One of the challenges with online marketing is earning the trust of potential customers.
Most people are good. Most businesses are good. Most websites are good.
But a few bad apples can make consumers leery about buying things online or contacting a business after visiting their website to gather information.
If you’re looking for more leads and sales from your website one of the issues, that really good be a quick fix, is to improve its trustworthiness.
What can you change?
Here are some tips.
1. Photos of Real People, Real Places
I think this is a big one. Stock images can be wonderful. They can look like the real team, but there is always a question. Are they models in the photo? Are they posed just a little too perfectly? Or are they kind of typing oddly at that computer? Kind of like they’ve never typed before?
If possible, have a professional photographer take a few shots around your office or place of business. Then use a regular camera, even a phone, and take shots of the team and showcase them on the website.
People do business with businesses, but really they do business with people. I find that on most business websites, especially B2B, that the About page is one of the most visited pages. People want to get to know the team.
2. Case Studies & Testimonials
I think people like seeing case studies and testimonials. They can read the story and put themselves into the situation. Kind of get a feel for if the product or service makes sense for them.
And they know that some case studies might have inflated stats or might not be 100% truthful and that kind of thing. People can see through that kind of stuff, but they still like seeing case studies so work to include those as much as you can and update them every year or even more often.
3. Partners, Accreditation, Awards
Trust by association. The more you associate yourself with others that are trusted sources the more people will trust you. This could also include clients and customers just like you would with case studies and things like that.
4. No Popups
I’m a big proponent of this one. I understand that you want to build that email list, but the more popups you have on your site the more you’re going to irritate people.
I was just on a B2B website 20 minutes ago before writing this post. I visited their homepage and three popups came up instantly.
One asking me to signup for a newsletter. Then one on top of it announcing some new product. Then the chat box popped up from the lower right hand corner.
Not a good way to earn trust.
5. Fresh Content
Another important one. Can’t tell you how many websites I visit where the Copyright date is from 3+ years ago or the blog’s most recent post is from 2+ years ago.
When people see those little details they wonder how up-to-date the rest of the information is. Are they looking at prices from several years ago? Are the descriptions still relevant?
Adding a blog and keeping it updated is a great way to show visitors that the business is active. There are obviously other ways to add fresh content too.
6. Social Media Profile Links
It seems that people have some trust with social media sites. If they visit a business website they look for those social profile links in the footer. They’re looking to see if the company is on Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Maybe it’s just a little more proof that the company is real. Maybe they’re looking for fresh updates. Maybe they’re seeing what kind of content the company shares on social media or how they interact with their followers and customers.
7. Clear Pricing
I’m a big fan of showing pricing on a website. I know that some businesses have varying pricing, but if there is anyway to include a price or price range on your site I would say do it.
It adds a freshness element. It also answers one of the first questions people have. It can even save you time versus taking calls and emails where people probably ask for the price first thing anyway.
8. Video, Audio
Text is one thing. It’s a great thing, but if someone can hear you or hear and see you it adds some trustworthiness. They can see who they’re going to be working with. They can read more visual cues to figure out if you’re a person they’re interested in doing business with.
9. Sufficient Answers to Common Questions
I would guess that most businesses have a sales cycle. And throughout that cycle there are questions people ask before they purchase. Repetitive questions with repetitive answers.
Map out your sales cycle. Identify the common questions. Provide the answers to those questions right on your website.
The questions you can answer the more likely a visitor is to trust you.
10. Process Outline (What To Expect)
I think a big question people ask themselves when they visit a business website is:
What happens next?
Or they’re asking what will happen if they contact you or order from you.
You want to lay that out for someone. They’re going to struggle to give you money or even to use your contact form if they’re not sure what the next steps are.
These are some of the things I’ve found to work over the years with making visitors feel more trusting with a company’s website. These aren’t the only ways to make yourself trustworthy, but I think there are some unique ones listed here that will work and they can make quick improvements if you implement them.