Trust is the first step to making the sale.
Your website’s main goal is to convert viewers into buyers, so you NEED to be sure that it fosters a sense of trust with users.
How do you do it? With the following list of what I like to call “trust factor” items. In order to show potential clients you’re professional, reliable, and worthy of their business, you should include as many of the following trust-building assets on your website as you can!
I'm listing the "on-page" things you can do to build trust on your website, but of course, you also need the basics: a modern web design, fast load times, and working links!
Another thing you need? Website transparency. Above all, being an open book on your website will gain the trust of your users. Don’t hide your location. Don’t hide your starting price point. Don’t try to “trick” people with clickbait or vague details. If your website seems unclear and inauthentic, no amount of awards or badges will save you.
Position yourself as an authority by showcasing your story, displaying your experience, and guiding your website visitors through all they need to know to confidently book you. Then, with the following trust factor items thrown in for good measure, your ideal clients won’t be able to resist!
10 TRUST FACTOR ITEMS FOR YOUR WEBSITE:
Make Your Site HTTPS Secure
Before we talk about on-page content, let's chat about your URL! Because before your website even has a chance to load, savvy visitors will notice if it's secure or not based on the "https://" before the URL. SSL certificates are what enable websites to move from HTTP to HTTPS, which encrypts and protects data transmission to keep your website users' data secure and private. If your website isn't currently secured with HTTPS, read this article from Google since migrating your site can temporarily affect your SEO.
An Authentic About Page
It's important to showcase your personality on your website, because at the end of the day, people enjoy dealing with other people—not computers. So show your smiling face, write like you talk, and forge a connection with your website's visitors. Do this all throughout your website, but especially on your About page! This is your chance to show your website's users the real you. Avoid jargon and canned marketing copy and instead, write your bio from the heart. Doing so will turn a cold, techy web page into something a real person wrote—and that's something your visitors can connect with. #knowliketrust
Use High-Quality “Real” Images
I love supplementing my website and social media with stock photography, but a huge mistake I see is relying solely on stock images for your website. There's such a thing as "visual authenticity", and you want to make sure you're showing your website visitors real images of you, your team, and your work.
And this almost goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway), your photos MUST be professional and high-quality. Your images matter more than you might think. They are a direct reflection of the quality of work and service you provide, and have the potential to make or break sales. Only use the highest quality imagery on your website, and ditch anything that’s dated, pixelated, or grainy. Otherwise, your website's visitors may equate your low-quality imagery to low-quality work. And we don't want that now, do we?!
Social Media Links
Social proof is the new online reviews. Your visitors aren’t just going to take your website’s word for it—they want to see you across other social media platforms to be sure you’re legit. Put your social media links in your website’s navigation and/or footer for easy access. I recommend only linking to your active social media accounts. Linking to your Twitter account that you haven't touched since 2012 will only cause confusion.
Also, make sure your social media platforms are on-brand and consistent with your website’s user experience. Having a consistent brand across all of these touchpoints is a natural and important way to build trust.
Sprinkle short and catchy testimonial snippets strategically throughout your entire website as another form of social proof. Notice the words “short” and “snippets” here, as people don’t want to read a huge quoted paragraph. Pull out the most impactful portions of your testimonials and use those for dramatic effect. Including a photo and name of the person who said those nice words is another great way to up the trustworthiness!
Press, Badges, and Awards
Be loud and proud about your press and earned merits! Shout out media mentions on your website including podcast interviews, website articles, blog features, and print publications. Proudly display any badges or awards you’ve received. Also note any relevant memberships that can further bolster your street cred. Having notable logos, links, and accolades on your website will not only add to your credibility, but will look mighty impressive to boot!
Logos of clients you've worked with prove that there are companies out there that have benefited from your expertise. It shows you’re capable of delivering on your promise by highlighting your satisfied customers.
Break down your expertise by the numbers! A fun accent on a website is to list some creative stats. For example: number of podcast downloads, years in business, clients served, etc. This is a bite-sized strategy that can make a big impact on your website.
Shout out the charitable things your business does, like donating a portion of your profits or doing pro bono work for nonprofit organizations. When your website’s visitors can see that your business has heart and gives back, they’ll naturally be drawn to your work.
Sure, the ultimate goal of your website is to convert—but you also want to put the best interests of your website’s visitors FIRST. That means, providing educational value in the form of blog posts, freebie downloads, workbooks, podcast episodes, or video content. Draw your ideal clients in by giving them educational resources that speak directly to their pain points. In doing so, you'll gain their trust and help them out at the same time. And that's what I call a win-win.