Can You Trust Me?
June 01, 2011 at 1:56 PM
We do business with people we trust – that much is a given. So how do you gain a visitors trust when they arrive at your website? After all, they can't look you in the eye, shake your hand or sit in your office. Successful web design is all about making people trust you before they meet you. Here's 10 ways to do it:
1. Professional Web Design
Your website design must convey and air of professionalism and credibility. Poor quality web design leaves the visitor with serious questions about the quality of the company, their products and their services.
2. A detailed Website About Us Section
Don't keep your website's visitors at a distance – let them really get to know you. Your website's about us section should reflect the character of your company. Team bio's let them know your people. A company history lets them know where you've come from. Company Vision lets them know where you're going. Company Values let them know what you stand for.
3. Guarantee It!
Nothing sets people at ease more than a guarantee – how can you structure your offer so the visitor has nothing to lose? Minimise their risk and gain their trust.
Do you have partnerships with well known and respected brands? Are you an authorised distributor or reseller? An official sponsor or supplier? Ask permission to use their logos and branding on your website and let your visitors know you partner with the best.
Testimonials are widely used on websites, but there is always the chance they're not authentic. To ensure they are perceived as genuine, include the website address, image of the person giving the testimonial, or better yet, film a video testimonial.
6. Case Studies
Case studies are great to showcase the challenges your clients have faced, and how your service solved their problem. Visitors may see your customer's problems reflect their own. This is a great way to build empathy with your visitors.
7. Returns Policies, Privacy Policies & Terms & Conditions
People like to know they're dealing with an upfront company who is open about its terms. Publishing these on your website give visitors confidence – they know what they're signing up for when they do business with you.
8. Professional Certifications
A blog is a great tool to become a "thought leader" in your field. Write articles and blog posts that show your expertise and experience in your field. People like to deal with knowledgeable companies. Become a trusted source of valuable information – your visitors will return to your website again and again.
9. Professional Certifications
Are you a member of a professional association? Have you or your company achieved a certified quality standard (Master Builder etc)? These certifications convey quality and credibility to visitors.
Used well, having a video of a key team member explaining your company's services or products can be incredibly compelling for visitors. The internet can feel impersonal, so someone talking directly to the visitor adds a much needed human element to their online experience.
Remember, if they don't trust you, they won't do business with you. It's as true on the internet as it is in the retail shop, the office, or the showroom. I hope these ideas will bring a new level of trust and credibility to your website.