Connect with Customers: Build Trust Through Your Website
The web is a powerful tool for connecting with customers, prospects, and business partners.
Businesses that understand how to use the web effectively can take advantage of this opportunity to grow their company and expand their reach. At the same time, however, businesses must be careful not to overreach or abuse their power. Just as someone might hesitate before buying from a friend because he or she might not think that friend’s product is as good as it could be, many consumers will also hesitate when considering purchasing from an unfamiliar website. A trustworthy website won’t just sell products and services—it will also provide information about who you are as an organization along with what makes you different than your competition (if anything).
Communicate your vision, mission, and values on your website.
One of the most important things you can do to build trust through your website is to communicate your vision, mission, and values on the site. An excellent first step to build trust through your website is to include a mission statement that describes what problem you’re solving for customers or clients and why.
You could also include a description of your business philosophy, so visitors know how you operate as a company. You can also list awards and recognition you have received in the past, showing potential customers that others respect you within the industry or community.
When communicating these things on your website, it is essential to keep them up-to-date. Suppose an award was won two years ago but still appears in the “Awards” section of your site today. In that case, potential customers could question whether or not something similar happened more recently (and therefore whether or not it is true).
Put your business in context.
Context is key to establishing trust. Make an impression that lasts. You must explain who you are, what your business does, and how it can help the customer. This personalization sets apart a great website from an average one; customers know they can get exactly what they’re looking for if they choose you over the competition.
It’s crucial not only that your site includes this information but also that it presents and explains it clearly—in a way that makes sense to your target audience. That means using words and phrases that are familiar, relevant, and relatable for people in your niche or industry (and avoiding jargon).
Show respect for the website user’s time.
Your website should respect the user’s time.
Don’t make people hunt for what they need. Don’t ask for personal information unless you need it. Make sure that users can get to the right page quickly.
Have a single point of focus for each page.
A single point of focus for each page is essential to creating trust. You can’t be all things to everyone, and you don’t want to! If you’re trying to be the cheapest, then why are your competitors cheaper? If you’re trying to offer the most convenient service, why aren’t they more convenient (and vice versa)? This goes beyond just pricing and convenience; it also applies to how close your services are, the contact information options available through your website, etc.
Think about some other websites that have a clear value proposition or message on their home pages:
- GoDaddy’s tagline is “Make your own way.” That’s it—no explanation about what exactly makes them accessible regarding domain registration and hosting services (which are not necessarily related). They could’ve said something like, “We make it easy for small businesses looking for domain name registration or web hosting solutions…” but they didn’t because that would’ve confused customers who weren’t looking for those things! Instead, this simple tagline gives them an advantage over competing companies by focusing on one thing while simultaneously allowing them room to expand into new areas if they choose (or if demand warrants).
- Zappos’ main selling point is its customer service—it appears in bold letters: “FREE SHIPPING AND RETURNS WITH NO MINIMUM PURCHASE REQUIRED.” Again: no explanation is needed! This company knows what its audience wants and delivers without wasting words on anything else.
Use plain language that is appropriate for the target audience.
- Use clear, simple language.
- Avoid jargon and acronyms.
- Avoid confusing the reader.
- Be consistent in your use of language, both within the website and across all materials you publish.
- Don’t use too many words that are not easy to understand — especially if you’re trying to explain a complex concept or process on your website (for example, product descriptions or calls to action).
- Don’t use words that are too difficult to pronounce — because this is an important part of how people interact with online content; if it’s hard for them to pronounce the words on your site, they won’t feel comfortable using it as an educational resource or seeking out more information from you later on!
Use images and graphics to communicate ideas and information quickly and clearly.
By using images, you can communicate concepts and ideas quickly and clearly.
Graphic design is a vital part of your website’s functionality. It provides the visual appeal that makes people want to stay on your site longer, learn more about what you offer, and ultimately make a purchase or sign up for an account.
Make sure that your website is accessible to all users.
To build trust through your website, it’s essential to make sure that your website is accessible to all users.
This means you should design and develop your site so that any user can access all content and features without barriers. For example, if you have a very large logo or stock photo on the top of the page, it might be difficult for people with low vision or color blindness to read or see it correctly. If a user has difficulty accessing these aspects of your website, they may be less likely to trust what they’re reading because they don’t know if they’re getting correct information from a reputable source.
Read: How accessible is your website? 3 website accessibility tests to try
Ensure all of the information presented on the website is up-to-date, correct, relevant, and helpful to visitors.
Ensure all of the information presented on the website is up-to-date, correct, relevant, and valuable to visitors.
If you’re like most business owners, you have a full schedule. Your website may not always be your top priority. However, it’s critical that any information about your business be accurate and up-to-date because it’s often how potential customers find out about you in the first place. Visitors will notice if any of your contact details or hours are incorrect, and that could discourage them from making a purchase or engaging with you in any other way online. In addition to ensuring accuracy across all platforms (website and social media accounts), make sure that what you share is helpful as well as enjoyable—no one wants to click on an article only to realize they already know everything inside!
Successful businesses make sure that their websites are trustworthy.
Trust is a key factor in business. You need your customers to trust you, and you need that trust to be built on honesty and consistency.
To build trust with your website, be open and transparent about who you are and what you do:
- Be honest about who runs the company and what their qualifications are.
- If there are any mistakes on the website, admit them quickly and fix them immediately.
- Be consistent with the way your brand presents itself across all platforms (including social media, aka social proof).
I hope that you’ve found this article informative and helpful. Building trust through your website is an important part of running a successful business, and it can be done by following some simple best practices. For more information on this topic, check out our other articles on building trust in your business.