More and more individuals and businesses are turning to the Internet to help increase sales. While many people have stated that they have bought online, many say they haven’t because of trust. Also, the people that do buy online may not buy from an online store because that store hasn’t created trust.So, how do you create trust, so that individuals become customers? Let’s take a look at these nine (9) key ways to create trust, so that visitors become customers.

1. Testimonials

Individuals want to know that real people have bought from you and were satisfied. The easiest way of doing this is by displaying three (3) to five (5) testimonials. These testimonials should include the person’s real name, the quote and who they are, i.e. Owner, ABC Company. At the bottom of the testimonial you could also include their website or a social media profile like Twitter. What you are trying to accomplish is showing the potential customer that the testimonial is real – no questions about it – and of course the testimonial should be real.

You could take it one step further and include a video with their testimonial. There is no better way of proving a real person loves your product or service by actually showing him or her talking about your product or service.

You could take this one step further and embed or link to customer reviews that are on third party websites like Amazon.

2. Trust Seals: Security, Privacy and Business

Displaying security and privacy seals shows the potential customer that you were not created over night, that you are a serious business, and that you take customer privacy and security seriously. Furthermore, companies providing seals verify that you are a real business and are well-known and established security brands, such as Verisign and McAfee, which in and of itself creates trust.

Security seals can be the logo of your SSL provider or a security / malware scan seal.

Displaying the logos of your payment processors, like PayPal, are not “verified” seals, though PayPal does verify your identity, but are a good way of letting your customers know who also handles their billing information and who processes their payments.

Another type of seal that you could use is business seals, like the seal of the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

If you are going to display a seal, make sure the seal is not altered in any way, as that could potentially decrease trust if the visitor realizes it and most likely violates the seal’s terms of use / service.

3. Pictures

Pictures have been known to increase trust, because it shows that your business is not a “faceless” entity. It also shows that you believe in your product and you are not going to hide behind cyberspace. You could use stock images or what is even better is showing an actual picture of yourself and / or pictures of your employees.

4. Listing Your Phone Number and Physical Address

Listing your phone number and physical address again shows that you are a serious business and that if a customer needs to get in touch with you, they could.

5. Provide Help or Show That Help is Available

A great way to show the potential customer that you stand by the product and that if they ever have a question before or after purchasing the product, is by providing a help section right on the page.

You could display a section of frequently asked questions, a contact form, a link to the knowledge-base, and a link to a ticketing system or by providing live chat – where the customer can talk to a representative in real time. What you want to accomplish is answering questions that the potential customer may have faster and with the least amount of work on their part.

6. Offer a Free Trial

A great way to show that you believe in your product and that you are confident that the visitor will love your product is by providing a free trial period. Let the visitor try before he or she buys!

7. Money Back Guarantee

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Let the visitor know that if he or she does not like the product, that they can get their money back, hassle free.

If the money back guarantee has a policy, make sure the visitor knows it or can find the link to the policy. If the customer finds out that they don’t qualify for their money back after the fact, it can hurt the relationship that was built between you and the customer.

8. Use Social Media

You can link to testimonials or reviews on social media websites, like Twitter and Facebook. You can also provide links to your social media accounts, so that the visitor can follow you, ask you a question or get help and to show that you are not just a website – you are a business.

Since almost everyone has at least one social media account, having a social media account to inform customers of issues or what is happening with the product, i.e. what’s new, is a great way to build trust.

9. Check for Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

Make sure you don’t have any spelling mistakes or grammar mistakes. When visitors see this, it makes you appear unprofessional, careless and poor quality, which decreases trust and makes you lose a customer.

Also make sure that what you are writing makes sense and don’t use wording where it appears that you are in love with the product; you are trying to show the customer why they should buy the product, and not why you love it.

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