In the wide world of the internet, many strange things happen that do not mimic the real-life happenings of the unwired, offline world. Perhaps because of the anonymity of the internet, people behave differently there. People are warier and tend to be suspicious of anything that seems promotional in nature of something supposedly good. It is said that on an average, it takes only a few seconds for a visitor to decide whether to stay along or jump away from a website. One crucial factor that determines this increasingly fickle behaviour of people on the internet is the trust they have when they land on a website. A visitor landing on a page of a website for the first time always size it up for its trustworthiness.
No matter how engaging your content is, how stylishly the layout of your website is structured, how visually appealing your page is, if visitors have doubts about your website’s trustworthiness, they will immediately click away to a different website and in many cases, never come back. For a business website, trust can be a deal-breaking criterion for a confidence-building process. People need to feel confident that you have got their best interests and that they will not be scammed. One area of business that is toughest to gain people’s trust is in the sales and marketing. But you cannot blame them since there had been just too many instances of online scams and fraudulent schemes that had cheated people on their hard-earned money, have left them high and dry after having trusted the genuine-looking call-to-actions in the website. So what are the things about a website that makes it trustworthy for its customers and that allay their suspicions?
#1: Personality element of your website – the About Us page
The moment you are able to halt a visitor to your page and have created that crucial intrigue in your website, the next thing they will check out is more information about your company or your business – the chronology of developments, the experience, the success stories, and possibly testimonials of past customers. This is natural because people would like to know who are they are dealing with and how easily approachable they think you are. This is where the “About Us” page assumes great significance in making people trust in your website. You can elaborate on the types of products or services you offer and about the evolution of your business. Be smart to include the lows of your business and the about the struggles that you had to go through. People always like to know the success graph and telling them about the bad days make them trust in the workability of your business.
You can include the major achievements of your business and if possible photographs of yourself, your family or team members that go a long way in humanising your brand. Remember, it is much easier to trust the people behind the brand than the brand itself.
#2: Contact information details
In order to prove that your business is legitimate, you need to provide a “Contact Us”page with telephone number, address, email IDs. Running an online business with obscure and sketchy details only make people wary of associating with your brand. To further the credibility factor, you can add your social media details like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest profile URLs. The social media network is necessary not only for inducing the trust but also in working up the brand image of your website.
#3: Strong website design
Well, it does not matter if your content is extremely compelling but if your website’s design is weak and the end-user experience is terrible, it is an uphill task to gain the people’s trust in your business. Even if the traffic is there, the bounce rate will only increase if your website lacks the professional touch. This is the reason it pays to give proper attention to create a professionally and aesthetically pleasing website. It is not necessary to invest a lot of money in buying profession themes for a strong design. People can create a compelling, professional-looking website even on free WordPress themes that are available in thousands on the internet. There are so many resources freely available on the internet to create a beautiful and fully-functional website. Hence, it will only be your undoing for having a poorly designed site with such abundant resources. Remember, the first impression is important for business but for an online business, it can mean the difference between failure and success. Small elements like logo and favicons should not be ignored.
#5: Regularly updated content
People trust a content that is fresh more than something that is 2-3 years old. Hence, it is necessary to regularly add new blog posts or update the existing posts with new information. In today’s fast-paced world, things become obsolete fast and by updating your blog you send out a signal that you care about your business (and your customers). A regularly updated blog also lends an image of authority in your niche and makes your brand more trustworthy. Remember, an active blog is not only essential for boosting the customer trust but it also has SEO benefits too making your pages rank favourably in search engines.
#6: Use of secure badges and certified seals
It is smart to display all the secure badges and certificates prominently on your website. You may like to display your SSL certificate symbol to let your visitors know that they are using a secure server. For an online business, it certainly adds to the trust in your website if your customers know that all their browsing activity is done securely.
#7: Showing customers that you are active online
One of the best ways to let people trust in your website is when you are actively engaged with your customers. Whether it’s a query or a comment, make sure that the response time is short. A reply to a comment or a query let your customers feel that you really care for them and have their best interest in your mind. People sometimes check your online activity through your social media platforms like the Facebook page where frequently updated posts or engagement with the followers help in boosting your public image. Responding to tweets or uploading photographs on Instagram eases a customer’s mind.
#8: No broken links or blank pages
Broken links or blank landing pages render a website look unprofessional. It conveys a callous attitude that does not gel well with the confidence of visitors. Customers do not like an error landing page on browsing and when they find that the link on a page is redirected to a blank page, they immediately leave the site most of the time. That is why it is necessary to ensure that no broken links are there, and if there are, they should be fixed. There are plugins available to help you in finding these broken links.
#9: Social media following
People do not trust a business that does not have good following on the social media. But if you have a good number of followers, then this can be leveraged to further the trust in your website if you could incorporate the social media statistics on your home page. A good following means your brand is popular and if your visitors could see the figures on your website, it can help in building trust.
#10: Money-back guarantee
It depends on the type of online business you are in, but if you could have a money-back guarantee where customers could get their full refund on a product or service they acquired, it can act to boost the confidence of the customers in your website. This guarantee should be prominently displayed on your page. Spell out a clear refund policy.
It is a fact that when it comes to trust, marketers and salespeople rank way down below. In the online world where people are increasingly becoming impatient, you cannot afford to ignore the factors that negatively impact customer’s confidence. Be attentive to detail. People need to feel confident that you can be someone they can trust on.