Building trust online is one of the most important activities that any business owner can be engaged in. Without trust, no one will buy your stuff. It’s that simple.
The challenge is that in the online world, trust does not come easy. While people are generally trusting online sources more and more, there is still a good deal of apprehension when people engage with businesses online.
Here are a few things that can help you build trust online. No one item will instantly build trust between you and your users, but a combination, over time, will position your business as a trustworthy source.
Look Your Best
Invest in the design of all aspects of your web presence. Having a branded, well-designed and cohesive message across all platforms gives people a sense of stability and trustworthiness. If your brand messaging looks disjointed, confusing or just plain tacky, people will tend to trust you less. You may be the most trustworthy business on the planet, but if people don’t perceive you in this way, then they won’t believe it. So, invest in the design of your website, blog and social media sites.
Testimonials are a key ingredient to building trust online. Your website should have testimonials throughout. Having names and organizations of the testimonial giver is critical. Take it a step further and include a photo. You can go even further and include a video testimonial. There’s really nothing more powerful in building trust than hearing a real customer/client sing your praises.
Keep Your Content Fresh
Let people know you’re alive! Having a website that has 3 year old content on it is going to do nothing for your business. Keeping your content fresh will let people know that you are still in business and ready to help them. A stale, old website or twitter feed with month old tweets says that you are either a) disorganized b) don’t care or c) out of business. Activity and updates are what attract new visitors and build trust in your organization.
The best way to keep your content fresh is to schedule time to work on your online presence. Have one day for blogging, one day to add content to your main website, and spend a half hour a day updating your social media outlets. This manageable system will keep your content fresh and not take up too much time.
People don’t want to do business with websites, they want to do business with humans. The more you can ad a human touch to your site, the better. Add photos of you and your staff. Real images let people into your organization. Your users can get an inside look as to who you are and what you’re all about. Don’t underestimate the power of this simple strategy.
Reply to any comments on your blog. Get back to people who contact you through your website in a timely manner. Don’t use an auto-responder for your contact form. Have a real person respond. Start and engage in conversations on social media without selling. Just be involved with the people that you serve.
Building trust is a good amount of work, but it is not too complicated. With a little persistence you can create an online presence that brings in new business that already trust and like you. And, it can do it while you sleep.
What do you think?