January 14, 2013
6 Ways Your Website Can Build Trust for Long Term Growth
Image Source: Creative Commons Flickr/vagawi
You may have the flashiest website online to attract customers, but can you keep them coming back? Trust building on your website is vital for the constant growth and development of your online presence. These online trust building tips can help ensure that visitors to your website aren’t one-time tourists but regular, active participants.
Keep it Authentic
When you pretend to be something that you’re not, your visitors can sense it. Don’t force wit or unfamiliar jargon to try to be hip or attract new demographics when it will only sound fake. Engage in trust building by simply being yourself. Just keep your tone friendly and inviting and visitors will feel welcome, giving you their trust and returning again and again for your refreshing authentic web presence.
Provide Simple Navigation
If your website is a mess, requiring an instruction manual to just get beyond the homepage, online trust building is going to be difficult. If you have to, pay a web designer to create simple, intuitive navigation on your site so your visitors don’t have to think about where to click—which will only make them want to leave. This basic, easy measure you can do will save you so much time and money in the long run, and it will keep your visitors happy, too.
Offer Open Transparency
Above all, do not lie to customers. It will shatter their trust and can cost you lots of money. Building trust with your website requires complete transparency. Be upfront about what you do, how you do it, and how much it costs. You don’t have to empty your closet of its skeletons, but be sure to only advertise with actual results, awards, and real customer testimonials. If customers discover that you have misled them, they may never return. This shouldn’t even be a tip, this should just go without saying.
Engage in Community Building
Give your customers a place to feel welcome where they will want to return on a daily basis. Provide them with engaging content that they can participate in, such as forums to have discussions on, videos or other media to engage with, or polls to take. Freebies that are helpful and aligned with the mission of your website are a good idea. A daily tip or quote is very attractive, too. Offer a takeaway every day that will get people excited about visiting.
Be Helpful and Timely
Ensure that your contact information is on the website and that it is easy to find. To promote trust building, you must be accessible in a timely manner to your patrons. If you may not respond for a day or two, be sure to create a canned response that can automatically be delivered if people email you. You can also post a notice on your contact page offering how quickly you will respond. A 48-hour window is good; a 24-hour one is better, when possible.
Add Regular Updates
Websites that feature stale, old content will lose user interest in a flash. Keep your content fresh by updating it daily or at least several times a week. Blogs especially should be regularly updated to foster online trust building. If you have a sale featured on your site, be sure to remove it, as well as any old dates, as soon as it’s over. Customers may think your site is dead if they return and find past specials featured on the front page.
Keep customers coming back for more every day by building trust with your website with these easy principles. Once you fix navigation errors, set up your canned responses, and schedule blog posts, this system will yield fast results in not only gaining, but maintaining trust. Be sure to keep these ideas in mind every day as you build your business.