10 ways to generate trust through your website

One of the most important parts of doing business is building relationships. When we make a choice who to do business with, our decisions are based on who we know like and trust.

Many of our interactions these days start online. It begins with a search or a referral, both of these channeling your prospective client to your website.

So how can we build trust and help our potential clients get to know us through our website? They haven’t met us, don’t know us and are only going to book/buy from us based purely on what they see online.

Whew – no pressure! Ok let’s put our customers first and start this trust-building journey

 

1. Make sure your website shows as secure

The first step is the URL – if this comes up as unsecure, that instantly sends a message that working with you is risky.
Websites that aren’t secure lower trust, reduce search engine rankings and hurt business. Talk to your host provider about getting your SSL certificate.

Action:

Check your domain’s URL begins with https:// and a closed padlock icon next to the URL. If yes – YAY if no, talk to your hosting provider about getting an SSL certificate. We set this up as standard for our clients.

2. Only use high-quality images.

This is about first impressions. You go to a website, the images are blurry, or it looks like the owner took them and the lighting isn’t quite right or there is a bit of mess in the background – what impression do you have of that business? Can’t be bothered, no attention to detail, don’t care enough would be my thoughts and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone…Don’t be that person.

Action:

Review your images – are they the best they can be? Here are some options:

  • There are great stock image sites – though these come with a warning too!
  • You can use your own photos, if properly set up and taken with intent
  • Get a professional photographer

3. Have an optimal usability experience

We trust sites that are easy to use, everything works when we click on it, the site loads fast and it looks great on mobile. If we have a poor user experience, this impacts how we feel about the business.

There are always updates happening in the background of websites, some are awesome and others break stuff. New devices come out with different dimensions. Pages are moved and links break. This is the reality of websites. To stay on top of this you need to run regular checks (or get your web developer to).

Action:

  • Check your website on mobile
  • Check all your links still work
  • Check your contact forms

4. Avoid Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

I am a terrible speller who could not live without spellcheck tools. But that doesn’t stop me from judging a site with terrible grammar or spelling mistakes. It interrupts the user experience because we focus on the wrongly spelled word rather than the content.
Incorrect grammar can actually make use question if a business is real or a scam.

“may use broken English with poor grammar that you would not expect from a legitimate company attempting to solicit business from the public.”

from DIA.govt in relation to scammers

Action:

  • Proofread your website
  • Run a tool like Grammarly when creating content
  • If English is not your native language, get your site read by a native English speaker for any small corrections

5. Testimonials

We all like a bit of social proof! If we don’t know a business, we like to read about others’ experiences working with them. There should be at least one testimonial per page. With your testimonials, select the ones that might answer people’s questions or concerns eg. if you know one of the biggest barriers people have to working with you is the cost, showcase testimonials where people address that they had concerns too but that it turned out to be absolute value for money. Or if the product or service is going to be effective, have a testimonial from someone saying how it worked for them.

Action:

  • Check you have a testimonial on every page and most importantly on every service.
  • Get more testimonials

6. Case Studies

These are testimonials on steroids and can be hugely valuable to your business.

Case studies should include the problem, solution and outcome. Its always great to add in some data to support that eg increase sales by XX percent

Action:

7. Brand consistency

You should have a set of brand guidelines that need to be kept consistent throughout the website. The guideline should include the language style, tone of voice, image style, colour palettes and core messages.

Any content added to the website should stay very much on brand which will build trust through consistency, which will also be supported by all your marketing.

Action:
Check you have stayed on brand throughout your website and that there is nothing jarring and inconsistent.

8. Introduce yourself and your team

The about page is the 2nd most read page on a website for a reason – we want to know who is behind a business.

Take the time to introduce yourself and your team. Use this as an opportunity to talk to and connect with your ideal customers. You can do this by using conversational content, like you just met at a networking event. Keep it real and not too formal. The keyword is connection.

Include your team with short bios,images and relevant qualifications.

Action:

  • Review your about page
  • Get new photos if needed
  • Add in logos or affiliations

9. Link to social media channels

Some people have asked me recently – do we still need these on a website? YES is the answer. If we don’t know you, part of our trust journey is clicking on your social media to see how you interact with people. We get to see you “in action” to support what you have told me about your business on your website.

10. Easily accessible contact information

Yes, it’s super important to have your contact information on your website. People (potential customers) like to know they can get in touch with you easily if they want to. I get a bit of push back on this sometimes with my clients saying “I don’t want my email address or phone number out there”.

Ok we can have a business email and even a business phone number. What we want to make clear is that you are real, available and accessible.

Contact details include a phone number, map, directions and hours of operation if relevant.

Action
Review your contact information and use a professional email address with your business name.

So there you have it, 10 ways to generate trust through your website. If you action even half of these you are so much closer to creating trust with your prospective client and several steps closer to conversion. Give it a go!

 

Hi, I’m Iona.

I love everything to do with websites and I’m on a mission to get the best website results for as many small businesses as I can!

Grow My Business was started to help small businesses get a website that will become their most powerful business tool for attracting and converting new business.

So far we have helped nearly 200 businesses do just that – onwards towards the next 100!

Always happy to have a conversation about websites – get in touch any time

Iona