U-C WEBS' founder Nardo KuitertBy Nardo Kuitert, U-C WEBS
[Published in The Wellington Advertiser, June 2012 for the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce]

The Internet is a rather anonymous environment. For some purposes this may be a benefit (think about online dating), but it can also be a major obstacle. Anonymity can make people extra cautious. Have you ever wondered whether your website has any trust issues?

Here are some tips to make your website more trust-worthy:

  1. Make sure that your website looks professional; pay attention to detail. People project their feelings about a website on the company behind it. Thinking for instance that an unorganized website equals a sloppy business.
  2. Use quality content and update it when necessary – preferably often. Don’t write your content just for the search engines – it is the human visitors that you want to contact you, buy from you. So your content needs to be relevant and convincing, without being too sales-y. And make sure you revisit your website from time to time to weed out old information. And try to add fresh content from time to time – both search engines and human visitors will thank you for it. Fresh content is a great way to foster repeat visits to your website.
  3. Add complete contact information. The more information you omit from your website, the less trustworthy it looks. If you work from home and don’t want people to know your address, you might ask a friend if you can use their business address or use another virtual office solution.
  4. Add your (team’s) picture to the About Us section. Like the previous recommendation, more information equals more trust. Most people like to see who they do business with.
  5. Show off your memberships. Are you a Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce member? A Better Business Bureau member? A member of an association linked to your industry? By showing their logos on your website and linking to their websites you show that your business has a certain level of professionalism.
  6. Show of your achievements. Awards you have won, press coverage, case studies and testimonials are all powerful trust builders.

The less questions enter the website visitors mind, the better. Doubts like “where to go from here” (navigation), “who are these folks” (About Us, Contact Us), “what type of product/service does this company sell” (home page, products/services page) should be avoided – and can be avoided by taking your website seriously.

Nardo Kuitert is an Internet Consultant with Fergus Website Development and Optimization firm U-C WEBS (www.u-cwebs.com). U-C WEBS also offers Internet advertising opportunities on www.ferguspages.com. (link opens in a new window)

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