4 Ways to Make Customers Trust You Instantly

By Tim Ash | Small Business

Think of the web sites you transact with the most – the ones outside of Amazon, Walmart, and Target. What do they have in common? Are they specialty sites with products that are difficult to find? Do they offer superior price points compared to Amazon?

Now think about the first time you did business with them – did you hesitate before you gave out your credit card number? That moment – the split-second of hesitation that can either result to a sale or a cart abandonment – that’s where you lose your prospects. And unless you’re a titan with universal brand recall, you cannot afford to assume visitors will trust you in that moment.

1. You Are Not Amazon – Show That You Protect Visitor Information

Walmart and Target may just have an obscure “Privacy and Security” link at the bottom of the page, but that doesn’t mean you can afford to. The trust marks are a must on your homepage, and it better be above the fold.

Only 20% of the visitor attention – at least on desktops and laptops – is devoted to elements that require scrolling. So if your trust symbols are at the footer three scrolls down, to the average user, they might as well not be there at all.

2. You Are Not Berkshire – Keep the Design Professional

People process visually, so before visitors see your prose, they have already made some type of judgment about your web site design. Design matters, so avoid being cheesy, and follow usability best practices. Conventions are your friend – a site ID at the upper left, primary navigation below that, and use photos that you actually need – not stock photos that serve as ornaments. Remember those trust symbols? Make seals out of them – people read 400-500 times slower than people process visually.

3. You Are Not Microsoft – Borrow Authority

There are certainly guidelines here because you run the risk of overpowering your own brand, but most companies can benefit from “borrowing” authority.

This doesn’t mean putting a large “transacts with Google” front and center, but you certainly should have the following elements where visitors can easily see them:

  • Reviews and awards
  • Marquee clients
  • Media mentions
  • Trade associations

Subdue logos in gray, make sure the testimonials don’t overpower your key call-to-action, but make sure the elements command some of the attention.

4. You Are Not Exxon – Show Social Proof

Visitors check total downloads for software files. Users check ratings for app stores. Travelers check TripAdvisor for peer reviews. People are wired to be tribal, and unless you have an insurmountable competitive edge in the market, you need to use this to your advantage.

Put up your numbers. Don’t say: “we have thousands.” Say: “we have 7,556 happy clients”. Make it specific.

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