Highly effective ways for a small business to improve your company’s sales by adding trust signals
(This is one of a number of articles, the first of which is here.)
No matter how good your company may be, visitors to your website are unlikely to checkout or buy from you if you fail to persuade them that they can trust your company.
The good news is this can easily be fixed online with the inclusion of relevant trust signals.
So what exactly are trust signals? There are actually many ways you can demonstrate trust to your audience and nearly all company websites would benefit by having the following:
Reviews and testimonials
Reviews have a big influence on prospective customers. A video testimonial is better than a testimonial with an image, which is better than just a named testimonial, which is better than an anonymous testimonial. Put effort into getting video reviews and they will really help boost trust.
Another type of review is from experts. If you can get an expert to give you a review, then this is the ultimate review and maximises trust.
Guarantees are really good at reducing the buyer’s risk. Our 6 month value for money back guarantee, doesn’t just reduce the buyer’s risk, but it also acts as a form of proof. This is because our business would be harmed if we didn’t honour our claims. We must be able to back up our guarantee, or we wouldn’t be in business.
We have recently been working with bathrooms-birmingham.co.uk. A well established bathrooms / kitchen fitting company in Birmingham who have had a website for many years with very good organic rankings. Despite this, in the past year they’ve had very few enquiries. We introduced a number of trust symbols into their website (along with other conversion factors) and so far enquiries are up by over 2000% (yes that 2000%). Not bad for a £500 investment.
Qualifications and Certifications
One of the ways we added trust to a client’s website who is in the building trade, was to include their Gas Safe number and link to their Gas Safe register page. If you hold an industry related qualification or certifications, these should be clearly displayed on your website. Three industries in which trust are important are the Health & Fitness, Financial and Construction/Building trade, but equally there are many more where qualifications and certifications are important e.g. (gas engineers, electricians) etc.
I have used in the past celebrities to endorse a campaign to great effect and they dramatically increased sales. You should however be cautious when using celebrities because sometimes they don’t increase sales, in fact they can harm them. Celebrities are human and sometimes they have skeletons in their closets that could come back to bite your company. It’s always a good idea to run the idea of using a celebrity past your existing customers, because they will give you the best insights into whether the celebrity will improve sales.
Positive PR and Press
This is one trust element that is often forgot about, or is tucked away in some forgotten/one off blog post. Positive Press and PR should be incorporated into the important pages on your website to make sure your visitors see it. If you have been mentioned on particular websites or in newspapers then make a point of saying “as featured on” and display their logo’s. By displaying the logo’s you are borrowing their credibility to help boost your trust.
Size and following
Visitors to your website can be persuaded to buy if you demonstrate the size and stature of your business. Whilst we are not advocates of linking your website to social media, if you have a large social following, then we want to make a big statement along the lines of the following:
Whilst the above figures are way above the norm, as long as your own social figures are not unimpressive, the inclusion of your social following is a good way to add trust to your website.
What if don’t have any of the above?
Then you should spend time, money and effort into acquiring those things. The most profitable businesses in your market understand what type of company your visitors like to do business with, and then they become that company fast. You have to have this same winning and adapting mentality.
Where do we place trust signals on our website?
Always place important trust signals on your most popular visited pages. All too often companies do display some trust signals on their websites, but they are tucked out of the way on low frequented content that users rarely see. The home page is definitely a starting point, but remember not all visitors enter your website through this page, so it’s always best to consult with your Google analytics account and user flow.
What you should do now
If you are serious about having a great website, you should read my blog, it’s packed with ideas and suggestions to help improve your site.
And if you have any comments or questions about this article, contact me.