Building consumer trust to the point where there is a sale and eventually a long-standing professional relationship is not an easy thing to accomplish.
Just ask the millions of wanna-be entrepreneurs who have tried and failed. Even when trust is eventually earned, it can be broken in an instant and is often irreparable.
Let’s say I’m walking down the street, and some random dude comes up to me and says, “Hey, wanna buy an iPad? Just $50. It’s brand new.” Would I buy it? I know the product is good. I know it’s a really good deal. But I probably wouldn’t still buy it. Why? Because I don’t trust him.
Sales guru Zig Ziglar once said that there are only 4 reasons why people won’t buy from you:
- no need,
- no money,
- not in a hurry,
- no trust.
We can’t do much about the first 3 reasons, but we can build trust. Add consumer trust elements to your website like the 4x Buyer Protection Seal and watch your conversions increase.
The Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab has studied what makes people trust a website.
Here’s their list:
- Make it easy to verify the accuracy of the information on your site. You can build website credibility by providing third-party support (citations, testimonials, articles in well-known publications, source material) for the information you present, especially if you link to this evidence. Even if people don’t follow these links, you’ve shown confidence in your material. Trust Guard offers a Business Verification Seal and accompanying certificate that owners can display to show visitors that you are a legitimate company.
- Show that there’s a real organization behind your site. The easiest way to do this is by listing a physical address. Other features can also help, such as posting a photo of your offices or listing a membership with the chamber of commerce.
- Highlight the expertise in your organization and in the content and services you provide. Do you have experts on your team? Are your contributors or service providers authorities? Be sure to give their credentials. Are you affiliated with a respected organization? Make that clear. Conversely, don’t link to outside sites that are not credible. Your site becomes less credible by association.
- Show that honest and trustworthy people stand behind your site. Find a way to convey their trustworthiness through images or text. Post employee photos and bios that tell about family or hobbies.
- Make it easy to contact you. A simple way to boost your site’s credibility is by making your contact information clear: phone number, physical address, and email address.
- Design your site so it looks professional (or is appropriate for your purpose). People quickly evaluate a site by visual design alone. When designing your site, pay attention to layout, typography, images, consistency issues, and more. Amateur-looking websites kill trust, invest in a quality designer.
- Make your site easy to use — and useful. Research shows that sites win credibility points by being both easy to use and useful. Some site operators forget about users when they cater to their own company’s ego or try to show the dazzling things they can do with web technology.
- Update your site’s content often. Consumers assign more credibility to sites that show they have been recently updated or reviewed. If you have a blog or a news section, make sure they’re updated regularly. Nothing says “out of business” like an abandoned blog.
- Use restraint with any promotional content (e.g., ads, offers). Nobody likes hype, popups and blinking banners. People associate it with scam and spam. If possible, avoid having ads on your site. If you must have ads, clearly distinguish the sponsored content from your own. As for writing style, try to be clear, direct, and sincere.
- Avoid errors of all types, no matter how small they seem. Spelling errors and broken links hurt a site’s credibility more than most people imagine. It’s also important to keep your site fast, up and running.
So there you go, the top ten proven ways to build trust with online consumers. Adding a 4x Buyer Protection Seal is just one guaranteed way to increase your conversion rates.