You’re an honest person. Your website visitors don’t know it.
You know what you’re talking about. Your clients and colleagues know it. Your new website visitors and prospects don’t know it.
Earning a new visitor’s trust is necessary to turn them into customers and clients.
How can you build your website in a way that demonstrates you are credible and trustworthy? Earning your visitors’ and prospects’ trust is not as complicated as it sounds.
Instead of assuming your website automatically earns someone’s trust, you need to take a series of steps to earn it.
There are two components to building a trustworthy website: reputation and security.
Reputation involves assuring your customers will get their order on time and that you stand behind your products and services.
Security involves guaranteeing your clients that their information is safe with you – a type of reassurance that is even more necessary after several high profile website breaches, hacks and data losses.
Not all of your website visitors will be impressed by the same thing.
Baby boomers like to know about experience and the size of your client base while the younger Generation Y like to see a larger social media following. The reason this distinction is important is because it drives home the importance of knowing your audience. Once you know what your demographic demands, check your website to see if it has those assets, and, if it doesn’t, make sure you fill in what’s missing.
Successful websites display the number of customers they’ve served directly on their homepage. It’s a form of social proof that shows new visitors how many people have decided to trust you with their hard-earned dollars.
Basecamp shows how many people signed up for its services in the last week as a way of ensuring they are a legitimate business.
Their competitor ActiveCollab, shown below, is a freeware alternative that also shows on the number of people using its software in the bottom left corner.
Basecamp also shows an image of a customer with a testimonial directly below the number of people the company serves. It also adds the powerful statistic that 97 percent of customers would recommend Basecamp.
You should learn from Basecamp’s landing page and see how you can implement some of those lessons on your website and in your website copy.
Years of experience
Most new companies go out of business after only a few years of operation. Some of those businesses bottom out because they offer a substandard product and others because they have poor customer service.
If your business has lasted for a substantial amount of time, you need to display this prominently in your website’s copy.
People like seeing your business has won awards. You can display customer service awards and awards from notable publication or consumer groups, like the Better Business Bureau or JD Power and Associates.
If you have a younger company, you should focus on displaying awards you’ve earned.
For example, Hubspot, one of my favorite marketing companies, lists its extensive awards right next to its press coverage.
Another part of showcasing your brand’s reputation is displaying some of your mentions in the press. Displaying media coverage shows a level of independently verified expertise. You can show the logos of the publications that featured your company or you can display the headline or an expert from the article.
If you have grown a success social following, you can display that or, like Copyblogger, you can display the number of subscribers on your website.
You can start by adding:
A Facebook widget here https://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like/
A Twitter widget here https://dev.twitter.com/docs/follow-button#followers-count-display
Content and credibility
Your reputation is extremely important and it can be enhanced by producing regular, educational, and informative content.
Creating content involves developing your own voice, having an opinion and standing by it, produce helpful material, give things away, interview experts, guest post on other credible websites, and under-promise and over-deliver.
Landing page clarity
Your landing page is the page your visitors first see when they go to your website. You should be tailoring landing pages so that people who come to your website land on a page that meetings expectations.
The language on your landing page needs to match the language on the page that brought people to your landing page.
Your offers on your landing page also need to be clear – you need to be able to fulfill the promises you are making.
If you are using your landing page to its fullest, you should also have a lead generation form on the page. You are asking for contact information and you need to make sure the information you ask for is not too intrusive.
The second part of a trustworthy website is building a secure website. You also need to show your visitors how trustworthy your website is.
Displaying trustmarks is the most important and effective way to showcase how secure your website is.
Research by Actual Insights showed that 76 percent of consumers did not purchase something from a website without seeing a trustmark they recognized. The three most trusted trustmarks are:
- McAffee (79%)
- Verisign (76%)
- Paypal (72%)
Help us out
What steps have you taken to make your website more trustworthy? What has worked? What hasn’t worked? Let us know.