You probably know that the majority of us (a whopping 81%) conduct online research before making a purchase. But, did you know that the most common way people gather information is by visiting company websites? It’s true! After conducting an online search, 36% of people directly visit a company’s website. Make it easy for them to purchase from you instead of your competitor by using these tips to build trust with your website.
It’s all about the relationship.
I often used that phrase in my former life as a mental health professional, but find myself pulling it out just as often here at Raney Day Design. Why? Because at the heart of every successful business are relationships with leads and customers. And those relationships are built on trust.
Think about it. Do you buy products or use services from companies you don’t trust? Probably not. Most of us don’t – your customers included.
So how can you develop strong relationships with your current and potential customers? Especially when you may never even meet them or interact directly with them? With your website!
9 Ways to Build Trust with Your Website
Why It’s Important to Build Trust with Your Website
A high-trust website has the power to move people through your marketing funnel at each stage of the buyer’s journey by:
- Shaping visitors’ attitudes and increasing positive feelings they have about your company.
- Supporting users’ comfort using your site.
- Guiding visitors and leads towards your point of view.
- Prompting leads to exchange their personal information for your content.
- Encouraging leads to complete transactions.
- Inviting customers to become brand ambassadors.
But like your personal relationships, building trust with your customers isn’t the result of a single action. Rather it’s a series of actions that, when taken together, help nurture trusting relationships with your visitors, leads, and customers.
So how is this done? What are some ways you can build trust with your website?
1. Design a Professional Website
Like it or not, first impressions matter. Study after study has found that we make judgments based on appearance. And your website is no exception. In fact, a study by BJ Fogg, PhD of Stanford University found that nearly half of us evaluate a site’s credibility, trustworthiness, and value by how visually appealing it is.
Make sure your site has a clean consistent aesthetic. Include plenty of white space, use legible fonts, and break up long chunks of text with headings. Add high-quality images and graphics that don’t look ‘stocky’.
2. Make It Easy to Verify Information
The web is great for getting all sorts of information. However, a lot of it is flat-out false. Don’t leave your readers wondering if the info on your site is true – or make them dig around to find out whether it is. Make it easy for them to trust you by using credible sources and properly citing resources.
3. Show that You and Your Company is Real
Have you ever visited a site and wanted to learn more about the company, but couldn’t find any info about it? Sometimes make you wonder if the company is even real, right? Or how about you have questions, but there’s no contact information anywhere to be found? Pretty frustrating.
Don’t miss out on potential customers learning more about you or reaching out with questions. Make sure your site includes easy-to-find, accurate contact information. Take time to craft an About page that they’ll want to read, and show them you and your team are real by including bios and photos.
4. Demonstrate your Expertise
Demonstrate your experience and expertise with visitors by publishing original content. If you have credentials or certifications, share them on your About page. Belong to reputable organizations or affiliations? Share them with visitors. Just starting out in your field? That’s okay, too. Everyone starts somewhere. Just be honest and upfront that you’re a beginner and don’t misrepresent your experience or skill level.
5. Make Your Site Easy To Use
The average website visitor spends less than 10 seconds to decide whether they’re going to stay on it. Make each of those seconds count and build trust in the process by clearly letting visitors know what’s in it for them if they stay. What value will they receive by staying on your site for another minute?
Make sure visitors can easily find what they’re looking for. Use straightforward menus and navigation. Do they know what they’re getting or where they’re going when they click on a link or a call-to-action button? If not, you run the risk of them feeling mislead. And that’s definitely no good for boosting trust. Lastly, if your site is an e-commerce site, make the checkout process as simple and streamlined as possible.
6. Update Your Content
Not only does Google love sites with regularly updated content, visitors do too! Frequently updated sites provide value to visitors, showing them that you value your relationship with them. It also demonstrates that you’re still in business. And don’t forget about your static content, like your Services and About pages. Review them and make sure they’re kept up-to-date, as well.
7. Offer Social Proof
Let’s face it. The internet can be a scary place. Data breaches, phishing attempts, scams . . . there’s no end to the ways consumers can be taken advantage of. Help ease your visitors’ minds and build trust with your website by offering proof that you’re one of the good guys.
Social proof from peers go a very long way in building trust, so include reviews and testimonials on your site. Share case studies of how your products or services helped other customers. Add a portfolio or project list showing that others have chosen to work with you. If someone is unhappy or dissatisfied with your business, address it professionally and politely and offer to make it right.
And speaking of being one of the good guys . . .
8. Prioritize Security
Make your website’s security a priority. Keep your site’s software, themes, and plugins updated. Check public blacklists to ensure that your site isn’t listed, and regularly scan your site for malware or malicious software. If you do find something, address it as quickly as possible to ensure that your visitors aren’t compromised.
With that said, install an SSL certificate. This is no longer optional, or just for e-commerce sites. It’s a necessary element of all websites. Not only does Google ‘ding’ sites that don’t have them, visitors want to know that the information they provide to you is safe and sound. SSLs are one way to provide this assurance.
9. Keep Your Users In Mind
At the end of the day, the most important way to establish, build, and keep trust with visitors, leads, and customers is to empathize with them. That means that you keep them first and foremost in your mind in all aspects of your business.
Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself what they want and need. Even better? Test different aspects of your site to determine what resonates most with your visitors. Best yet? Ask them what they want and need. Provide an exceptional experience during each stage of the buyer’s journey that’s guided by providing helpful information and value, rather than trying to sell them anything.
What are some ways that you build trust with your website? Is there something we missed? Let us know in the comments below.