This is going to sound harsh…

But nobody trusts you.

Well, okay, before you angrily write in, let me qualify that…

Your friends, colleagues, neighbours and family might trust you, but when it comes to your online business activities, your potential customers are strangers and they are HIGHLY wary of you.

Yes, this is true even if they follow you on social media…

Until they’ve somehow engaged with your website, services or products, they’re not going to be convinced that you’re the real deal.

That’s why so many businesses fail at the first hurdle. They don’t establish trust at the very first point of contact.

Here’s how you can change that just by making a few simple changes…

The first major point of contact for most people is your website.

When a stranger comes to you because you’ve managed to grab their attention on social media, they’re going to make a snap judgement about you based on the website.

(And this is when all that hard work of getting someone to click, like or share can come to nothing if you’re not careful).

If your website doesn’t follow through on the initial promise of that first communication – whether it’s an interesting Tweet, a great photo on Instagram or a listing on Google – they’ll ditch you in a second.

Remember, that in the back of their mind they’re thinking:

“I’m busy, I don’t really have time for this.”

“I don’t want any complications, I just need some information quickly.”

“Is this a scam?”

“Am I going to get bombarded with messages?”

“Is this the same old stuff I’ve seen before?”

“I don’t want to buy anything or sign up for anything; I just need help.”

So you need to make sure that you combat these objections straight away on your website.

There are the 5 main pages you need to pay attention to:

1. Homepage – Make sure it’s benefit driven, user friendly and has a clear call to action

Your homepage is the first thing many people will see. When a visitor arrives for the first time it might be from a Google search, a referral on social media, perhaps through an email service, or a click-through banner on someone else’s site.

You don’t have a great deal of time to grab and hold their attention and if they find it boring, cheap, dodgy, unhelpful, out-of-date or irrelevant, they’ll leave, so here’s what you need to do:

– Show readers the benefit upfront – Make your site instantly useful. Make it clear what the benefits are. Look at your customer profile and work out precisely what deep desires, needs, goals have brought them here. Get that copy onto the page.

– Design your website for your target audience – It needs be clear and professional but try not to fall into the trap of playing it too safe and appealing to everyone. Think about what your ideal customer would like to see and nobody else.

– Make it instantly clear what you do – Make sure it’s clear what your business mission, purpose, ethics and aims are, so that people are under no illusion what you’re about. The people who don’t like it can leave immediately. You can also use your About Me page to do this, but it should be clear on your home page and your email sign up pages as well.

– Ensure it’s easy to navigate – Users need to have a clear and logical journey through the site. That means putting calls to action on every page, making sure there’s a menu bar with clear categories, and copy that tells people what to do. If you have a lot of categories make sure there’s a drop-down menu with clear labelling.

– Include a call to action – Many websites have homepages full of information and then leave the visitor with no clear call to action. They are leaving money on the table. On the home page, make sure there is a call to action (a click-through button, emails sign up, or social media link are common options). Offer a free trial, free gift, free report, free e-course, free sample. Make sure it is absolutely relevant to your business.

Ultimately, the homepage is a portal into your business, so encourage browsing to draw the visitor in.

2. About Me Page – Make sure it’s friendly, open, engaging and includes a call to action

The second most-viewed page is your About Me page.

This is where people expect to see a bit of personality. Who are you? What are you about? What are your ethics? Why should we go on a journey with you? 

It must contain a call to action: make sure that it contains an option to subscribe to your emails, share the About Me page with others (you’ll be surprised how many people do this if you get it right), browse your shop, and follow you on social media.

3. Reviews, Feedback and Press Pages – People are looking for social proof, so make it easy for them to find

When confronted with a new product or website people want reassurance. They want to know that the company or individual they’re dealing with is credible.

Help bat away any reservations by including a feedback/testimonial page, a press coverage page or a review section.

Social proof is vital – it shows the visitor that other people have used your services; that you are the real deal.

You should post as many bits of positive feedback on your site as possible – always ask permission to use names (and location, photos and other details if possible). The more information about a customer the more credible their testimony.

Include positive comments from experts, influencers, writers, CEOs and authority figures if you can and if you’ve been reviewed on other websites, quote from those reviews and link back to them.

And if you’ve had positive user reviews on sites like TripAdvisor or Amazon take screen shots of them and link to the reviews on those eCommerce sites.

Always include a call to action…

– Subscribe to emails.
– Follow us on social media.
– Browse our shop.
– Download a free report, white paper, video, podcast.

4. Terms and Conditions – It’s a legal requirement and establishes trust and credibility

Terms & Conditions pages are a must. There are a plenty of sites which can help you with wording, but if your in any way ensure please seek independent legal advice.

These pages may seem boring, but they help with credibility, transparency and trust. Rather than dry terms and conditions, you could try writing them in basic, conversational English.

5. Contact Page – Encourage people to get in touch and ask questions – it’s free marketing and you’ll learn a great deal

Encourage the visitor to contact you, and make it as easy as possible to do so. Make sure you include your businesses’ email addresses, phone number, location (if you have one) and links to your social media accounts and make sure there’s a form for them to subscribe to your emails.

The more potential points of contact the better – remember, ALL communication is marketing. Each time you connect with a reader you pull them into your business.

You’ll also learn a great deal about what your potential customers really want, what you’re already doing well and what you could improve.

If you’ve not got these 5 elements on your website, try to work through each of them as soon as you can. And if you do have them already, are they the best they can be?