- About Us
- Contact us
- Social media links
- Testimonials or opinions
- Certifications, Memberships and Awards
- Any unique value proposition
- Bonus: Covid protocols
As a local business, your website is an essential marketing tool. Whether referred by word of mouth or found through a Google search, almost all new customers will visit your website at some point in the buying cycle. Confident customers may simply visit your website to enter your phone number, while others may go through every page of the website, weighing up a list of pros and cons between you and a competitor.
Among the factors that savvy customers will take into account are what we call trust signals or trust symbols. These are indicators that your business is legitimate, that you “are who you say you are” and that you have a strong history of above-board operations.
Having reassuring symbols of trust isn’t as easy as writing “we are legitimate, trust us” on your home page. Customers want to know that you are real, that you have genuine expertise, and that you will be responsible if something in the deal doesn’t go as planned.
Here are some of the top ways to build strong trust signals into your website.
If possible, organize a professional photoshoot of you and your staff. Not only will this help put a face to a name, but the human factor is the strongest symbol of trust there is. In addition to photographing your team and workplace, also consider custom photography for a gallery or before and after photos. Whether you own a landscaping business or a cupcake shop, real photography is a must in demonstrating the quality of your work.
Write a page about us that comes from the heart. Why did you get started in this profession? Why are you passionate about it so far? The more unique details you can add about yourself or your business, the better. If possible, add staff biography and photos as well.
This might be the most important page on your website because that’s how potential customers will come in contact with you. At a minimum, you should have a contact form and a phone number. For additional symbols of trust on this page, you can add a built-in map (if you have a storefront or office), hours of operation, and any other key details.
If so, this is the next most important consideration, if only for reasons other than self-qualification. While this may not be possible in your industry, even consider something like “from…” to give customers a rough range and understand if they are a good fit.
If you plan to include prices, make sure they are up to date, as inaccurate prices can be worse than not having them at all.
Social media links
On social media, you can be a bit more casual and improvised compared to your website. Link to all active social media accounts. However, if you have a Facebook page that hasn’t been updated since 2015, it might be best to leave it out, unless you plan to resume regular content. Also, make sure that all key business details (such as times, prices, etc.) are consistent across all platforms to avoid confusion or frustration.
Testimonials or opinions
The concept of social proof is related to signals of trust. It is the concept of being ready to buy a product or service because others have done so too. Include testimonials from happy customers – again, the more detail / specific the better. A five star review that says “great service” has value, but a review like “Bob and his team were so helpful with my bathroom remodel, they went over budget and finished on time. planned ”is such valuable content.
While there is a reasonable temptation to keep only rave reviews, from a trust signal perspective, feel free to link to a third-party review source like Google My Business (GMB). While you may have lower-rated reviews or even upset customers, giving customers the full picture will help them make an informed decision and believe there is no skeleton in the closet.
Certifications, Memberships and Awards
Show off your skills, especially if they are ones that reckless competitors would not have. Whether it’s listing your professional designations on your bio / about me page, or including logos of certifications and memberships on your homepage, these can go a long way in contributing to the trust category. . This category would also include any “as seen in” reporting, such as a story in the local newspaper or a segment on national television.
Any unique value proposition
Bonus: COVID protocols
Customers these days have a legitimate concern that the information on the website does not reflect current operating hours or policies. The more timely you can communicate COVID protocols, the better.
For example, have an alert at the top of the page with a link to your current policies. Include the date of the last modification so customers know if the data is still relevant. Include as much information as possible on things like contactless delivery, customer entry protocol, etc. This will help put potential (and current) customers at ease.
Take control of your website real estate and tell your story, your way. Incorporate as many of these symbols of trust as possible, and you’ll have an easier time doing business with happy customers.