When you’re selling a product or service to anyone, or just simply asking for personal information to sign-up a free user, you need to establish trust and legitimacy with your visitors in order to convert them. But trust and legitimacy isn’t inherent, it has to be earned, and here are 5 ways for you to increase your trust and legitimacy with your audience.
1. Capitalizing on your brand terms in search engines
First off, it looks really bad if you’re not ranking #1 for your branded terms, so you should work towards being the first result in any search engine for your brand name. But what can increase trust in your company is saturating the first page of results for your branded term with pages and websites you own, including different brand-managed social media profiles, the website to your parent company (if applicable), positive press articles and mentions, and company profiles in various business databases.
2. Buying PPC on your branded keywords
So, when you’re ranking for most of the top search results on the first page of results for your branded term, that increases trust with searchers, but if you’re also bidding on your branded keywords through Search Engine Marketing, you’re saturating that page of results even more, proving to your audience that you’re willing to spend money on bidding for your brand keywords just to ensure your business stands out over any other websites trying to grab their attention. This builds credibility because it means you have a strong enough business to support marketing efforts and are likely to have a good enough product.
3. Getting great product reviews on trustworthy news outlets and blogs
Getting your product into the hands of influentials who will turn around and give you some great press (i.e. NYT columnists, influential bloggers in your niche – Mashable if you have a Social Media product / service) increases trust and legitimacy because a third-party is providing a positive and unbiased review of your offering, which is strictly editorial and not paid because paid promotions are always company manipulated but editorial reviews are free to say negative things as much as they are free to say positive things.
4. Getting great product reviews on consumer interest sites and forums
These other third-party, unbiased reviews are great tools for building trust, especially from consumer-oriented sites like Consumer Reports and Consumerist.com, which are trusted authorities in anything concerning the consumer. Vertically focused forums, like WatchUSeek for wristwatches and Badger and Blade for grooming, are also invaluable areas in which you should be working towards receiving positive reviews and brand imagining because those forums allow for brand evangelists to spread the good word, and angry trolls who’ll discourage many others from ever purchasing with you.
5. Displaying any awards, logos of press you’ve been in plus trust badges
To increase trust immediately with new visitors coming onto your site, you should add any awards, logos of press you’ve been mentioned in and trust badges on your homepage and any pages where you’re trying to sell something or get something from your visitors (i.e. personal email like a visitor’s email address, or getting them to sign up for a free-trial) to show you’re a brand that has received a “stamp of approval” from trustworthy third-parties who also pass their trustworthiness onto you.
Danny Wong is the Brand Manager for Blank Label Group, working with the startups Blank Label, Thread Tradition and RE:custom. Danny also blogs at HuffingtonPost, TheNextWeb and ReadWriteWeb.