A good website can mean the difference between a customer making a purchase – or turning to one of your competitors.
According to AdWeek, 81% percent of shoppers conduct online research before they make a purchase, regardless of whether they end up buying online or in-store.
That makes your website essential for conversion.
If your customer doesn’t trust you, they won’t buy from you. And with the growing prevalence of cyber security threats, gaining that trust is a big deal.
Follow these 8 steps to gain your customer’s trust and increase revenues.
1. Migrate to HTTPS
HTTPS, also known as HTTP over TLS (Transport Layer Security), precedes the vast majority of reputable websites. The certification does double duty by boosting search engine rankings and building trust.
Google began considering TLS in site rankings in 2014, prioritizing sites that begin with HTTPS. The certification also builds trust by guaranteeing three layers of protection: encryption, data integrity, and authentication.
Encryption prevents anybody from “reading over your shoulder” or stealing your information while browsing a site. Data integrity ensures that your data will remain unmodified, while authentication guarantees that you’re sending that data to the right site, blocking any “man-in-the-middle” attacks.
If your site is still using HTTP, you can easily migrate it to HTTPS by following Google’s steps here.
2. Produce Valuable Content
An easy way to build trust with a customer is by giving them free information.
Blogging is a major component of a successful inbound marketing strategy, and for good reason. Blogs allow you to answer the customer’s questions along every step of their buyer journey, building trust with them and establishing yourself as a thought leader.
HubSpot is an expert at this type of content, publishing multiple blogs daily and maintaining online certification courses.
When writing a blog post, start with the customer’s questions. You can use a site like BloomBerry to search for the most common questions asked for every topic to get some ideas.
Once you know what your customers are asking, it’s time to answer them. Every blog post should answer at least one question, using photos, statistics, quotes, and external links whenever possible to backup your information.
3. Have a Good Design
Humans are visual creatures, and we often judge based on looks first. That’s especially true with websites.
A customer isn’t going to want to buy something from a site that doesn’t look good. Blurry pictures, lack of contact information, long blocks of text, and old-fashioned layouts all turn a customer off.
In fact, of all the factors customers mentioned for rejecting or mistrusting a website, 94% were design related, according to a “Trust and Mistrust of Online Health Sites” study.
Customers expect good design, something Apple does extremely well. Their website uses large, high-quality images that prominently highlight their products, with a navigation menu and buttons that allow customers to quickly find the information they want.
4. Prove Your Value Through Case Studies
Ultimately, customers buy from you because they believe your product or service will offer them value. Case studies and success stories allow you to showcase exactly how you’ve helped others before them, showing customers the benefit your product or service will bring them.
At Mod Girl®, we highlight case studies for each of our target audiences.
We use specific numbers, as customers are more likely to trust specific numbers over rounded numbers. We also boost the credibility of the case studies by including photos of the company, links to their social media and website, and the name and title of one of the leaders we worked with at the company.
5. Be Transparent
As the world becomes more digital, customers are craving more transparency – and companies are taking notice.
Everlane promotes “radical transparency,” going so far as to publish the exact costs of production and their markup for each garment.
To instill trust in your company, establishing a level of transparency and honesty is essential. Be sure your site includes at least some of the following:
- Information about the founder and leadership team
- Information about how the company was founded
- Links to active social media accounts
- Professional photos of staff
- Interesting staff bios
- Contact information
- A policies page
6. Include Testimonials
According to a study by Search Engine Land, 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Including reviews and testimonials throughout your site helps your customers make purchase decisions, but they have to be relevant to the customer.
We trust what we recognize. If a single mom trying to stay fit at home searches for a treadmill but only finds reviews by professional athletes, she likely won’t be convinced to buy from that company. Include reviews from each of your buyer personas, letting the customer see how the product can help someone like them.
The number of reviews is important, too: according to that same study, 85% of consumers said they read up to 10 reviews before making a purchase.
If your company doesn’t have many reviews, you can prompt your customers to write them. See Mod Girl’s tips on asking for a review here.
7. Add Microcopy and Guarantees to Set Expectations
Customers show a sign of trust when they click on one of your CTAs. You can give them the final push they need with microcopy beneath the button or guarantees next to a product.
For example, SproutSocial includes microcopy explaining that there’s no credit card information needed for the free trial, encouraging customers to sign up.
Are you asking customers to sign up for your newsletter? Tell them how often they’ll hear from you. Asking them to buy an expensive product? Highlight your return policy and any satisfaction guarantees you offer.
8. Use the Word “You”
Everyone wants to feel important, and you can make your customer feel valued by speaking directly to them.
Use the word “you” throughout your site. The focus should never be 100% on your company; it’s about how your company can help the customer.
Consider your buyer personas and the questions they may have. Make sure your website speaks to them at each step of their buyer journey.
Home Depot does this effectively, highlighting how they can help a customer complete their project instead of just what they want to sell you.
These eight steps will help you establish trust with your customer, increasing their odds of purchase.
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