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There are certain fundamental trust signals that play a key role in every user’s overall experience when entering your website. In this post, we will explore these trust signals, which every web developer should utilise in order to build a level of trust with their users, in turn undoubtedly improving consumers’ opinions about their specific brand, product or service.
Before we go any further, it’s important to establish what trust signals are.
“Trust is built when no one is looking” (Seth Godin)
Trust signals are subliminal cues from and qualities of your website that have the power to encourage or discourage users from making transactions and communicating with your company. The end goal for these signals is to inspire trust in the consumer.
While some trust signals are unquestionably more important than others, by failing to optimise your site for these relatively quick wins you are underselling your brand and ultimately risking opportunities for site conversions and revenue generation.
Social profiles should be displayed on every page of your website. The most efficient way of doing this is to embed the symbols within the header and footer, linking to each individual profile and in turn making it as easy as possible for the user to engage with your brand.
The actual profiles themselves must be active and relevant to your users, which will help the improvement of conversions and create a brand personality. Social profiles will also allow you to share blog posts to each platform and drive traffic back to your site.
As the digital age continues to escalate, more and more users are heading to social media to talk to friends and share content. If you can connect with your users in this environment, they are more likely to trust you, your brand and your messaging.
Another essential trust signal for your website is to include your email address, phone number, street address and operating hours. This should be in an easily navigable place, such as your site footer, as well as your contact page, as demonstrated below.
Site navigation is an important trust signal as there is a close link between this and user experience. Your site structure must be clear, easily navigable and designed with the user in mind. For example, you should ensure that prime services pages that have their own pages are in the main navigation rather than making site visitors filter through to find them.
By allowing your customers to leave you product or service reviews, you are showing them that their opinions matter. This level of trust is then heightened by adding reviewers’ identities, which confirms the legitimacy of each individual review.
Google may use these reviews to pull through your rich snippet on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Google+ reviews in particular are a valuable tool as they impact both the SERPs and click-through rate, enticing potential customers, as reviews can appear within the knowledge graph. When users are logged into their Google+ account, Google will pull in people and companies who are part of their circles, illustrating a sign of trust for your snippet in the SERPs.
Google prefers certain review platforms, such as Feefo, Reevoo and TrustPilot. For more information on these reputable review sites that Google trusts, visit Google’s ‘Understanding Your Seller Ratings’.
You can read more about reviews in a previous Koozai blog post.
For e-commerce sites, Google’s Trusted Stores Merchant shows users that Google ‘identifies and stands behind stores that provide a consistently great shopping experience’. Not only will Google’s Trusted Stores Merchant allow review stars to be featured within text and Shopping adverts, setting you apart from similar businesses, this will also enhance your credibility in the eyes of potential users of your site.
It used to be more difficult to be considered by Google’s Trusted Stores Merchant as there was a higher criteria for companies to meet. You can apply to be part of Google’s Trusted Stores Merchant and discover eligibility, restrictions and all relevant information online on Google’s Trusted Stores Merchant Guidelines.
By including a blog within your website, you are sending a message to your users that you are an expert in the field you’re operating in. By continuously creating fresh content about your topic, you are not only connecting with users and potential customers, but also promoting your business and showing that you are a leader in your area of expertise.
At Koozai, each employee feeds into our blog at least once every six weeks.
When building your website and optimising it, it’s important to determine the trust factors that are relative to your audience. While there are a number of trust factors that can potentially suit a variety of websites, each will have their own specific signals that will resonate with your audience more accurately than others.
Key takeaways from this post are the following. Include signals that will make the user’s life easier when browsing through your website. Establish easy-to-find contact information and location details to instil in your customer a sense of faith in your abilities. These trust signals will carry your brand through and increase conversions and return on investment.
If you invest more time in your site’s trust signals, you will be sure to reap the rewards.
If you have a question for me or there’s something you want me to discuss in more detail, feel free to leave me a comment or contact me on Twitter at @Sally_Newm.
Samantha Noble is well known within in the search industry, she even won the UK Search Personality 2016 at the UK Search Awards in November. This year, she continues to make an impact on the industry by judging not only one, but three, prestigious industry awards.