You have thousands of competitors online, and one way you can compete against them is to build better trust with search engine viewers. The average time it takes a user to evaluate your site and read more about your products is six seconds.
One factor when engaging users is creating a site that looks trustworthy. If you run an e-commerce store, trust gets users to enter their credit card number and complete a sale. If you sell a service, trust gets users to subscribe to your service over the thousands of others who also offer that same service. The online sales business is cut-throat.
There are several ways you can ensure your site looks trustworthy and doesn’t look like some fly-by-night spam site.
1. Showcase Your Team of Contributors
Instead of hiding behind a website, your executives and major site contributors should be showcased in either an “About Us” page or some other easily found page on the site. The people you showcase depend on the type of site you have. If you have a blog site, then showing your contributors and their qualifications helps build trust with readers. If you run an ecommerce store, display the managers who take care of customer service, orders and other critical parts of the business. Potential customers like to put a brand to a face.
2. Keep Web Design Current
You don’t need the latest design on your site, but having a site that looks like it was built in the 1990s makes it look old and abandoned. Web design provides the “pretty” that people love when they open a new website. When you keep your web design current, it also shows that you take your site’s presentation seriously and you haven’t abandoned it. Web design takes care of first-time impressions when you have new visitors come to your site.
3. Add Your Clients’ Logos (With Their Permission)
People recognize brand names and logos. When you sell that high-end account from a well-known brand, showcase the brand logo on your site as one of your previous (or current) customers. Always get the customer’s permission before using a logo on your site. There may be reasons why the company does not want to have its logo on your site. Some companies have a lot of verification and paperwork to work through before you can use logos on your site, but it’s worth the wait if you get permission.
4. Engage Users with Social Media
Social media is more than marketing. Social media gives you a way to actively communicate with customers. Your customers feel more comfortable giving you their business if they can open communications with you immediately and directly. Don’t just give customers a “Contact Us” form. Instead, give them a form, a telephone number, a physical address and social media addresses where they can post comments. One main customer service factor is being quick to answer your customer issues, and social media gives you the ability to handle a situation within minutes.
5. Ask Customers to Provide Testimonials
Testimonials from customers speak towards your professionalism and help showcase your experience. Don’t fake testimonials like some webmasters. You can also incorporate rich snippets in your site’s code that display a rating in Google’s search engine results. Google has a rating system set up that customers can use to rate your service and products. If you have rich snippets set up in your code, these rating stars show up in the search engine result pages and improve your click-through rate (CTR). CTR is a percentage metric used to determine your page’s ability to grab search engine readers’ interest. The number is calculated by taking the amount of users you get from a specific search term divided by the number of searches for that particular term. CTR is shown to increase with rich snippets including rating stars.
6. Engage Users with Product Reviews
Your service can be reviewed, but what about individual products you sell? Reviews for your products show engagement from other users and encourage trust. For instance, if you sell two products that perform the same action, verified buyers of each product should be able to enter a rating from one to five. Good product ratings show that you’ve successfully sold a product to customers, and the product met your customers’ expectations. Product reviews encourage other buyers to purchase those same products.
7. Provide a Guarantee
If you trust your product, give it a guarantee. A 30-day guarantee tells potential customers that you are willing to back your work. If you sell a service, a guarantee helps build trust with customers that if they don’t get what they want, they can always return product or ask for a service refund. Guarantees are tricky, though. Don’t give a guarantee only to give customers a hard time when they want to cash in on your promise. A false guarantee can lead to some negative reviews on the Internet. If enough customers post about your false guarantee, these poor reviews show up when your brand name is searched in Google.
8. Avoid Asking for Unneeded Information
Some businesses require highly sensitive and personal information. When you run such a business, it’s best to gather customer information in phases. Instead of asking for a customer’s social security number on your site, ask a customer for basic information and place a follow-up call for more information. In addition to gathering data in phases, don’t ask for information you don’t need. For instance, don’t require viewers to like your pages on Facebook or add an email in a popup form to read your content. Web spam sites use these popups to gather information to sell to third-parties. When you ask for unneeded information, you send red flags to more Internet-savvy users who bounce from your site.