When launching their shiny new website, many people focus purely on search engine optimisation. Don’t get me wrong, SEO is very important, since otherwise you will not drive any traffic/potential clients to view your wares.

However, one of the biggest challenges facing any new website or online shop is trust and credibility. Unlike a bricks and mortar store, the world wide web is a faceless medium and your potential clients don’t usually have the luxury of visiting your store and meeting you. Therefore you need to make some effort to make them feel comfortable and ready to buy from you and here are some suggestions to help with this. I strongly encourage you to make your website so much more than an online brochure.

I regularly view websites that look little more than a brochure on the screen. You’ve got a number of ways of making your website into more of a living, breathing presence so why not take advantage of the opportunity. Not sure how to do this? Well here are some ideas to help get you started.

Photographs

Make sure your website shows at least a photograph of you but ideally also includes photographs of what you do. So for example, if you are a home based business selling your wares online then why not include a photograph of you at work. People connect with other people and photographs will help. If your business has a physical bricks and mortar presence or a store then a photograph or two of these is essential. People want to feel comfortable with who they are dealing with and what better way than seeing photos of your actual premises.

Blog Posts

Most website environments include a blogging platform/facility providing you with an excellent tool to let your visitors and potential customers know what you have been up to. Here’s a few ideas to get those creative juices flowing 🙂 .

  • Announce a new product or service – got something new happening or you’ve just invented a cure for the common cold? Let others know.
  • Announce a milestone – has your business just had it’s 100th or 1,000th customer? Share your good fortune with the world!
  • Announce a sale or special offer – let others know about special offers or sales. Perhaps you’re offering a discount voucher on your online store where they can save money?

Videos

Videos are a great way to build your credibility and they are often overlooked. When the subject of videos comes up, many people look at me in horror thinking they are up for thousands of dollars getting a film crew in to produce something rivalling the Lord of the Rings. Most of us have access to a tool that produces perfectly good video content. That’s right, it’s called a smartphone and both Apple and Android devices take perfectly acceptable videos for use on your site.

You can easily find tools and software, much of which is free to enhance it or display captions etc. and all you need to do is upload it to sites such as You Tube and then share it via your website or social media pages. It’s that easy.

Don’t worry if it doesn’t look like a Ron Howard epic! People want to engage with you and see some personality in your videos and are not looking for a piece that is Academy Award material.

Testimonials

Testimonials are another great way to help build credibility and trust. Just make sure they are not cheesy and fake sounding. Of course many testimonials often are and to avoid this ensure the person is prepared to include their name, location and a website address (where appropriate) or email address. Otherwise they have little credibility and no one will trust them. Also, avoid including testimonials that are vague and say basically nothing such as “They’re way cool, great stuff.”. Ask your clients to highlight something that sets you apart from your competition with some specifics such as ‘xxxx was a great help to my business and my website has been an excellent tool in gaining customers’, is much better than “They’re way cool, highly recommended’.

Reviews

Many web platforms include tools whereby others can leave reviews of products or services and this is an excellent vehicle in building trust. After all, getting someone to purchase from a faceless online store is a challenge and your potential customer will be wondering whether the product or service will live up to their expectations. Just ensure that reviews can only be left by customers and can be moderated by you. You do not want to allow idiots or troublemakers the ability to leave reviews on your site where there is no buying history.

Finally in closing, doing some or all of these suggestions will get you on the way in conjunction with social media platforms such as Facebook. What are you finding is getting you results with your new or existing website.

Filed under: Internet Marketing