I like to think of business websites as online salespeople.
When you're dealing with prospects in person, you're the salesperson.
Think about how that situation goes...
Usually there is an introduction. The prospect states what they're looking for or what their issue is. You identify is you have a possible solution.
Then you get to know each other a little bit. The prospect usually looks for a little proof that they can trust you. Maybe you show them around your place of business a little bit. Maybe you tell them a story about a recent situation with a happy client. Maybe you introduce them to the team.
That kind of thing.
We go through this situation all the time in person and on the phone.
But when it comes to websites...we often overlook the trust factor.
Here are a few tips for ensuring your website earns the trust of prospects.
Clear Language, No Fancy Words
When people land on a website they're looking for solutions. They're looking for answers. They want to see language that quickly explains the plain truth of what's going on.
I like to think of auto shops that have signs out front that explain what they do:
That kind of thing. Simple. To-the-point. Honest. But if you look at a lot of websites they get wordy. They include things like "The Best Brakes" and "A Better Way To Fix Cars" or phrases that don't really mean anything.
We don't really talk that way in person. We're usually simple and honest. That's how the website should be.
It's risky to use stock photography on your website. Especially if you're using images of people. It's almost always better to use images of the real people that work at your organization.
Will they be a little rough around the edges? Perhaps, but that's what people are looking for. Nobody really likes to see online reviews that are all raving. We want to see a few picky reviews here and there because it gives credibility to the raves.
Show the real people that work for you. Obviously there is a balance between pretty and ugly, but it's worth finding. People will trust you more.
It's good to show the people you do business for. Case studies are good. Testimonials are good. So are videos or even voice recordings of people talking about their experience with you.
It's good to describe the service you provide or the products you sell, but it's also good to hear it from the customers.
It adds to both the understanding and trustworthiness of the website.
Trust By Association
You'll often see "Partners with..." and similar items with logos on business websites. That they belong to the Better Business Bureau. Or they are approved by Hubspot or Google. Things like that.
It's work for people to build a trust with someone that is new. Or with a brand that is new. If they trust another person, business or organization and they see that you're associated with them then a lot of the work is eliminated. The association acts as a filter.
Free Trial, Guarantee
Finally, it's good to offer some kind of free trial or guarantee when you're dealing with your website. Even when you're dealing face-to-face.
Try software free for a month. Have the mechanic go through the vehicle for an hour for free to see what's going on. Maybe a free oil change for the first time. A free look from the dentist.
That kind of thing.
Or you can offer a guarantee. You perform the service for a month. If it goes well you keep working together. If not, money back guarantee for that first month.
This is a way to ease the risk on the customer's side of things. And if you're doing a good business you probably will rarely need to provide the money back.
Trust is critically important on a website. You're not there to talk to the prospect and win them over with your charm. Your website has to do the "talking" and that's not always easy. But try the tips here and you should see improvement in conversions on your website. All because of improved trust.