When it comes to online businesses, who do you trust? In the golden days of the early internet, clicking on a link was never seen as a bad move, even if you didn’t know from where it came. These days, however, if you accidentally click a banner ad you may wind up with a virus on your computer.
Simply put, trust on the internet is crucial. There are so many different sketchy websites out there that can steal your information and sell it to the highest bidder. So everyone is careful about who they trust in the online world. Consider why that confidence is critical for your business and what methods you can use to earn it.
People don’t want to conduct business with a site that they don’t trust. Whether you run an online store, a B2B blog, or some other kind of branded company online, having trust can make all the difference. This trust determines if you are gaining new visitors or becoming an internet pariah.
Overall, trust is what will get people to commit to your brand and become loyal customers. If they think that you’re up to something sketchy, it can dry up your audience base.
How to Measure Trust
Various techniques are used to make sure that your site is trustworthy. But we first have to make sure that you can quantify it into numbers. If you don’t do this, then how will know if your changes are making any impact? Quantifiable data is crucial for all aspects of your business, and trust is no different.
PS stands for Net Promoter Score. It is a quick and easy way to tell how trustworthy your site is to your current users. As such, it’s imperative that you determine your NPS before and after you implement these strategies. With this score, you can see what is working the most.
The way to calculate your NPS is like this. First, ask your visitors to rank your site on a scale of one to ten. This ranking is based on the likelihood that they will recommend it to a friend or colleague. The rankings are broken down into three parts.
Those who choose 9 or 10 are loyal customers that will promote your brand
Ranks of 7 or 8 are passive users that may choose a competitor if it has something better to offer
Finally, 6 or below means that they are not satisfied and will actively seek out an alternative. These people are called detractors.
Calculate Your NPS
Once you’ve got a good pool of rankings (at least 50 or more), then you can calculate your NPS. All you have to do is subtract the detractors from the promoters.
So, for example, if you had 18 promoters (9 and 10 scores) and 13 detractors (6 or less), then your NPS would be 5. No matter what, it’s always possible to increase your NPS. And if you are looking for a 100% promoter rate, that never happens.
What’s also important to remember is that if you have a negative score, you can still come back. In fact, some major retailers have severely negative NPS’s. And yet they still dominate the market.
How Your Website Influences Trust
These days, most people do their research by going to a company’s website before they do anything else. Also, they may look up reviews of your brand to see what other people are saying. Because of this, it’s essential that your site delivers a strong and trustworthy message. Otherwise, your audience will bounce quickly and go to your competitor.
What’s important to think about here is that there is much more to your website than its design. These strategies and techniques are all about showing transparency between you and your customers. So don’t assume that having a flashy web page will be enough to build trust. It takes effort and consistency as you learn how to build trust with clients.
Your website has much more sway than other pages such as those on social media. As such, you need to invest time and energy into developing and building trust on your main site first. Remember, this is your primary point of contact for your clients.
Step One: Stand By Your Product/Service
Let your customers know that you are serious about your brand by offering a guarantee. This will instill confidence in your users and show them that they can trust what your offerings. They know that if you provide a full refund, the incentive is on you to prevent problems.
There is no right answer as far as what kind of guarantee to offer. But just make sure that it makes sense and provides enough time for the user to feel like it’s a great deal. For example, a two-day guarantee is nowhere near as trustworthy as a 90-day one.
Step Two: Show Yourself
The problem with online interactions is that everyone is hiding behind a screen. This can make your business feel cold and unconvincing. It’s so easy for a machine to create a snazzy website without any personality.
So, an excellent way to get around this problem is to have pictures of yourself and your staff. Even if it’s just you, a photo on the about page will put a face to the brand. And photos let people know that you’re real, not a robot.
Step Three: Be Helpful
Your website should not have any buttons or links that are unnecessary or superfluous. Also, there shouldn’t be any mystery behind a click. You should be upfront about what everything does. This also includes things like opt-in email forms and backlinking. And especially when it comes to things like cookies and security features.
Overall, you want your site to be as friendly and supportive as possible. Visitors should not have any questions in their minds. The point of building trust is to remove doubt. So the more helpful you can be, the less that your customers will worry.
The other thing about this is to make sure that all pertinent information is easy to find and read. You could put everything in superfine print at the bottom of a page. And technically you’re being “upfront” about your policies. But it will still come across as shady. Instead, have text that is legible and to the point. Every action your customer takes should be legitimate and trustworthy.
Step Four: Have Others Talk You Up
As we mentioned, reviews are another way that people will research your company, so it’s crucial that you cultivate and maintain a strong reputation in the online community. Even though you won’t be able to please all of the people all of the time, you want to get as many positive reviews as possible.
Once you’ve done that, then post them where your users can see. Don’t be ashamed of promoting your excellent service or reliable products. It’s always better to see what others are saying than trusting some ad copy.
Overall, people will listen more to their contemporaries regarding business, which means that having that information accessible (even negative reviews) helps build trust with your audience.
Step Five: Show Social Proof
While reviews and testimonials are helpful, they also require some investment on the part of the reader to see what is included in the content. Thankfully, there is a faster way to build a similar level of social trust, and all it takes is showcasing your social profiles.
For example, if you have 20K followers on Twitter, it will earn you a lot more trust than if you just had five. The bigger your influence on social media, the stronger your credibility will be, so feel free to flaunt it if you have it.
Step Six: Be Professional
Don’t skimp on your website design. People are far more willing to trust a website that looks well put together and professionally done than one that seems like it was created in half a day.
Everything from your button design to your logo should look professional, and the overall appearance should be legitimate. Overall, you want to eliminate unnecessary pieces that can make your site feel cluttered, which can also make it seem amateurish and, as a result, less trustworthy.
Step Seven: Show Your Work
If you collaborate with other businesses, then you want to show that on your website. Have logos from the companies that you’ve worked with in the past and offer some background on your relationship.
This is particularly helpful when dealing with B2B marketing campaigns as it will illustrate how well you work with others and what kind of value you bring to the table. Also, showing off other companies on your page means that you also appreciate their business, which can help build trust.
People will want to work with those who are willing to share credit and success, rather than those that try to keep it all to themselves.
In the end, building trust into your website is going to set you apart from your competitors and cultivate a stronger, more loyal following. What’s important to remember is that no matter how desirable your products are, without trust you won’t be able to grow effectively and reach the level of success that you deserve.
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