Let’s take a look:
This one is pretty basic and yet it’s so often ignored. Does your website look professional? Is it clean and uncluttered? A few of my personal pet peeves in this area include light text on a light background, centered text that scrolls on and on like the opening of Star Wars and websites that play music or video as soon as you open them. Also included in this area is the “freebie” site. I can’t tell you how many young entrepreneurs say to me, why pay when I can have a free Blogger or WordPress account. If you want people to give you money, you have to spend at least a little.
2. Transactional assurances
This one is a little more technical. It’s all about assuring people that their payment is going to be handled in a secure manner. You might know your shopping cart system is protected but you need to tell your shoppers that or they won’t buy. Also, don’t make them search for return policies or the contact info for your company. Nothing breeds a lack of trust like an empty contact page.
This one is tricky. In the article, Ash suggests that associating yourself with a trusted source, be it an award or magazine, will increase the trust level. Sure, if David Beckham is seen holding your product in People Magazine, that’s going to help a lot. But how many of us have that kind of pull? Maybe for you, authority is posting a local chamber of commerce award or a testimonial from an influential blogger. This is one where thinking out of the box will go a long way.
4. Consensus of peers
This is the pillar that ties in mostly to social media. The idea here is that one is indeed the loneliest number. Most people don’t want to join a Facebook Fan Page that has only one friend, but they’ll quickly join a page if ten of their friends have already joined. Ash says that this is good reason to show those widgets that announce how many fans, followers, and happy customers have visited your site. It’s the same technique eBay and Amazon use when they show customer feedback percents. If I’m going to trust a buyer to ship an item I’ve paid for, I’m more likely to trust the guy with the 99% positive rating.
So, you’ve read all this (thanks) and now you’re saying, there’s nothing here I didn’t already know. True. But are you acting on what you know? Does your landing page for your business conform to these four tenants? Ash suggests that you verify this by asking five random people to visit your site and give their thoughts. You may be very surprised by what they have to say about their first impression.