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Build trust with your website

The priorities of small businesses  are usually centered around profit making and customer acquisition activities such as sales, marketing and customer service. All of these areas are important to business success and can directly affect revenue generation. It is therefore no surprise that they command a lot of attention. There is also a more subtle method of attracting customers to your business that can have a huge impact on how your business is perceived. It all begins with using your website to build trust.

Your website is an ideal tool for getting your brand message out. It is under your control and can be utilized in a manner that fits with your business objectives. You can use it to maintain the type of image that you desire. A good reputation is a very powerful marketing tool that encourages referrals. There are many ways that you can use your website to build trust in your business and we will explore a few of them.

Build trust with official channels of communication

Chat buttonYour website is one of your most important tools for creating and maintaining a trustworthy line of communication. It is a channel that any stranger looking for your business online can find. It is also very easy to refer people to it.  When information comes from your official website it is regarded as more credible than other external sources. Think about it. If you want to know the opening hours of a local store would you trust the store’s website or a third party website more? To maintain this level of trust it is imperative that your website is current and regularly updated.

Blogs, news and press releases

You can keep the public abreast of what is going on with your business in many ways on your website. You can run a blog to share stories and information and foster discussions. You can also have a news section of your site where you make announcements and publish press releases.

Email Forms

Forms on your website allow customers to send an email directly to your company with as little hassle as necessary. There is no need to log in to a separate email account or worry about sending the message to the right email address. The form can also be customized to guide customers to submit only the specific information that your business will need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Providing a list of frequency asked questions and official responses to these questions can help customers find answers to questions on their own. This may reduce the amount of time you need to spend answering these questions and provides a consistent answer that anyone in your company can refer to.

Testimonials

Testimonials are a great way to share what your actual customers think about your business with the public. Since it is written in the voice of the customer and not the business it may be regarded as less biased. Customers in doubt may also find the opinions and experiences of other customers helpful in making a purchasing decision.

Build trust with signs of security

Shield PadlockBefore customers consider making a purchase from your website they want to be reassured that the website is genuine. They also want to know that their financial and other data is transmitted securely. With the proliferation of online scams and unscrupulous business practices customers are more concerned about privacy and data security. Fortunately there are many methods that you can use to reassure your customers and potential customers that your website is secure.

Security Certificates

One of the best ways to reassure customers that your website is secure is to secure the data they transmit via your website. This can be done by using an SSL Certificate to validate that your business is authentic and that the data transmitted between your website and the customer is encrypted. This provides a visual cue that customers can identify in their web browsers.

Policies and Terms of Service

Honesty also pays a huge part in gaining the trust of your target audience. Users of your website may want to know how their data is being used and who has access to it.  It is important to address these concerns in a privacy policy. If you are providing a commercial service with rules and restrictions that customers should know about it is wise to also have a Terms of Service page on your website.

Easily Accessible Contact Information

Although a website is a powerful tool, it may not be enough to gain everyone’s trust. It is not unusual for people to seek out more information about the company or people involved with the company. They may want to have an actual voice conversation or even visit the business in person. Visitors may become skeptical if the company’s contact information seems obscured or difficult to find.

Conclusion

Building trust in your business is not about using clever tactics to appear a certain way to the general public. It is about transparency and allowing the core values of your business to be expressed in your brand’s own voice. Visitors to your website can then make their own assessment based on the information you have provided. Your business processes should always aim to build trust  and your website is a wonderful tool to start with. Trust is also a precursor to customer loyalty which is also good for business.

 

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Tech Tip: Opt-out of Google Analytics tracking

Google Analytics Opt-OutWebsites use various methods to gather statistics about visitors in a process known as web analytics. This allows website owners to monitor the performance of their  website over time. While this is a useful feature which helps  website owners tailor content to better suit the specific needs of visitors there may be some visitors who do not want their  visits to be tracked or more specifically not want their visits to be tracked by companies with large stores of data such as Google.

Google Analytics is one of the most popular web analytics tools out there and we use it to analyze our website traffic and discover what is working and what needs to be improved on our own websites. While we do not share visitors’ personal information, not everyone wants to be tracked by Google Analytics due to privacy concerns or just personal preference. Fortunately there is a way to opt-out of  tracking from Google Analytics on all websites with a browser add-on.

If you do not want your visits to be recorded on websites that contain the Google Analytics tracking code you can download the official Google Analytics opt-out add-on. The add-on is available for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Apple Safari and Opera. This solution works not only for our websites but also for any other website that uses the javascript Google tracking code.

While we utilize web analytics to gain information about or website visitors and learn how to better serve them we also believe that their privacy is of utmost importance. If you do not want to be tracked by websites using the Google Analytics tracking code this solution may be ideal for you.

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Tech Tip: Browse the web incognito

Browse IncognitoWeb browsers can store information  on your computer that makes it more convenient to use the websites that you want to revisit. Normally all the recent websites that you visit are stored in the browser’s history and some of the information you enter in forms (such as username) may also be saved and automatically inserted into the appropriate form when you revisit the website.  There are times, however, when you would rather not have this happen. This  may be the case when using public or shared computers or when entering sensitive information such as credit card numbers.

The latest versions of popular browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer allow you to browse the web without storing browser information on your computer after you are finished with your browsing session.

In Firefox this is known as Private Browsing and can be accessed by clicking on the Firefox button (or Tools Menu) and selecting the Start Private Browsing menu item.This will close all current windows (to restore them after private browsing is completed) and start a new session where  your browsing history and other information about the sites you visit are not stored on your computer.

In Chrome this feature is known as Incognito  Browsing. It can be accessed by clicking on the gear icon then New incognito window menu item. This will open a new window in which browser history, search history and cookies will only be stored until you close all incognito browser windows.

In Internet Explorer this feature is called InPrivate Browsing. It can be accessed by clicking on the gear icon then Safety menu then InPrivate Browsing menu item. This will open a new window in which cookies, temporary Internet files, history, and other data will not be stored on your computer.

Please note that while incognito/private browsing may help protect your privacy on your computer it cannot control data websites store about you remotely and it cannot hide your online tracks from your ISP.

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