- Just like in the real world, people won't do business with you online if they don't feel they can trust you. Normally, visitors to your site will start with a pretty neutral level of trust. They won't be super confident, but they won't be particularly wary. What you do next can turn them into eager buyers or send them running to your competition. It's hard to work out a company's reputation just from looking at their website. But there are lots of clues that people use to help them decide whether to do business with you or not.
Researchers at Stanford University gathered users' reactions to various websites, in order to find out which attributes of the sites most influenced trust. The most important attribute was accurate information, with any claims backed up by links to unbiased references. After that, people want to see that there's a real organization behind your site, staffed by honest and trustworthy people, who have expertise in the area. It has to be easy to contact you, and the site design must look professional and be easy to use.
That means up-to-date content, little, if any, promotional or advertising content, and absolutely no errors. That list shouldn't really come as a surprise to you. You probably already use these same characteristics when you do business online. But it's hard to focus on each of these areas until you list the items out in this way. As we go through the rest of the course, we'll spend time looking at each of these areas. You'll have a chance to think about what each of them means in your business.
That way, you'll be able to build a plan for creating a trustable website of your own.
Join Chris Nodder, as he reviews the key components of an effective small business website, whether you maintain your website or hire someone else. He provides guidelines to optimize the content, design, and information architecture of the site and to provide customers and prospective customers with incentives to trust your business—and buy from it.
- Keeping the homepage simple
- Providing news and links
- Using pictures and testimonials to establish trust
- Creating clear product descriptions
- Showing expertise with a blog or tips page
- Soliciting ongoing feedback