I ‘ve been in business for over 2 years now. And there have been multiple times I ‘ve had this question cross my mind –
Why are some businesses more successful than others?
Its a good question to ponder about right? Most business owners are hardworking, creative, talented and ambitious. Then what sets apart a few from the rest?
Its not luck. Its not magic.
If you want to grow your business, you need to build trust with your audience, your tribe and your industry. For your audience to buy from you, they need to trust you before the money exchanges hands.
Does your website build trust?
If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.
– Bill Gates
In the world of online business, your website is everything.
According to a survey by Weebly, 56% of the consumers surveyed said they don’t trust a business without a website.
Your website is your online home. It is the place where people come to meet you, build relationships with you and most likely do business with you.
Let’s say you meet a prospective client at a conference. You hand them over your business card. Where do they go to learn more about you?
Let’s say someone comes across your brand on Pinterest – where do they land on instantly?
Your website is the hub of everything you do. So then when someone lands on your website, isn’t it important to make sure that the website builds trust?
How do you create a website that builds trust?
1. Strong brand identity:
A good website starts with a good visual brand identity. My friend, Lauren from Elle & Company shared some interesting stats about why visuals are key to building a successful online business here. Building a strong visual identity for your brand creates a stellar first impression and builds trust with your audience instantly.
Whether you hire a brand designer or take the DIY route, its important to hone in on a strong and cohesive visual identity for your brand. Create a brand identity suite with your primary logo, submark, color and type palettes, collateral design, patterns, icons, post graphics and other design elements that are applicable for your brand.
Your website is an extension of your brand and your brand identity should come through strong and consistent through your website.
2. Efficient web design:
When it comes to web design, less is more. Keeping it simple and user-friendly is key to an efficient web design. The main intention here is to navigate your audience smoothly through your website. Its like you hold their hand and show them around your website in a way that makes it clear to them what you do and who you do it for. Also organizing your content in a way that is straight-forward to access and consume is extremely important.
Let’s say your blog covers Photoshop tutorials. If someone lands on your website to learn more about Photoshop, you need to make it super easy for them to find the tutorials and read them in a minimum number of clicks.
The main thing to keep in mind here is to not overwhelm your audience. Too many buttons and options can be overwhelming and will steer them away from the website.
Is your website responsive?
In today’s world of smart devices, your website cannot afford to be not responsive because more email is read on mobile than on desktops. Stats say 54% of email is now opened on a mobile device – Litmus ”State of Email” (March 2017)
If your website doesn’t work well on other smart devices, you are likely to lose a major chunk of your audience to your competition. So make sure your website is mobile friendly.
The only way you can communicate to your audience on your website is through your copy. So the messaging on your website becomes super important in building trust with them. While writing copy there are two things to keep in mind:
– What do you do
– Who do you do it for
For eg. I am into design and photography for creative entrepreneurs. So when someone lands on my website, I strive to make that clear. This will not only attract your target audience but will also repel people who are NOT your ideal audience. I love how Kelsey from Paper and Oats does this on her website. Take a look at her messaging – its so well-crafted to attract her ideal audience.
4. Photography :
You know my love for photography. I can’t emphasize more on how important high-quality images are for your website. Have you noticed while scrolling on Pinterest, you are instantly able to recognize a brand just because of the style of their photos and visuals. Its sub conscious, but by using powerful and consistent photos, the brand has made its place in your mind. And by strengthening its visuals more and more in your mind, the brand builds trust with you, its audience.
So then how do you ensure you use great photography? Here are a few options:
Use stock photos: This is the easiest and quickest route you could take. There are multiple stock photos sites (including mine) where you can find photos that you can use for your website, both in free and paid options. However the downside to using stock photos is that you run the risk of your brand looking like everyone else’s. Since stock photos are available to you and also everyone else, you could end up with something that is not unique to your brand.
If you do decide to go the stock photo route, here are a couple of resources for you:
Hire a photographer: Although a bit expensive, if your business can afford it, its a great idea to hire a photographer to do the photography for you. However if you are in the starting stages of your business, this may not be the best option.
Take your own photos: By far this is my most favorite option. You can take great photos using your DSLR or even better, your iPhone camera. Learning to taking your photos gives you the flexibility of taking customized, on-brand photos each time you need them. Also since these photos re just yours, it will help set your brand apart and build brand recognition.
5. Content is king:
Lastly, but most importantly – its your content that builds trust with your audience. So hone in on your voice, your tone in a way that is authentic and true to your brand.
Your blog posts: Write content that is useful to your audience. What is it that they struggle with and how can you help them? Once you understand the pain points of your audience, its really easy to write posts that appeal to them and help them. Be transparent and don’t hesitate to share your ’secrets’. The more your share, the more they trust you and want to learn from you. This is also a great way of showcasing your expertise.
Your story (About page): We all have a story behind our story, right? I love this quote by Susan campbell that says –
By nature, human beings search for ways to make sense and meaning out of their lives and their world. One way that we make meaning is through the telling of our stories. Stories connect us, teach us, and warn us never to forget.
Sharing your story builds trust and connects you with your audience. So make sure to share all that you can about you on your about page.
How to reach you (Contact ): I know, I know you must be thinking how obvious this is. Yet, I run into so many websites that make it hard to find their contact information on their website. Imagine you meet someone and here goes the convo:
You: Hey, it was so good meeting you!
They: Yes absolutely. I am glad we ran into each other.
You: I ‘d love to catch up for coffee. How can I get in touch?
They: Uhm.. Er.. not sure I want to share that with you!!
Would you ever be friends with someone like this? Hell no, Thank you! 😀
If you don’t share how people can get in touch with you, how are they supposed to trust you? Make sure to include a nice little contact form or a good ol’ email address where they can reach you. Makes all the difference.
How can you help them (Services / Products) : Do you offer products or services? Make sure to share that on your website via the services / products page. Make it clear as to what you offer and who you offer it for. By offering products and services that is helpful to your audience, you automatically become a go-to expert in your field. And that makes you look super-professional and trust-worthy.
So there you, the 5 most essential ingredients of a website that builds trust. If you’d like to learn more about how to improve your website design to grow your business, make sure to click below to join the email list. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing more posts on web design. So stay tuned..