a trusting relationship with your brand.
4. Keep Your Contact Details Visible
Visitors who have to put serious effort into finding your business’s contact details on your website will be far more likely to click away and support one of your competitors instead. You never want potential customers to have to hunt for ways to get in touch with you.
Display your contact information prominently on your website and give people several different ways to contact your team. Email, web contact form, telephone, and even live chat are all popular options that will add credibility to your brand.
5. Offer Free Trials and Value-Added Media
It isn’t possible for every business to offer a free trial of their services. However, if you can offer a free or low-cost offering, this is a great way to allow potential paying customers to try out your offerings before investing in your services.
If your business offers online services, giving your customers a one-week or 30-day free trial can ease them into working with you. If you sell physical products, you could offer a warranty or money-back guarantee instead.
Customers are always on the lookout for ways that may lower their risk of doing business with you. You can take this opportunity to show them exactly what you offer right off the bat.
6. Have Your Business Website Professionally Designed
Put yourself into your customers’ shoes for a moment.
Would you be more willing to trust a brand with a basic, outdated website, or a brand with a sleek and professional site that works well and loads quickly?
Having a modern and well-maintained website can go a long way in winning the trust of your visitors.
If your site is clunky, overwhelming, or slow to load, many customers will click away within seconds. Most web users browse using their mobile devices nowadays too, so if your website doesn’t load correctly on smartphones and tablets, you could lose significant amounts of business.
Work with web development and design professional to ensure that your website looks professional and offers great functionality across popular platforms and browsers.
7. Keep an Eye on the Finer Details
A big part of creating an attractive and compelling website is paying attention to the smallest details of its design.
As you prepare to launch your site, run through it with a fine-tooth comb to pick up minor spelling errors, broken links, missing image files, slow loading pages, and a lack of information that could cause your visitors to navigate away from your pages.
Correct these small errors and inconsistencies and you will be better equipped to build trust in your customers’ experience with your web page.
8. Use Good Quality Images
Websites that use low-quality, pixelated, poorly cropped images instantly lower the public’s perception of their brand. This can lead visitors to suspect that a business’s products and services are of an inferior quality.
It’s simple enough to add high-quality images to your website, as there are a myriad of free stock image platforms available online. You can even edit them to ensure that they appear unique and align with your brand’s identity as much as possible.
9. Offer Social Proof
Social proof is the new word-of-mouth referral.
When you show potential customers that your past clients have enjoyed their experiences with your brand, you are showing them they’ll be more likely to experience the same positive outcomes.
There are a variety of different ways to build elements of social proof into your professional website.
One common and effective method is to offer customer testimonials. You can feature testimonials on your home page or on a dedicated Reviews and Testimonials page—whatever you would prefer.
Many customers are hesitant to ask you directly for past reviews. But they’ll be pleased to see that other people have enjoyed working with your brand in the past.
It’s important to build a strong social media presence. Doing so establishes you as a real business that other people support and trust with their money.
You can create a Facebook page, a Twitter page, an Instagram account, a Yelp page, a Google My Business page, or even a TikTok account to engage with your customers and build meaningful relationships with them.
You can even add evidence
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