Develop Website Trust Signals That Drives Conversion for Your Business

In today’s article from around the web we visit B2C where author Jessica Simmons list a number of things small business owners can do to establish trust with their websites. As always, read, comment, share and enjoy!

Taking part in a business is much like building a relationship. It is a two-way link where both parties are expected to give and take according to their means. The idea that creates and maintains that link is trust.

A potential customer will not start patronizing the products and/or services of a business if he or she does not trust the business to deliver its promises upon payment. Likewise, a business will not cooperate with another business that it does not trust.

Harboring Trust in a Business

In brick and mortar businesses, human interaction is the key to gaining the trust of a customer. Warm smiles, clean uniforms and accommodating staff can help people entering a store have a satisfactory experience. If that experience is achieved and the value of the product and/or service offered is good, it is more likely that the visiting person will keep coming back.

In the realm of cyberspace, an online business will have to resort to other ways to gain trust. The first thing it should work on is its website, since it is the first—and for a lot of businesses—the only thing that interested people will get their impressions from.

Trust Signals and Why They are Important for Websites

In most websites, there is a lack of direct human interaction. Even so, customers will have to entrust an online business with things as important as personal data, credit card information and contact details, among others. Afterwards, they have to wait for a certain amount of days before they get the product/service. They will have to believe that a product will come in perfect condition without actual inspection or trial prior to purchase. With all these considered, people have every right to be wary.

So what can online businesses do to allay those reasonable doubts? They can use a variety of links, signs and badges on a website that convey credibility. These are called “trust signals”.

Building Trust Signals

A trust signal can take on many forms, and these are usually seen immediately on a homepage to keep visitors on the website. In this age of information, people’s attention constantly shifts from one thing to another, so even a cursory glance on a website must already and immediately portray an image of trustworthiness.

Here are the most important website elements that must build trust:

1. Domain Name

The domain name, the main URL of the business, must state what the business is about. People who enter a website must be able to get exactly what they are looking for.

Make your domain name sound professional, and, if possible, as short as it can be while still being clear. It is also important that your domain name is easy to remember and to associate with the business.

2. Website Loading Speed

It is not advisable to try the patience of Internet users, as they expect everything now to move at a high speed. Having a website that loads quickly can help in conversion, especially for those with multimedia content.

You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights, which can analyze a webpage and show its loading time, as well as what can be improved to make it load faster.

3. Calls to Action

Another way of gaining the trust of customers is by allowing them to have their say about a product or service. Encourage your viewers to share their feedback or comments on products, services or website posts. Allow them to support your product or service through social media shares or endorsements (i.e. Facebook Likes and Shares, Tweets, etc.)

Keep in mind, though, that bombarding your audience with calls to Like or Share can be annoying to some. Thus, it is important to avoid stuffing your website with social media buttons and asking people to repeatedly Follow you on Twitter, Like your Page on Facebook, Circle you, etc., especially if you haven’t delivered the product or service yet. People would likely see this as desperate solicitation, not unlike suspicious websites that constantly tell visitors to buy their products.

4. Content

As mentioned in the beginning of this article, a business must provide what a customer wants. For websites, the content must match the expectations of the visitor. Exceeding them by offering extra relevant content is better.

Among the main trust signals of content are:

  • About Us or information about the company or business,
  • Index Page or website introduction,
  • descriptions of products or services,
  • frequently asked questions (FAQs),
  • social media portals,
  • links and other sources,
  • Contact Us page,
  • Site Map or Site Navigation Page, and
  • Terms & Conditions or Policies & Agreements.

Making these pieces of information visible makes a website exude professionalism and security. You can also include product or service reviews, customer testimonials, news or latest updates, helpful articles such as tips and how-to’s, downloads, and forums and discussions. These trust signals add a layer of reliability through customer interaction, expert endorsements and other relevant information.

5. Social Proof

This is a psychological phenomenon that makes people interested in something if plenty of other people have already shown interest in it. Taking advantage of this can be done by showing social media badges such as the number of RSS subscribers or Google+ circles where they can be immediately seen.

6. Trust Seals

Aside from customer testimonials, displaying commendations or seals of approval from established companies have a major effect on people’s opinion. A direct retailing website that has the approval of Amazon or eBay will gain the trust of visitors more easily.

Business owners or would-be entrepreneurs looking for success should invest time and money in building a website, especially in this digital era where people are slowly but surely moving their entire lives online. What these ambitious men and women must remember before taking on this endeavor is to build trust.

Trust is the foundation of all businesses. Without it, there is no business.

Taking part in a business is much like building a relationship. It is a two-way link where both parties are expected to give and take according to their means. The idea that creates and maintains that link is trust.

A potential customer will not start patronizing the products and/or services of a business if he or she does not trust the business to deliver its promises upon payment. Likewise, a business will not cooperate with another business that it does not trust.

Harboring Trust in a Business

In brick and mortar businesses, human interaction is the key to gaining the trust of a customer. Warm smiles, clean uniforms and accommodating staff can help people entering a store have a satisfactory experience. If that experience is achieved and the value of the product and/or service offered is good, it is more likely that the visiting person will keep coming back.

In the realm of cyberspace, an online business will have to resort to other ways to gain trust. The first thing it should work on is its website, since it is the first—and for a lot of businesses—the only thing that interested people will get their impressions from.

Trust Signals and Why They are Important for Websites

In most websites, there is a lack of direct human interaction. Even so, customers will have to entrust an online business with things as important as personal data, credit card information and contact details, among others. Afterwards, they have to wait for a certain amount of days before they get the product/service. They will have to believe that a product will come in perfect condition without actual inspection or trial prior to purchase. With all these considered, people have every right to be wary.

So what can online businesses do to allay those reasonable doubts? They can use a variety of links, signs and badges on a website that convey credibility. These are called “trust signals”.

Building Trust Signals

A trust signal can take on many forms, and these are usually seen immediately on a homepage to keep visitors on the website. In this age of information, people’s attention constantly shifts from one thing to another, so even a cursory glance on a website must already and immediately portray an image of trustworthiness.

Here are the most important website elements that must build trust:

1. Domain Name

The domain name, the main URL of the business, must state what the business is about. People who enter a website must be able to get exactly what they are looking for.

Make your domain name sound professional, and, if possible, as short as it can be while still being clear. It is also important that your domain name is easy to remember and to associate with the business.

2. Website Loading Speed

It is not advisable to try the patience of Internet users, as they expect everything now to move at a high speed. Having a website that loads quickly can help in conversion, especially for those with multimedia content.

You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights, which can analyze a webpage and show its loading time, as well as what can be improved to make it load faster.

3. Calls to Action

Another way of gaining the trust of customers is by allowing them to have their say about a product or service. Encourage your viewers to share their feedback or comments on products, services or website posts. Allow them to support your product or service through social media shares or endorsements (i.e. Facebook Likes and Shares, Tweets, etc.)

Keep in mind, though, that bombarding your audience with calls to Like or Share can be annoying to some. Thus, it is important to avoid stuffing your website with social media buttons and asking people to repeatedly Follow you on Twitter, Like your Page on Facebook, Circle you, etc., especially if you haven’t delivered the product or service yet. People would likely see this as desperate solicitation, not unlike suspicious websites that constantly tell visitors to buy their products.

4. Content

As mentioned in the beginning of this article, a business must provide what a customer wants. For websites, the content must match the expectations of the visitor. Exceeding them by offering extra relevant content is better.

Among the main trust signals of content are:

  • About Us or information about the company or business,
  • Index Page or website introduction,
  • descriptions of products or services,
  • frequently asked questions (FAQs),
  • social media portals,
  • links and other sources,
  • Contact Us page,
  • Site Map or Site Navigation Page, and
  • Terms & Conditions or Policies & Agreements.

Making these pieces of information visible makes a website exude professionalism and security. You can also include product or service reviews, customer testimonials, news or latest updates, helpful articles such as tips and how-to’s, downloads, and forums and discussions. These trust signals add a layer of reliability through customer interaction, expert endorsements and other relevant information.

5. Social Proof

This is a psychological phenomenon that makes people interested in something if plenty of other people have already shown interest in it. Taking advantage of this can be done by showing social media badges such as the number of RSS subscribers or Google+ circles where they can be immediately seen.

6. Trust Seals

Aside from customer testimonials, displaying commendations or seals of approval from established companies have a major effect on people’s opinion. A direct retailing website that has the approval of Amazon or eBay will gain the trust of visitors more easily.

Business owners or would-be entrepreneurs looking for success should invest time and money in building a website, especially in this digital era where people are slowly but surely moving their entire lives online. What these ambitious men and women must remember before taking on this endeavor is to build trust.

Trust is the foundation of all businesses. Without it, there is no business.

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