Yes, I know ‘trustability’ isn’t a word, but for this article, it’s been added to the English lexicon.
Over and above a great offer, exceptional product or service, and outstanding customer service, you need trust to sell.
In a face-to-face situation, you can use your charm to build a trusting relationship. However, selling online makes that a bit trickier. There’s no opportunity to ask questions or to have a bit of banter, so trust has to be earned a different way.
How to build trust online
It is possible to build trust without actually meeting your customers. However, it takes a bit or work.
Here are my top six ways of increasing the trustability of your website.
Ok, cards on the table, as a copywriter, the content of your website is always going to be a priority. Indeed, although the design and functionality of your site will have a part to play in the trust game, what you say in words will decide whether you get the deal or not.
Content that’s boring and that only focuses on your company will not win you friends. It’s vital it concentrates on the needs of your customers and how your product or service will make their life easier; in other words, forget the ‘we’ and focus on the ‘you’.
Here are some other things you should avoid in your copy:
- Stop stuffing it with keywords
- Proofread to make sure there are no typos
- Use simple vocabulary
- Write in short sentences and paragraphs
- Don’t use jargon, marketing speak or any other ridiculously complex words in the mistaken belief they make you sound intelligent (they don’t)
- Make sure you use a good font size
- DO NOT WRITE IN CAPITALS OR USE MULTIPLE COLOURS
- Don’t overdo the number of links in your content because too many will confuse
- Keep up with the times
Now for a few words about the design of your site. Web design evolves at an alarming rate. I’m not suggesting you should get your website redesigned every year, but it would pay to review it every 3-4 years to make sure it’s not looking tired.
Plus, a responsive site (i.e. viewable across all devices) is essential considering mobile web browsing is continually growing.
- Social proof
Even if your content is spot on, readers will still want some sort of proof that you’re genuine and will fulfil your promises. That’s where social proof comes it. It can be in the form of testimonials (written or video), reviews, online image portfolio, or case studies.
If you are going to use testimonials, make sure you attribute them to a real person. Your readers aren’t stupid and are unlikely to trust glowing reports if they aren’t backed up by an identity.
- Contact details
There’s a growing trend among companies to omit their contact details and have a Frequently Asked Question section. Don’t follow them. A visitor to your website is more likely to trust you if you make it easy for them to get in touch with you.
That means showing your phone number, email, online chat (if you use it), and address. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to trawl through a website trying to find out how to get in touch.
No contact details make it look as though you’re not interested in helping your customers.
- Call to action
This is essential because, regardless of what you think, if you don’t ask your website visitors to get in touch, they won’t.
Again, as in point four make it easy for them to get in touch with you. However, there’s no need to finish off every section with a call to action. One or two per page is more than enough.
- Who are you?
People are still curious about who they’re doing business with, so your About Us page is vital. However, it’s not there for you to fill it with ‘we’ and bore the pants off your readers.
It is still a sales opportunity and should focus on the ‘why’ of what you do. That means, showing your reader the story behind what you do. How you identified the issue they’re facing, and the difference your product or service makes.
As you have read, building trust isn’t as simple as flicking on a switch. You have to tread carefully, think about what your customers want to know, and focus all your energy into that. Forget about how great you think you are; they don’t care. They want to know you can take their pain away, fulfil your promises and that you’ll be there for them if they need you.