Website Trust Elements

Your website represents you. Can I trust you?

How you or your company behaves in reality is reflected on your website. I’m pretty sure Police profilers look at company websites to learn more about offenders and what they’re about (we know they check Facebook). Even if a professional web developer built your site, you, your personality and how you treat people will be there for all to see.

Listen to me talk about this subject for 3 minutes . . .

Shoe Shop Example

If you had a shoe shop and after browsing around for a while, a customer decided to leave, what would you do?

  • Nothing.
  • Thank them as you bid them farewell.
  • Offer them a free sample or coffee as you bid them farewell.
  • Grab their coat by the door exclaiming, “But you didn’t see this!”
  • Grab their coat and shove a bunch of flyers into their hands.
  • Lock the exit screaming, “We gotta live one!”

Listen to me talk about website trust for 20 minutes . . .

Opening new windows

Opening new links in a new window is the same as grabbing their coat as they are about to leave. You are saying, “You can leave once I’ve sold you something.” That’s very unusual behavior in real life, but on the web, hiding your website (in a tab by opening anew window) is common practice. Those last two sound funny, but have you ever had an annoying JavaScript window pop up just as you are leaving a site? Pop-ups are booby-traps and, perhaps in my opinion, will quickly chase people away.

Let’s not forget that last bit. We need customers to return. That’s where profit is made.

I got eyes on you, Mister.

If someone had a problem with a shoe. For example it had no shoelace holes when they opened the box. Do you;

  • replace the product without question
  • ignore them completely and hope they go away?
  • point out that this is a new product where you can add holes with the included hole-maker?
  • replace the product and give them new shoelaces and a shoe horn for their troubles.

Leaving Comments Off

By leaving comments off on your blog posts, you are effectively saying, “Okay, I’ve said my bit. I don’t care what you think” and, perhaps to a lesser extent, “Go away.”

I have made quite a few sales by responding directly to comments on this blog. In fact, even though Google doesn’t officially count commenting in its algorithm (or at least I can’t find any data from SEO companies who test these things) I’m pretty sure commenting helps pagerank. But that’s a hunch. Not official.

Other Trust Factors

  • Do you have an About Us page?
  • Are there photos of staff / you / the proprietor?
  • Do you regularly blog?
  • Do you hide the publish date of your blog posts?
  • Do you allow comments?
  • Does your contact form work?
  • Do you have a bricks and mortar shop?
  • Do you have affiliate links?
  • Do you track your clients using re-marketing?
  • Is your site mostly about you and not your customer?

If you do any of these things, you might be losing customers.