Trust is the building block of every relationship—including those that begin and grow online. So ask yourself: Does your website increase your credibility, or does it destroy it? Do you know what makes the difference? Here’s a look at tips to help you gain the trust of your website visitors.
Be Who You Say You Are
Your website needs to show that you’re who you say you are—both in terms of content and aesthetic and style. Content-wise, if you’re the organic grocery store that encourages everybody to “eat real food,” don’t write a blog post that mentions dinner at McDonald’s last night. Make your home page directly relevant to your mission — one focused on health, as Whole Foods does below.
Likewise, if you’re a charity with a reputation for generosity, don’t talk about your giant profit share on your website, communicating a sense of “me, me, me.” Instead, use your website to reinforce your mission — helping others, like Susan G. Komen does.
When someone comes to your website, he or she should clearly see that you are exactly what you say you are, both by what you talk about and the way in which you do it. In both of the examples above, everything, from the logos to the color choices to the type of images, is in line with the overall branding of the companies.
So how can you ensure your website is in line with your branding? Ask yourself what your brand message is. Are you the company all about family values? The brand focused on budgeting and value? Whatever your message is, find a way to reinforce that with your website style and organization.
Be the Company Their Friends Like
Referral marketing has always been one of the most powerful forms of marketing.
When a friend or trusted resource tells you to check out a product or service, you’re much more likely to check it out than if you only saw a commercial for it on TV. Likewise, when people come to your site through a friend’s referral, they are much more likely to want to hear what you have to say. Keep this in mind when pursuing marketing options—any way you can build authentic, positive press about your products and services, the better. This is where referral marketing comes into play.
Be the Company Other People Like
According to research published at Bright Local, 67% of local consumers have used online customer reviews to select a local business to use. When people come to your site through positive online reviews, they are more likely to trust you. You can make the most of positive feedback by showcasing testimonials or press mentions somewhere on your site. Let readers see who has loved your services, and you boost your social proof. Here’s how one suburban Chicago restaurant, Honey Café, showcases its mentions on its site:
How does your existing website stack up to the above qualifications? Are you using it to build trust, or are you missing valuable opportunities? What other aspects of website design have you seen to be important?
Posted September 10, 2013 in Customer Loyalty