A homepage is one of the most important pages on an entire website. It’s the portal through which the majority of your visitors enter and, to a large degree, it molds first impressions. But are you maximizing this page? If you aren’t utilizing trust signals, something needs to change.
Trust is an integral part of human relationships, which spills over into the connections people have with businesses. Trust has been woven into the very fabric of American businesses over the years, particularly with mom and pop shops on proverbial Main Street USA.
When it comes to online businesses and ecommerce, it could be argued that trust matters now even more than it did when business was strictly face-to-face. There’s an additional layer of friction that doesn’t exist in a brick and mortar setting, which means businesses have to overcompensate if they want to earn trust.
And it’s not just building trust with people. Businesses also have search engines to think about.
Most signals of quality for search are driven to some degree by the trust. People are more likely to read your site, subscribe to your site, and link to your site if they trust you. In an interview, Bob Massa once said, ‘search engines follow people.’ If enough people care about what you are doing, then search engines will usually trust it, too.
SEO expert Aaron Wall
From an ecommerce perspective, you can build a lot of trust with site visitors through web design, layout, and content strategy. Specifically, you should be including trust signals on your homepage – the page through which a large percentage of your visitors will first interact with your brand.
Think about the last time you were shopping for a product on Amazon. Aside from pricing, product images, and descriptions, what was one of the primary elements you looked to when deciding whether or not to purchase? For most people, customer reviews and ratings have a huge influence on purchase decisions. Why? Because they tell you whether or not other people trust the product.
Positive reviews and ratings make it much more likely that people will do business with your company – even if they’ve never interacted with your brand in the past. There are plenty of places where you should leverage reviews and ratings, but the homepage is a good place to start. You can see an example of what this looks like in practice by checking out the PrintingCenterUSA homepage.
Notice how they include star ratings and a link to independent reviews.
People are increasingly skeptical of data breaches and cyber attacks. While they don’t always know how secure a website is when they do business with a company, they like to be reassured that their information is safe. Something as simple as an SSL certificate can put your visitors at ease.
Your website should provide answers to frequently asked questions, but there are times when a visitor wants to get in touch with your business before making a purchase. Making them hunt down your contact information isn’t a good look. They should be able to easily find it on the homepage. This includes your phone number, email address, and physical address (if applicable).
The Toyota Knoxville homepage is a good example to reference.
The more credible you can make your brand, the better. First-time customers vet you based on the information you provide, so don’t sell yourself short. Be sure to include as many badges and emblems from third-party groups and certifications as possible. This could include industry groups that you’re part of, certifications from groups like the BBB, and logos of companies that recommend you.
Do you offer any sort of promise or guarantee? Including it on the homepage – ideally front and center – will help you score some quick “trust points” and make a solid first impression.
When opting for TemplateMonster WordPress themes you will all these trust signals already embedded into the design, so you won't have to invent something.
It’s easy to get so caught up in the day-to-day aspects of building your business and trying to close sales that you forget about the big picture. While it’s more fun to spend time performing tasks that lead to immediate results – such as developing a PPC ad strategy or crafting landing pages for a flash sale – there’s a lot of value in paying attention to larger brand objectives. Building trust with customers should be one of these goals.
You don’t have to use every single trust signal highlighted in this article, but you do need to get serious about this aspect of running an online business. Successful businesses are built on the foundation of relationships. And strong relationships are built on the premise of trust.
Does anything more need to be said?
Subscribe to our newsletter and access exclusive content and offers available only to MonsterPost subscribers.