Regardless of the industry you’re in, trust is the most valuable commodity of all. As a general rule, today’s consumers won’t work with a business they don’t trust. The good news is that trust isn’t as difficult to gain as you might expect—it starts with your website.
If someone doesn’t trust a brand, they won’t buy from it.
Unfortunately, these days trust is in short supply. We live in an era of constant data breaches and data leaks, an era of targeted scams and rampant malware. An era where traditional advertising techniques do little more than drive interest in ad blockers.
Consumers are tired. They’re tired of businesses that treat them as little more than walking wallets. They’re tired of having their data put at risk. If you want to succeed in such a market, you need to show your audience that you’re above that.
You need to show them they can trust you—and that starts with your website.
Use HTTPS domains and trust seals
HTTPS, a more secure version of HTTP, adds a layer of encryption to all communications between your web server and a visitor’s PC. It acts as a safeguard against traffic interception, helping to prevent data such as financial information and login details from being stolen or leaked. There’s a bit more to it than that, but that explanation should suffice for now.
Google is a staunch advocate of this form of encryption, to the point that it actually warns users that a website isn’t secure if it doesn’t use HTTPS. Google also treats HTTPS as a ranking signal. As such, failure to use HTTPS could impact not only your site’s credibility but also its ranking on the SERP.
In addition to HTTPS, you might also consider adding trust seals to your site. As noted by identity services company GlobalSign, trust seals basically show your customers that your business is completely above-board. They can click on the seal to see your company’s profile, payment details, and other pertinent information.
Show people who you are
What does your business value? Who are your team members? How and why was your business founded and what has guided its growth over the years?
Help your customers put a face to your brand. Include a writeup on your business, photos of your team, and any other information that will help people humanize your business. The more you’re able to convey your brand’s personality, the more people will trust you.
“Compelling, relatable, and memorable stories are more than a strategic device or a marketing tactic—they’re about forming lasting bonds between people,” writes marketing executive and novelist Felicia Sullivan. “People buy from people they like, know, and trust based on a relationship cultivated over time.”
Allow customers to leave reviews
According to research from BrightLocal, 86 percent of consumers read reviews from local businesses, and 57 percent of consumers will only use a business if it has four or more stars. The same survey found that consumers read an average of 10 reviews before they feel able to trust a local business and 91 percent of people aged 18-34 trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Basically, what I’m saying here is that for your website to inspire trust, you should do two things.
- Allow customers to leave reviews on your products if you maintain a digital storefront, or allow testimonials if you offer a service of some kind.
- Endeavor to provide excellent service.
Trust is in short supply, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to gain it. Maintaining a professional, trustworthy website is a good first step. Once people trust your website, it’s a short leap to trusting your brand, as well.