Digital Strategy for Intranet & Web

Sharing insights into strategic approach, new technology and solutions in the ever-changing digital world of Intranets, Websites and Web applications.

How to increase conversions by making your site more trustworthy

  • SEO
  • John Hedgman
  • 20 Jul 2016
  • Posted 2 years ago

How your users views and interacts with your site plays a crucial part in converting these visitors to customers. These days your web site is you’re “Shop Front”, and potential customers need to feel comfortable and secure in making a transaction or inquiry through the site. Ask yourself this “would I buy through my site”, if your answer is no then, it’s time to do something about it. With uses becoming more confident with online retail transactions, it is vital that your site appealing to the eye, easy to navigate and find information, no system errors and clear and concise content, there is no need for pages of content as customers won’t read it.

Establishing an air of trustworthiness about a site isn’t a difficult thing to do, but it can be easily thwarted if you don’t take care to consider the buyer’s thought processes.

Here are ten key steps to making your e-commerce site feel safe enough to transact on.

1. Manage

There are many CMS (Content Management Systems) and ecommerce systems on the market, but which one? Do you use propriety based or open source eg (WordPress and Joomla)? The market is flooded and very competitive, but at the end of the day we recommend to our client’s propriety based systems. Why? Security and serviceability, as a business we need to guarantee our service levels and with propriety based systems we can as we have a company and a team behind us that can provide answers and solutions if we can’t with dedicated time frames.  

Before making a decision look at features and value for money, make sure that there are no hidden costs. Try and look at a system that can be both a (CMS and eCommerce), they are out there like Business Catalyst. One system that can provide all the features that you would need to run a successful online shop.

2. Design

At the end of the day your product is only as good as the site it sits in. What I mean by this is, it doesn’t matter how great your product is, because if your site is poorly designed, hard to use, broken in areas visitors will not feel confident enough to purchase. How much is your site costing you?

Over the past 10 years I have seen and heard a lot of horror stories. You pay for what you get. Don’t comprise on quality for price, as you will find yourself back in the same position 6 – 12 months later.

Do your due diligence before deciding on the design firm and look into their client portfolio and invest. This will go a long way in the success of your online business.

3. Content

Web copy is hard and takes time but it’s one of the most powerful tools for bolstering confidence in a website, helping with search engine optimisation and distinguishing it from those of competitors. Having accurate, informed, well-written content will go a long way. Good content helps visitors make decisions and confidence in the company and product which in turn will create sales. It’s not an easy job, and can be the road block in stalling the production of the site. If you don’t have the resources or skills to write copy, look for a content writer who specializes in web. This will save you time and stress, and will keep the development moving. Read it before putting it out there and if you feel it’s to much or hard to understand, your customers will feel the same, so keep it simple and accurate.

4. Analyse, Update, Access

What’s working and what’s not? You need to have a way of finding whether or not visitors trust your site in the first place. While sales volume should indicate this to a certain degree, it’s also essential to know what aspects of your site are turning visitors away. There is not point having products or content if they are not creating results.

In order to check how people are finding and interacting on the site check your site analytics. This is a powerful tool to help you understand your visitors as well as improve the sites usability and performance.
If you don’t have access to any form of site metrics follow up with your agency to get access or set this up for you.

5. Prominent contact details

Making a prominent feature of your business’s real world contact details is a simple but incredibly effective step in building online credibility. Quite apart from the sales leads it can generate, a quick cautionary phone call with one of your actual employees can help to instill confidence in even the most skeptical of visitors.
One recommendation is to have a physical address in the footer and on the contact page, this is good for SEO.

6. Show them you’re secure

When it comes to the actual transaction, it’s important that your site can reassure visitors that their information will be transferred securely.

Invest in establishing secure hypertext transfer protocol (HTTPS) and secure socket layer (SSL) certificates for all transaction pages, and make a point of displaying the logo of your digital security provider for peace of mind. The larger and more trusted the provider, the better. This is not a large outlay for the peace of mind of your customers.

7. Use established payment gateways

In the same way that a prominent digital security provider can build confidence in your brand, so can a payment gateway by an established and respected financial institution.

Small businesses suffer from having no reputation for first-time customers to rely on, unlike the big-brand websites. The only way a small business can truly engender genuine and smart trust from its customers is to openly use big brand e-commerce providers to collect and process credit card details for them. The end result isn’t always the prettiest when a customer is directed to a financial institutions credit-card collection web page, but they always recognise and trust them. We find that small business clients always benefit from using something like Westpac’s ‘PayWay Net’ system, ANZ’s ‘eGate’ system and even PayPal shopping carts.
Before making a decision do your research, understand what the costs are before signing up.

8. Use social media

Having established presences on social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook not only works to boost your brand image, they can also greatly help to convince prospective customers you’re a real business worthy of their transactional trust. Work to build fans, followers and connections, and make an effort to communicate with them. Yes, this does create more work, you don’t need to spend hours dedicated 1hour a day to update and communicate with your fans, customers. At the end of the day it’s about numbers, increase numbers increases sales.

9. Start a blog

Similarly, hosting a blog within your website is an excellent method of building trust online. Quite apart from the fact that it shows there’s at least one knowledgeable person behind the digital façade, filling a blog with content that visitor’s value will help to establish your business as an authority. This kind of impression is indescribably valuable with respect to generating online trust and sales. If you’re the expert, they will want to buy from you. Try and set time aside once a month to write a blog around your industry, a topic that you feel is interesting to your customers. Another benefit is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), it all helps to increase your profile.

10. Testimonials

Testimonials may effectively be social media’s antiquated cousin, but they’re still a valuable method of demonstrating your business is trustworthy. Whether the business is establish online or not, putting client testimonials online will help to secure your business as not only trustworthy but reputable in the eyes of visitors, which in turn creates sales.

If you have any questions please contact us, we are more than happy to give you guidance to help make you make a decision.