When it comes to human relations, trust is everything. People don’t buy from people they don’t trust and they’re willing to pay extra to do business with someone they highly trust. In this post I’m going to give you some ideas to use your website to inspire trust among your customers.

Social Proof

When you say something great about your company, people know you’re biased so they discount your opinion. My first piece of advice is this: don’t tell people how great you are. Instead, let your customers do that job for you. Testimonials are good, but there’s a problem with them: most companies only post positive testimonials on your website. So, if you’re going to post testimonials or reviews, make sure you post all of them, not just the positive ones.
You might be concerned that negative reviews will hurt you, but a few negative reviews among a lot of positive ones will make your customers trust you more because they understand that even the best companies in the world have some unhappy customers. Which of these two companies would you trust more?
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Because people trust unmoderated reviews more, you should also consider adding links to your Yelp, Amazon and Google+ Local pages, because these are unbiased reviews from consumers that companies can’t really edit.
When you talk about your own company, instead of saying how great you are, talk about what you believe in. When we talk to our clients we make it very clear that we believe that our marketing is focused on return-on-investment (ROI) and that we want our clients to keep us accountable to produce a positive ROI on their campaigns. Explaining what values you stand for can help you connect with your customers at a deeper level.

“Humanize” Your Website

People do business with companies they like. And, for people to like a company they have to know the people behind it. I believe that the “About Us” page is one of the most important pages on your website. I want to know who’s on your team and I want to get to know your people a little better. Show me a picture of them, tell me what they do for your company and share with me what they are like. What do they like doing in their free time? What are they obsessed with?
Videos are extremely powerful. The video we have on our homepage allows potential clients to know us and and experience what working with us is like even before calling us.
Your writing style is another way you can connect -or disconnect- with your audience. The best way to write engaging copy is to write the way you speak. Lose the big words and your boring mission statement. Add personality to your copy. It should read as if an actual human wrote it, not a robot. Get real and talk to your customers the same way you’d talk to a friend of yours that you really care about.
Which of these two companies seems more authentic to you?
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The Bottom Line

Most companies focus on making great sales points on their websites, but if people don’t trust you the battle is lost before it has even started. The best way to earn trust is to be real: show both your positive and negative reviews, admit your flaws (nobody is good at everything), feature your team on your website instead of hiding behind it and craft your marketing message as if you were explaining what you do to a friend you really care for.