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5 Key Ways to Build Trust in Your Website at First Glance

Aug 17, 2007
In these days of buying and selling online, we no longer get to see the folks we buy from face to face. We don't live in the same communities, sometimes not even in the same country! We don't know them by sight or reputation and we have to make instant decisions about whether or not we can trust them enough to give them our credit card number. When you think about all that goes into this decision, it is truly amazing how much business takes place online!

There are Five Key ways to build trust in your website for those who visit you online. Remember, you may only have about 15 seconds to do so before your visitor clicks away and is gone to another website. So these key ways are factors that must be evident at first glance or that can be found with a minimum of clicking around your site. Otherwise, you may lose the opportunity to gain that visitor as a new customer forever.

The first Key is an appropriate Look for your website. I could have said a professional look, but what is appropriate has a lot to do with the market you are trying to reach. It should be professional in that it looks well made, it logically set up and is easy to navigate. Broken links, hard to find information, too many fonts, or too many ads in relation to the information can all be quick turnoffs that spell trouble for keeping visitors there long enough to convert them into customers.

The second Key is easy to find Contact Information. Only you can decide in what ways you will allow your visitors and customers to contact you; however, nothing builds trust faster than providing a physical address and a telephone number. This instills confidence that you are a real business and not a scam artist. It helps your visitor know that if they take a chance and buy from you, that they can contact you if they have a problem.

The third Key is customer Testimonials. The more real you can make these testimonials appear the better. Providing full names and/or partial addresses or some combination helps a lot. You can leave out enough to protect your customer. For example, you could use K. Davis from Charlotte, NC or you could use Karen Davis from North Carolina. Use some common sense with this. Karen Davis is a very common name so putting my whole name with the state isn't likely to make it very easy for someone to track me down. If using a comment from someone with a more unusual name, you would need to exercise more caution. But it is not going to do a whole lot to build trust in your visitors if you give a comment from K.D., NC. Whenever possible, adding a picture or an audio will ramp up the trust factor in your customer testimonials.

The fourth Key is the judicious use of Website Seals. These are verification of the trustworthiness of your website from an outside source. They can have a huge impact on the confidence level of your visitors. Placing these seals in a prominent area of your website is a good idea. There are many different Website Seals and you need to decide which will work best for your website.

The fifth Key is a rock solid Money Back Guarantee. How exactly you offer this guarantee depends on what you are selling. You may have to be careful in certain industries that your guarantee does not leave you too open to being taken advantage of. However, your guarantee should radiate confidence that you know that your customers will be well served and, if not, that they do have a recourse. There are few items that can be easily sold online without this key.

With these Five Keys in place, an Appropriate Look, Contact Information, Testimonials, Website Seals, and a Money Back Guarantee, you will be well on your way to keeping visitors at your website long enough to convert them into customers!
About the Author
Karen Davis is a SAHM and entrepreneur outside Charlotte, North Carolina. She helps aspiring ebook authors at http://www.wahventures.com and her favorite Website Seal is HonestE at http://wahventures.com/boostsales.
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