10 Ways to Increase Trust in Your Online Brand

With so many fake websites around, it is no surprise that many people are reluctant to trust what they see online. But, if you want people to buy from your eCommerce site, you will need to gain that trust. Even if all you want is for people to contact you or request a quote, you will need to convince visitors to your site that you are a genuine business. 

Internet users usually make up their minds about the trustworthiness of a website in only a few minutes. So, how do you gain a person’s trust in such a short time? Here are ten tips to help you increase the trust people have in your online brand.

 

1. Get an SSL Certificate

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate merely proves that data is encrypted when sent between a client PC and the website server. However, many people see the absence of the URL prefix HTTPS and the padlock as a sign that a website is fake. Even if you do not ask visitors for any confidential information, it would be best for trust-building to get an SSL certificate for your website. If you don’t have an SSL certificate, web browsers may flag your site as being unsecured. That warning will be enough to make some visitors leave your site as fast they arrived.

 

2. Freshen Up Your Web Design

First impression count. So, if your website is looking a bit tired and uncared for, people will be put off buying anything from you. Fake websites are also often put together in haste. So, a poorly designed site with little content on it might be a sign of a scam. You will give visitors much more confidence in your business if your site looks professional and up to date. If you don’t have the time to redesign your website, it would be a good idea to hire a professional web design agency to give your site a makeover.

 

3. Provide Full Contact Information

If you have nothing to hide, why not give your users an easy way to contact you? Legitimate businesses want people to talk to them, so provide either an email address or a contact form and disclose your company’s telephone number and physical address. It is also a good idea to provide links to your social media accounts. The more transparent you are about who you are, the more visitors to your website will trust your brand.

 

4. Publish Terms and Conditions

Publish your terms and conditions on your website, including your shipping charges and returns policy. People who are likely to buy from your website will want to know all the costs upfront, and visitors to your site will want to be sure they can return products to you if they change their mind. When people shop online, they can’t see or touch the things they are about to order. So, they must trust that the product descriptions and images on your website are accurate. But as everyone knows, pictures can be deceiving. People will want the reassurance that they can get their money back if what they receive is not what they expected.

 

5. Add an About Us Page

A brand-new business with no history will make people think twice about buying from you. After all, if you have no track record, how can you expect people to trust you? You can ease people’s fears about your brand by filling them in on your backstory on an about us page. You don’t need to publish the full, unabridged history of your company. Still, a bit of background and some of your business milestones will give customers more confidence. If your business is relatively new, you can replace the company history with some background information on your team’s key members. The crucial thing is to demonstrate that real people who know what they are doing are behind the website.

 

6. Publish a Privacy Policy

Visitors to your site will also want to know that they can trust you not to share their information with third parties. So, put their minds to rest by clearly stating that you maintain confidentiality and never share users’ data with anyone else in a privacy policy. You will also need to explain how you use cookies on your site and explain your use of analytics software to collect data.

There are privacy policy generators (e.g. Iubenda) that often offer basic privacy policies for free and help you create them in minutes.

 

7. Authoritative Content

Use your blog as a platform to demonstrate your authority in your field.  Publish market analysis, how-to guides, and tips and advice, as well as marketing content. And produce new content regularly. A blog that only contains two or three posts published five years ago will not inspire confidence in your business. You need up to date, valuable information on your blog if you want to get people to trust your site.

 

8. Use a Well-known Secure Checkout

You need people to trust your brand because you want them to entrust their credit or debit card details to you. If you don’t convince visitors to your site that your checkout is secure, you will lose their trust at the crucial last hurdle. The easiest way to overcome people’s fear of parting with their card details is to use a well-known secure payment processor like PayPal or Stripe. And as mentioned above, ensuring that you have a valid SSL certificate will also give people confidence that it is safe to use their cards on your site.

 

9. Ratings, Accreditations, and Certifications

Demonstrating that your business or employees have been tested or rated by trusted organizations boosts your brand’s credibility.  So, if you are a trade organization member, display the membership badge prominently on your website. If your key employees have technical or professional qualifications, explain that on your about page. 

 

10. Customer Testimonials

Often, all a person will need to see to trust your brand is that someone just like them has placed trust in your brand and not been disappointed. To achieve peer validation, you will need some convincing customer testimonials or case studies. The best testimonials have some background on the person providing the reference and a picture of the individual. The content of a testimonial should, of course, be genuine, and it should focus on how your product or service has benefited the reviewer.

 

Conclusion

As you can see from the above, there are several aspects to generating trust in your online brand. If people are going to buy from you, they need to know that your site is secure and that you will not share their personal information. And third-party validation will go a long way towards increasing trust in your business. Plus, if you have a professional-looking website containing authoritative information, it will help build your brand’s credibility.

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