How to build trust in your business online

Published: 01/10/2020

In an increasingly online world, it's important you try to get your customers to trust your brand over your competitor’s.

Modern shoppers are different from the consumers of yesteryear and today they can easily do a bit of digging about a brand before parting with their hard-earned cash. In fact, many of them do, with research showing 61% of consumers will browse online reviews before completing a purchase.

They’ll actively seek out a reason to trust your brand before taking the plunge and spending their money.

So, to help you provide them with the reassurance they crave, we’ve put together 13 easy-to-follow tips for building trust in your online business.

1. Provide value

In the online arena content is king, so nailing yours is a sure-fire way to set your business apart from the crowd.

Good quality content in the form of blogs, social posts, and on your website sets you apart as an authoritative voice within your industry which helps build trust substantially. Here’s how to nail it:

  • Do some research and identify any gaps in the market or common customer needs.
  • Then create content that fills those gaps and meets those needs.
  • Check out what your competitors are doing.
  • Make your content better, more detailed and engaging than what’s already out there.
  • And always remember to...

2. Follow the 80/20 rule

80% of your content should be informative, non-promotional, and useful to your current and prospective customers. The other 20% can be used to talk about your products and/or services.

No one likes to be bombarded by sales pitches, modern-day consumers like to be treated like humans, not viewed as pound signs. 

Following the 80/20 rule will help you strike the right balance between the two, and prove to consumers that their needs and wants are a priority to your business. Offering informative and reliable content will nurture a sense of trust in your business. 

3. Reviews

Encourage customer reviews to show your business cares about and is confident of the quality of what you’re selling - as we’ve already seen, the majority of consumers will check these before purchasing.

Even if in the worst-case scenario you end up with a bad apple, this can be used as an opportunity to demonstrate your business’ transparency and showcase your responsiveness and willingness to put things right. 

Top tip: Put some of your customer reviews on your website to show prospective customers they can trust you. 

4. Links

When it comes to your website it’s all about a smooth, streamlined and seamless user experience, so it’s important you don’t have any broken links.

Fun fact: 73% of consumers would abandon a website if they clicked on a link and it returned an ‘error 404’ message. 

It’s also important any links you include link out to a reputable website, e.g. industry favourites and fact-driven sources. If consumers are redirected to spammy, ad-heavy sites it’ll reflect badly on you too (it’ll also impact your SEO success).

5. Two-way communication

Today’s consumers like to interact, engage, and have relationships with businesses - so if you can foster two-way communication you’ll build trust.

One of the best and easiest ways to achieve this is through social media as it allows you to personally respond to individual customers. Here are our top tips for this:

  • Be active on social media
  • Regularly monitor your pages for comments, complaints, and questions
  • Respond swiftly
  • Use personal and appropriate language (copy and paste responses are a big no-no)
  • Start conversations and build relationships.

Successfully build this two-way rapport and make yourself available to consumers and you’ll be one step closer to building a trustworthy reputation for your business.

6.Engagement: go live

On the subject of two-way communication, a nifty trick to boosting consumer interaction and engagement is going live on your social feeds.

On the likes of Facebook and Instagram, you can host live Q&A sessions - it requires a bit of planning on your end, and of course, you need to let all your followers know when you plan on doing this for it to be successful, but it can be a super effective method of fostering trust. 

Live sessions like this are unedited, you can’t predict what’s coming and have a pre-planned response, and it’s this element that really boosts consumer interest and trust. 

7. Stay consistent

Consistency is key to building brand awareness, recognition, and ultimately feelings of trust.

So, in all your online content you need to maintain a consistent tone of voice and brand image - a great way to check yourself on this is to create a brand playbook that you and your workforce can refer back to before publishing to the web.

8. HTTPS

Is your website HTTPS? If not, it’s super important you act quickly to make it so.

If you don’t have HTTPS enabled, when a consumer uses a search engine to find a business your website will be shown as ‘not secure’ in their results and this could do irreparable damage to their trust in your business. 

Top tip: find out more about how to enable HTTPS head here.

9. Professional website

Website design is listed as the number one criteria for judging a business’ credibility by nearly half of consumers - so make sure yours is on its A-game.

There are loads of great and cost-effective tools on the market to help you set up a great website, and we’ve put together a rundown of our favourites to help get you started. If you’ve already sorted your site, here are our top tips for ensuring it’s at its best:

  • Have plenty of white space on each page - this boosts readability.
  • Optimise for mobile use - British consumers spend two-thirds of their internet browsing time on mobile phones.
  • Make navigation a piece of cake - consider using condensed menus and breadcrumbs.
  • Use bright colours sparingly but effectively - they should grab attention where you want it but not dominate and leave users with a headache.

Top tip: you can find loads more info on creating a great website here and here.

10. Contact info

If a consumer is browsing your website and wants to get in touch for more information, there’s nothing more frustrating and off-putting than if they can’t find your contact information for love nor money - it creates serious distrust.

Would you trust a business if they gave the impression they were hiding their identity or trying to avoid contact with consumers? Probably not, so put your visitors at ease and make your contact information easily accessible - at the bottom of each page is ideal.

11.           Secure payments

Two-thirds of consumers rate safe and secure payments as the number one most important element in their online shopping experience and nearly half admitted they’d abandon ship and shop elsewhere if they felt any concerns over safety.

The most common method of accepting payments online is using a payment gateway - so be sure you sign up with a reputable payment service provider (like us!) who’ll provide you with all the latest security features to keep your customers feeling secure and help build trust in your business. 

Good to know: at takepayments our payment gateways are SSL certified and use 3D secure technology - in other words, they’re super secure. 

12.           User-generated content

For consumers today, particularly younger generations and millennials, social media is being used as a platform to discuss brands and businesses they like and dislike and this information is really important in their buying decisions.

In fact, 76% of millennial consumers surveyed stated content shared by regular people and their peers is more important and trustworthy than content shared by businesses themselves. In another study, a whopping 92% of consumers surveyed admitted they’d trust the recommendations of others, even if they’re strangers, more than branded content. 

What’s the takeaway? You need to maximise on user-generated content (UGC). UGC can come in the form of blogs, videos, pictures, brand advocates, etc. so make use of this type of content to highlight how regular people are enjoying your products and services and create a library full of trust-building content.

13.           Check for issues

Let’s finish off with a seemingly obvious but often overlooked element of building trust - and that’s having a smooth user experience on your website. 

We’ve seen the effect a broken link can have on your credibility, and this extends to all elements of your website - it’s extremely annoying to consumers when they encounter a technical issue on your site and can make them question your reliability as a business.

The simplest way to stop this impacting your business is by employing Google Analytics - the data it offers will highlight any technical issues that users might be encountering on your website, so you can swiftly rectify them and minimise the impact they could have on consumers’ trust in your business. 

Top tip: find out more about Google Analytics in our beginner’s guide.

You’ll find heaps more useful resources, guides, and advice for small businesses over on our dedicated blog, or if you want to set up a super-secure payment gateway on your website reach out to our friendly experts today.

 

Bryony Pearce

Bryony Pearce

Copywriter

Get your FREE quote today.

We will use your information in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Related articles.

Takepayments Barclaycard