Web users are generally distrustful of ‘new’ companies that they encounter online, and are especially wary of handing over personal and payment details over the internet.
That means your website needs to quickly demonstrate that it is genuine, trustworthy and secure before a new customer will do business with you.
You can do this in a variety of ways – we’ve outlined the main ways in which your site can quickly build trust and credibility with visitors. Why don’t you go through the checklist now, and assess whether your site is currently using all of these elements?
Trust and Credibility Checklist
Professional, attractive design
This is essential for people to trust you – an amateurish website will make your company look exactly that, so invest a little in professional design that will reflect positively on your company.
Error-free, grammatically correct copy
It goes without saying that spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in your copy will make your company look pretty sloppy, so always ask someone to proof read copy before you publish it on your website.
Pictures of real people
Pictures of real people help users feel less threatened or nervous when they visit your site. It shows them that there are real people behind the company, and that you have other customers who are real people, just like them.
‘About Us’ page with staff profiles and photos
Photos of your team really help to build trust and credibility in your company, and profiles should include some personal interests and hobbies. These really help to personalise your company and make you seem far more approachable.
Testimonials from satisfied customers are a great way to build trust in your company – you should try to get testimonials from all customers as a standard practice. It’s also a good idea to use photographs of the testimonial-giver wherever possible, as this helps make them more believable (but publish only with the owner’s permission of course).
Evidence that you have other customers
Best-seller lists are a great way to show that other people buy from you, and they help promote your most popular products too. Customer Q&A areas and reviews are a little more time-consuming to set up, but will really help develop trust and credibility on your website.
Memberships & affiliations
Are you a member of any trade associations? Are you involved in any networking groups? Do you support any charities? Show their logos and briefly describe your relationship with the organisation on your website to help to build trust and credibility.
If your company has won any awards, you really should talk about them on your website.
Guarantee or warranty
If you can offer a guarantee to your customers, this is one of the best ways of convincing people, especially new customers, to buy from you rather than the competition. It will help put a potential customer’s mind at rest, and get them over that final hurdle before they do business with you.
A written security policy is essential if you take payments online.
Terms of Business
These should always be published on your site, no matter what type of business you run.
How well did your website score? If you’re using eight or more of these, you’re doing pretty well!
If your website isn’t using many (or any) of these elements, you could well be missing out on new business because visitors to your website simply don’t trust you, and don’t want to do business with you as a result.
The more of these elements you can apply to your own website, the more likely new customers are to trust you and want to do business with you.