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If you want to succeed in business today, it’s fair to say that you need to be online. If you don’t have an online presence, fewer people will be able to find you, and you’ll miss out on endless opportunities to sell your products and services across the globe. So, as a minimum, having your own website is important.

Of course, you can’t just set up any old website – you need to create a website that will, on the first instance, attract potential customers, and in the second instance, appear trustworthy enough that they are happy to make a purchase. In this post, we will look at the things you need to do to make your online business as trustworthy as possible.

If you want your business website to inspire confidence, you need to:

Use Unique Images

I get it, it’s easier to search for appropriate stock images to fill up your business website when you’ve got lots of other things to do, but it is hardly inspiring. Not only are stock images less interesting than unique photos you’ve taken yourself, but they also inspire more trust in the consumer – they show that you are not just a fly by night operation, who’s spent a couple of hours setting up a website to scam as many people as possible before disappearing into the ether. If you’ve taken the time to take your own photos, your company website will instantly appear more legit, and you will benefit as a result.

Authentic Testimonials

Collecting testimonials from real people who have used your services or bought your

products will go a long way to encouraging visitors to your website to trust in your business. Some companies go down the unethical route of faking their reviews, but more often than not, it is easy to spot the shill reviews, and this can backfire spectacularly!

What you should do is reach out to your customers after you’ve complete a transaction with them. At least some of them will be happy to provide you with a testimonial that will help to build up your business’s reputation. Ideally, you should take a photo of the person providing feedback and add a link to their own website, if they have one, to show visitors that your testimonials are authentic.

Add Useful Content

It’s your business website, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that your total focus should be given to creating marketing content that will convince visitors to buy, but you’d be wrong. Although you will need a fair amount of persuasive marketing copy on your website, if you want to gain your customer's’ trust, it is also a good idea to create useful content, which is there solely to entertain or inform the readers. This will show visitors that you care about more than just making a sale at any cost, and it’ll get you more traffic, so it really is a win-win situation.

PCI DSS Compliance

Probably the most important thing you can do, if you are going to be taking credit card payments on your website is to ensure that your site if PCI DSS Compliant. You can find out more about merchants and PCI DSS Compliance here to see if you have a legal requirement to be compliant, but even if you don’t, it might be a good idea anyway. Basically, PCI DSS compliance deals with the security of your payment process. If you have PCI DSS compliance, during every step of the payment process, your client's’ data will be shielded from harm. Websites that are noticeably secure will always get more business than those who are not, and you will also be protected from the repercussions of any data security breaches if you are PCI DSS Compliant, so be sure to look into it before you start taking payments.

Create Your Own Logos

If you are a serious business that does everything by the book, you want people to know that is the case, and something that holds a lot of weight with the average online shopper is the humble logo. Having business logos professionally created and used across all of your websites, social media accounts and the physical world will boost confidence in your brand at a glance because your company will look more polished. So many new startups begin trading with a basic website, no professional logo and stock photos and they do not look at all professional. Do not be like them and invest in your image at least enough to instill confidence in the people who come across you.

Provide Information

The mark of a trustworthy business is transparency, so when you are setting up your website, be sure to include an about me and contact page, as well as terms and conditions, which are easily accessible, and which tell the visitor exactly what will happen when they click on your site. Don’t leave anything out and make your language as clear and simple to read as possible. Visitors will be impressed by your transparency, and that could be enough to make them confident enough to do business with you.

Talk Directly to Your Customers

Research has shown that online shoppers feel more confident making a purchase from a company who speaks directly to them. Using the word ‘you’ in your content and writing your copy more like a conversation between you and the reader will make them feel more comfortable doing business with you than cold, clinical language ever will.

Don’t Spam

If a customer has signed up to your mailing list or made a purchase from your website, that doesn’t mean you have a green light to spam them. Sure, you’ll want to send them special offers and the occasional marketing email, but do so sparingly, and you’re much more likely to build confidence in your brand and see a repeat purchase than if you bombard them constantly with annoying emails that make your business seem unprofessional and desperate.

Building trustworthiness in your online business will probably take some time, but many of the things that make the most difference, as you can see, can be implemented from the very beginning. It is in your interest to implement these practices and get things off on the right foot if you want to start seeing results earlier in your business life, so get to it! Be an extra pro servicer.