The internet is flooded with the remnants of websites, blogs and ecommerce shops that were once hoped to make their owners rich. Unfortunately, for most this didn’t work out. Setting up your site and consolidating your business idea is one thing, but how do you convert this into success? In order to engage a broad audience and ensure regular sales, you need to impress upon customers the authenticity and credibility of your business. If people do not trust your website, they will not interact with it.
Offer Customers a Curated Experience
Fifteen years ago a pixelated logo and left-aligned Times New Roman text may have constituted a passable website, but in this day and age it is simply a relic from a bygone era. This is an extreme example, but there are a number of warning signs that no customer wants to see on a business website. Your site needs to resemble everything that your business represents, be it fresh and creative, direct and professional, or personal and informative. Our checklist details the top five things you need to make sure your online business offers in order to gain visitor trust.
User-generated content is essential for new visitors to a site get a sense of your business legitimacy. By reading reviews, customers are not only able to get a better sense of the benefits of your product, but they are reassured that others have also purchased from you and had a positive experience.
Display Company Info and Branding
Perhaps this may seem like a simple point, but arguably it is one of the most important. Having a page on your website that clearly offers basic company information – name, business registration number, registered address, and possibly a short biography – reassures customers about the credibility of your company. Set up a business email address using a custom service from an online provider, so that customers are no longer sending enquiries to a personal address.
Update Blogs and Social Media Regularly
Using blogging and social media effectively can reap enormous benefits: they are the quickest means of growing your audience in leaps overnight and offer a direct level of communication with customers that’s hard to achieve otherwise. However, if left unattended for too long these discarded channels can give off major warning signs for new visitors. Make sure that no messages over Twitter or Facebook go unanswered, and try to post regularly to show that your business is alive and well.
Guaranteed Site Security
Using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol is increasingly essential for any business hoping to demonstrate their commitment to online security. Denoted by the small padlock in the left hand side of the browser bar, Google made SSL mandatory for websites in January 2017: when visitors enter any site without it, a warning will be flagged up informing them that the site does not offer full security.
Fast Site Speed
Site speed is an enormously important factor for your website performance on multiple levels. Slow loading is a negative factor in how Google ranks your site, and it is known to produce an increased bounce rate. Visitors may never even take the time to browse your site if it takes too long to appear, and for ecommerce businesses it can drastically affect conversions. In fact, it has been estimated that “51 percent of U.S. online shoppers cite slow site loading times as the top reason they abandon a purchase”.