How To Build Trust in Your Brand Through Web Design
The Road to a Successful Business
Welcome to the next in our series on how to create a successful business website. So far you have defined your target audience, bought a domain name, hired a web designer and started creating effective web content or sales copy.
But doing all these things isn't your only concern. If you want your visitors to interact with you, buy products or services, or make donations - one essential component is gaining their trust. How you gain that trust on a website is the crux of this discussion.
Look as Professional as You Are
Looks do matter. Most visitors will click away from your site if it doesn’t look well designed. This is especially true in markets that are more mature. You need to make sure that you look better than your competitor, and preferably look as good as any other respectable business.
Stand By Your Product / Service
Offering Risk Free Guarantees helps to reduce worries about what happens if the product / service isn’t as portrayed on the site. You know that your brand delivers quality, but people who learn about you for the first time have no idea whether you are trustworthy and deliver as you say you will. That is only to be expected, and you can address this worry straight away by offering a list of guarantees.
In this way, you can close the door on the “what if something is not right” type of reasoning and bring your visitor one step closer to buying from your company.
Offer Social Proof
Social proof is what others say about you. Because it is a 3rd party that makes the statement, it is some of the strongest trust-winning arguments your site can offer.
Granted, qualifying for an award can be an expensive business, as many associations require a ‘contribution’ before they even start considering you. But beyond the politics and the up front cost, winning an award still shows skill and professionalism.
Testimonials can really help build trust in your brand, especially if they are from well-known local names or ubiquitous corporations. The most helpful testimonials briefly describe a problem, how you solved it and what made your service special. It is also helpful if somehow you can make the person who delivers the testimonial more real. For example, on our testimonials, where possible, we like to link out to the LinkedIn page of the person who gave us a positive review. Or you could link to the corporate profile page of the person in question.
Case Studies can give your visitors a picture of how you will work for them, how well you have performed in the past and demonstrate the longevity of your brand. They are at their most powerful when combined with testimonials.
They can be a lot of work to come by, but here in the US, the press tends to be very helpful when it comes to reviewing businesses. In everything you do, keep the press in mind and keep relevant industry and local magazines updated about your progress.
You and Your Staff
Staff qualifications, past employment and previous achievements are all important indicators of how well your company will perform when engaging with it.
Another positive effect of introducing your staff or yourself via your website is that you put a human face on your company. If your visitors can see the real faces that drive your company, they can identify with your brand a bit better.
Office Address and Company Registration
Nothing tells visitors you are serious more than clearly showing your company information. Yet many relatively unknown brands forget to do this. As a result, they lose sales, many of them from customers who want to buy a product or service from someone in their locality.
Customers do worry about passing along information to you, from being spammed when giving out their email address to being defrauded when entering their credit card details. That is why it is important that you tell your customers how you keep their information secure.
Allowing your customers to interact with your website and to leave content is the ultimate show about how confident you are about your brand. You will come across the occasional ‘crazies’, but people know people and can see beyond that. If the bigger picture is positive, people will trust your brand.
Allow Users To Create Content / Products
A simple 5 star rating system where appropriate can give indicators about the public mood about the content / product the visitor is considering. It can also give you an indication of which products fail expectations and should be axed. Once you axe a product, negative ratings don’t matter, because it is no longer shown on your website.
Allow Users To Comment
Again, this shows that you are confident about your product / service, and can also be an interesting survey tool.
Offer a Forum
Some brands can benefit and in fact reach out to their users by implementing a forum on their site, where users can freely discuss things they value in their daily lives and want to exchange thoughts about it. Of course, the forum should remain relevant to your product / service.
Offer Useful Tools
The tools you offer to help to facilitate the decision can help your visitor to choose your brand and give a feeling of professionalism. Tools you can use are:
- Interactive forms that assess the best product for you
- Interactive questionnaires
- Client login for project review
- Online appointment setting service
- Auto responders when visitor contacts you (e.g. ‘We received your email and someone will follow up your enquiry within the hour’)
Trust in Your Brand = Higher Revenue
Creating trust in your brand is paramount, and it is worth the effort. If you want to learn more about how you can improve how your website generates trust, feel free to contact us.
Over To You
I am sure there are many things we have left out. We’d love to hear your ideas, so leave us a comment!