This is a contributor’s blogpost …
Online business is still on the rise, as it has been for years. There’s still every reason to get involved, but there’s a reason to be aware of the risks, as well. In particular, the risk that there are plenty of untrustworthy sites on the internet. You might very well be a legitimate business, trying to set up an ecommerce site, deliver software, or offer a service through your online presence. But you have to convince your consumers, who might have been burned before or at the very least will be savvy to the dangers of online business.
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The power of branding
A good, visible, professional looking brand will be enough to immediately get more customers on your side. First of all, gain visibility and prominence through search engine optimization, active social media use, and finding PR opportunities. The more prominent and prestigious you can make the brand, the more likely it is to strike your target market as a source trustworthy enough to take a look at. Simple, professional site design is crucial, too. We’re no longer in the early days of the Internet, having a poorly formatted web presence is no longer tolerable.
All the marks of success
Beyond a good looking, branded homepage, what do savvy consumers want to see on your webpage? Setting up secure socket layers on the site is the very first thing you should do because that “https” marker in your URL is what they’re going to be looking for, first. After buying and installing the certificate, however, you can go even further. Users might know their data is secure, but trust badges from online security watchdogs that you can pin to your page heighten the trustworthiness of the business, too.
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The right hoops to jump through
You want customers to know that their business on your site is secure, but you don’t want to make it too inconvenient for them at the same time. There are a few creative solutions that more businesses are using, however. Most people keep their smartphone close by these days, so using a bulk SMS solution to send them verification pins via text to input on the site isn’t very inconvenient to most people. Captchas are computer generated codes that allow the user to verify they’re human, making sure your site isn’t clogged up by spam bots and automated hacking tools. Beyond serving a real security function, these features do it visibly, so your customer is assured that only people with the right verification can use your services.
It’s content that convinces
Content can be used to convince customers of your trustworthiness in two ways. You can write your own, providing informative and helpful advice that puts your industry knowledge on show. But you can also get happy customers to provide it for you. Collecting and displaying testimonials on the site can be much more effective than your own copy alone.
Building trust is about both security and communication. If you can’t master both steps, then there will always be customers who think twice about making the leap and believing in your brand.