We are a firm believer that trust is HUGE for creating a sustainable small business that makes a difference in the world.
You can certainly make a quick buck without trust, but it will catch up with you eventually.
Think about the businesses you frequent regularly. Your family doctor, your insurance agent, car repair shop or your tattoo remover ?. They have your business because you trust them.
Everything you do online should be filtered through the grid of “will this help my customers trust me more?”
In fact your site may be functional and easy to use, but if it doesn’t contain credible content and build rapport it limits the “trustworthiness” browsers will experience. It also will limit your rankings as Google has gotten good at deciphering if a page provides relevant information for searchers.
Trust leads to happy customers, which leads to returning customers, which leads to word of mouth referrals which leads to new customers and your business grows.
How to Build Trust
Show you’re a real person not a faceless organization. Put some real pictures of your and your staff online. People want to know the people behind the business.
Answer their questions before they realize they have them. Give the information they need up front. You’re just patronizing them if you think by hiding information you’ll somehow trick them into buying.
Own up to your own mistakes and faults. Acknowledge when you’ve blown it and let them know what you’re doing to make it right. Authenticity is the name of the game.
It may seem small, but disclosing information about your business especially a physical location goes a long way in establishing trust.
Solid, relevant customer testimonies and reviews helps establish credibility for your product and service.
If you are a b2b company, having logo’s of companies you serve on your website does wonders to establish credibility. If you’re company has been highlighted in media publication, it’s perfectly acceptable to have a “featured in” section that establishes your niche authority.
Listen to social media and online reviews. Your company is probably being talked about on social media, Yelp, or Google reviews. Don’t forget to listen and respond to your customers! Proactive management of your online reputation is a must.
Make Better Tacos
At the end of the day, trust is best served by delivering a superior product and service. We can get caught up in designing coupons, expanding locations, gaming social media, cutting corners, etc., but as Seth Godin says to the Taco Shop owners, “when in doubt, make better tacos.”
If you’re placing all your bets on a snazzy website and digital marketing to grow your business without a quality product or service it will leave you with a generic store that has a hard time becoming a sustainable business.
It’s all about Trust
Trust is a competitive advantage for your growing your customer base, but it’s also an advantage for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Without trust even the best SEO service will have a hard time getting you to rank on the first page of search results for your keywords.
Once you establish a platform of trust, then you’re on your way to building a brand instead of chasing the most recent algorithm change.