Building Trust Online

Building trust starts with the first impression. As soon as a visitor clicks on your web site he or she is making subconscious notes. From your logo to your color scheme to the way you present information, it is fundamental that you do it right.

Step 1: Make it Personal

Many websites think they need to use corporate talk to sell their products. This is a myth. Using jargon that people don’t understand won’t sell anything. These days many people connect with their friends, associates and clients via email and instant messaging. I’m willing to bet not many people use “corporate-speak” in emails to their friends or in online chat rooms.

Keep your website the same way. Maybe not as relaxed as you might be inclined to be in a chat room, but generally speaking, people like to feel comfortable when you’re talking to them. It’s okay to use relaxed words and contractions online.

Step 2: Eye Candy

It’s gotta look good. I don’t mean litter it with animated gifs and spinning logos, I mean having it professionally designed so it is appealing and memorable. Chances are good that there are many other websites that are selling the same product or service you are. Make yours memorable. It’s easy to forget a website that is poorly executed, but good web site design will make a lasting impression.

Step 3: Easy Navigation

What surprises me is how many businesses have a killer web site design, but their navigation is terrible. I can’t stand being on a website that I can’t figure out how I got to where I am, or for that matter, where I am.

Some websites seem to be designed by a very creative individual with no sense of design. Design is the ability to harness art and apply it in a constructive way. In terms of a website, you need to make sure that your audience can find what they are looking for with ease.

Step 4: Make Credible Claims

I was born and raised by a very conservative Christian family who often preached “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Seems to ring true 95% of the time anyway. Many customers feel the same way. If you are expressing unbelievable claims on your website, visitors will tend to become skeptical and search elsewhere for a more believable offer.

Step 5: Provide Full Contact Information

Have you ever gone to a site where you couldn’t even find information on how to contact the business? I have, and let me tell you, it’s frustrating. Not to mention it makes me question the validity of the store itself. It is imperative that you provide a way for your customers to be able to get a hold of you to answer any questions they may have.

Physical address, email address, telephone number, fax line, whatever you have, put it on your site. And don’t hide it. Your customers want to be able to find this quickly or you’ll start losing rapport.