Marketing,  Online Business

How to Build Trust on Your Website in 3 Surprising Steps

Website Resources. Photo by Serge Kij. License: CC BY 2.0.

Do you get a decent amount of visits to your site but your Google Analytics report says they leave on the page they visited you on? Ouch. That’s not good news. The bottom line for most websites is an increase in business. More customers through your doors, buying your products, telling others about your services, etc. If viewers leave on the first page, you aren’t hitting any of these goals.

You want a website that converts. The term is a “high-converting website.” Kind of like those old evangelical meetings that converted all the people under their massive circus tents. Everyone that walked in—walked out a believer.

How do you get there? Well, it’s not going to be that instantaneous. Some say that prospective consumers need 3, 5, or 8 interactions with a product before buying. Another theory is that the magic number is 7.

But the ingredient that is often missing when people aren’t engaged is trust. No trust = nothing further. How do you convey trust online? Part of it is having a well-made site. If it looks like it was duct taped together, that doesn’t build trust. Here are some other simple but often forgotten tips:

1. Offer them a chocolate bunny

Remember that typical scenario taught in safety awareness classes everywhere? A stranger approaches a kid with candy… Repeat after me: DO NOT TAKE CANDY FROM STRANGERS. Why did we need to be taught this? Because instinct tells us to trust the hand that feeds us. Of course, these days, we’re a suspicious lot, and even as grown-ups we likely avoid strangers trying to give us candy… Unless we understand the context. When it comes to gifts, we like them just as much as the next person.

What is your chocolate bunny? What can you give away for free, with no strings attached? Have you done a study that would be interesting to your niche? Wrap it up and give it away! But make sure that it’s wrapped like a gift. Use words like “free gift” to make it extra clear, because again, we’re a suspicious lot. And you need to win us over before you can have our trust.

As Chris Wielinski of Brown Box Branding, Dallas, TX, says, “Engaging with your audience in a compelling way is the first step toward conversion.”

2. Sound like a human

Empathy. It’s your ability to understand what another is feeling or going through. But it is something that machines and many organizations lack. Humans want to see and hear empathy in others because it tells us that our needs are understood and that we are being heard. It’s what we respond to. It’s one of the reasons you need a blog on your site, so that people know there are humans running your business.

How about your website? Does it sound warm? Caring? Like you give a damn? Because it should. Even if you say that you have the answer to their pain point, if you don’t show it in your words, how will they know you empathize?

Whose recommendation for a pain killer brand would you take? A person who suffered the same injury as you? Or a flyer that says you should buy from them?

3. Badge it up

How do we recognize the sheriff? By his badge. That badge conveyed a lot of power. And it stood for something. Even to this day, our fascination for people who wear badges continues. It’s a form of social proof in a way. It tells us that whoever is wearing this badge has been vetted by an outside party. Make all your certifications visible.

If they don’t come with set badges, then get one designed for yourself.

And you know what? Any kind of information can be presented as a badge. Including your “30-day return guarantee” or a “satisfaction guaranteed, or your money back” policy. Or perhaps that you use only green materials in your products. Whatever it is that makes you unique and awesome. Put it on a badge and wear it with pride.

Give us more reasons to like you. Because that also builds trust.

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Daniel Bailey is a full-time content marketer and part-time freelance contributor. He has been helping clients to create brand awareness. When not working, Dan loves to cook food. You can follow him on Twitter.

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