How many people in your audience know you personally?  A visit to your website needs to convince them to investigate you further, maybe even part with their money. Gaining people’s trust is a prerequisite of getting their business. But how do you do that without face-to-face contact?

Provide the facts
Avoid overblown adjectives and superlatives.  Very few things are “unique” or “unprecedented”.  Is your product really “the fastest” or “the cheapest” of its kind on the planet?  Facts and figures are far more impressive.  Durham University gives statistics from three groups who can talk with authority and will impress potential students.

Durham University

Put testimonials in prominent places
Third party endorsement is a powerful thing.  Use the person’s name and company. A photo or a video gives it greater gravitas.  If confidentiality prevents this, a generic “Managing Partner, UK Top 5 Law Firm” is the next best thing.  Keep it short – “the service is faultless” or “saved us significant time and money” has more impact than leaving people to wade through paragraphs of praise.

Use case studies readers will relate to
Case studies give the potential client a real life example of how you’ve satisfied someone else’s needs. Turn it into a story and pick examples your ideal clients will relate to. Show how you enabled the client to achieve their goals, incorporating specific results if possible. Endorse case studies with quotes from the client.

Display your awards
Rather than describing yourself as “award-winning”, list the specific awards you’ve won.  Stick with the recent ones. If you have won an award over several years, this is also worth mentioning, as with this example from ComXo, the leading UK provider of global switchboard support services.

Talk about individual employees’ successes
Highlight the designers who have worked on successful campaigns, the architects who have designed famous buildings, the lawyers who have won landmark cases.

Accreditations give your business credibility
For example an accountancy firm might add the logo of organisations like the Chartered Institute of Taxation.  A coffee company might display the Fairtrade logo or maybe you’ve gained an ISO for social responsibility or environmental performance.

Accolades in relevant media
Media that are known and credible with your audience work best. Use a short appetising soundbite – and link through to the full article.

Reviews have a big influence on trust
People sift through the reviews on Trip Advisor before booking a holiday, or read what other readers have said about books on Amazon.  If you are reviewed on a space like this, provide links on your site.

Ask your people for quotes
Attracting the best talent is often an important objective of a website. Those best qualified to give a perspective of what it’s like to work at your organisation are those who already work there.

Tell the truth
Transparency is essential.  Don’t pretend to be bigger than you are.  Or have a wider range of skills than you have.  These days, you will soon be found out.  A quick Google search and people can check you and your reputation out elsewhere.

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