The seven qualities of websites that build brand trust
For your website to make money, you need your visitors to convert. There are plenty of tactics that can help you get more traffic in the first place - such as content marketing, SEO, and paid advertising, but none of that traffic really means anything until it turns into actual revenue for your brand. In some cases, this will mean completing a paid transaction, such as buying one of your products, and in others this will involve parting with some personal information (such as through a web form) so a visitor can become a full-fledged lead. In any case, there's one vital ingredient your site needs to close the deal.
1 Aug 2016 12:12 The importance of brand trust
Trust is a prerequisite for any transaction to take place. Before a consumer parts with his/her hard-earned money, he/she needs to know that you’ll be able to deliver what you’re promising, and that it, indeed, will be worth that money. Even beyond that, users will need to feel secure before they give you their personal information. If you’re going to make money online, being able to build that trust is an essential first step.
Your brand will provide the basis for your consumers’ trust, and over time, this will get easier — as consumers have more good experiences with you, they’ll come to trust your brand implicitly. It’s a lot harder to build trust immediately, in the first few seconds of a new visitor’s arrival on your site. You don’t have long before their attention span fizzles out, so you need to do everything you can to make a good impression. Factors for brand trust online
Fortunately, there are dozens of strategies you can implement to improve brand trust on your website, whether that’s your homepage or a landing page designed to convert:
- Feature reviews and testimonials. First, make sure you’re including customer reviews and testimonials. These are essential indicators of social proof — evidence from peers that your brand is trustworthy. Simply including two to three customer testimonials at the bottom of a landing page can instantly and dramatically increase your conversion rates. It’s also helpful if you have a dedicated section for user reviews, or a selection of reviews for each product you offer; just make sure these reviews are all legitimate.
- Display trust badges. Trust badges are small icons you can include on your site to prove your affiliation with various other businesses, such as financial institutions or accreditation organisations. These things are small, but often give people a sense of reassurance and security when they see them. For example, Income Store, a company that sells income generating websites, displays they’ve been featured on USA Today, Forbes, A&E, and more. Talk about a great way to instill trust with their customers.
- Include images of people. Studies show mixed results on this, but as a general rule, including an image of a person can increase the trustworthiness of your website. It adds a degree of humanity to your brand, even if it’s only on a subtle level. The effect is amplified if this person is using your actual product or service, demonstrating its utility. Just don’t rely on overused or cliché-looking stock photography; make it as natural as possible. If you want to see what terrible stock photos look like – and get a good laugh – just check out this list of websites from Hubspot.
- Interweave personal brands. People trust other people far more than they trust corporate brands; it’s why images of people are such a big trust factor in the first place. If you have a personal brand in place, include it prominently on your website. If not, it’s time to get one.
- Provide ample content. As a general rule, conversion rates increase when you’re concise and minimalistic, but you need to provide in-depth content for those who want it. Make sure you include links or options for people to follow where you explain your company, your industry, and your products in greater depth.
- Affiliate yourself with other brands. Trust by affiliation is powerful, so if you’ve done work for any prominent brands, be sure you showcase your relationship with them. If you have any other partnerships, deals, or other relationships with prominent brands, make them conspicuous as a way of increasing the immediate support you can obtain.
- Offer contact information. Finally, make sure you offer some prominent contact information so your users know they can get a hold of you if they need to. If your primary conversion point is filling out a contact form, this does already count as a form of contact, but give people even further assurance by offering a live chat window, or a phone number in the corner of the screen. Even if people don’t use it, it makes them feel more secure in their decisions to buy from you.
Put these strategies to good use and your conversion rates should improve. Just keep in mind that different variations may have very different effects; you’ll need to experiment gradually and iteratively, slowly figuring out the right combination of features that works for your brand and audience. Still, these foundational principles will get you started in the right direction.