6 Ways To Use Your Website To Build Trust With Customers

Establishing trust with your customers is the first step on the sales journey. If people don’t trust your business and your brand, they’re not going to buy products from you, it’s as simple as that. People tend to approach businesses with an attitude of distrust until they are proven wrong because there are a lot of businesses out there that will use underhanded tactics to make a sale or mislead people about the quality of their product. So, unless you can build trust, you’re not going to get any sales, but how exactly can you do that?

The majority of people have their first interaction with a business online these days, whether that is through social media or on your website. That’s why your online presence is a good place to start when trying to build that relationship with potential customers. These are some of the best ways to build trust online.

Search Engine Rankings

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We all put a lot of trust in the algorithms that determine search engine rankings, even if we don’t necessarily realize it. Think about it, when was the last time you went beyond the first page of a Google search to find a business? You might do it on occasion but usually, you naturally assume that the companies listed on the first page are the most successful and trustworthy businesses, that’s how they earned their place. That’s why the most important way to establish trust is to boost your SEO and make sure that you rank on the first page of results. It’s important for driving traffic to your site as well but even if people find your website through other means, like pay per click ads, they might still do a quick search to check you out afterwards. If you appear on the first page, they’ll be happy, but if they can’t see any mention of your company, that’s a bad sign for them.

Customer Reviews

You can go on about how amazing your product is all you like, but why should people trust you? Of course, you’re going to say that it’s great, you’re trying to sell it to them, so your word doesn’t really carry that much weight here. If you really want to convince people that your products are worth buying and you’re a company that can be trusted, you need an impartial opinion, which is where customer reviews and testimonials come in.

When shopping online, around 91 percent of people will look at the reviews of a product before buying it so they can get an impartial opinion on it. In fact, 84 percent of people say that they trust online reviews just as much as their friends. That’s why they are one of your best tools when trying to build trust in the online world. If you don’t already include customer reviews on your site, you absolutely should. As long as you’re offering good service and a quality product, you shouldn’t need to worry about bad reviews too much. You’ll always get a few and that’s fine, as long as the majority of them are positive. You should display these reviews and testimonials clearly on your website. A lot of sites have a rolling bar along the bottom of the page which shows different reviews, and you should always include them on product listings as well.

People don’t always bother to leave a review but there are a few things that you can do to encourage it. Firstly, send a follow up email a few days after a purchase has been made and kindly ask the customer to leave a quick review. If people are still reluctant, you could offer a small discount on their next purchase in exchange for a review.

Content Marketing

When you’re trying to gain the trust of your customers, it’s important that you prove to them that you know what you’re talking about, which is where content marketing comes in. Content marketing is a great way to generate traffic for your website, but it’s also a good way to offer a potential customer something of value without asking for payment in return. This shows them that you don’t just see them as another sale and you’re willing to put work into building that relationship before you start marketing products towards them. More importantly, good content demonstrates that you’re a leading expert in your industry, which means that they will trust in your products as well. If you can produce regular content on your website which gives useful information relating to your products and services, customers will be far more likely to come to you when they’re ready to make a purchase.

You can still use this as an opportunity to market your products, but you do it in a more subtle way that doesn’t put people off. People hate being bombarded with pushy marketing materials but an informative piece of content that gently suggests that your product might be of use to a customer will be well received.

Focus On Security

StrategyDriven | Online Marketing and Website Development | 6 Ways To Use Your Website To Build Trust With Customers

Online security is a big concern for everybody right now and people are always worried about the sites that they visit. This is especially true if they’re putting their credit card details in to make a purchase, so security on your site is vital. The most important thing is to make sure that your website is HTTPS secure. You might not recognize the term but if you check the web address on most sites, you’ll see a green padlock icon in the left hand corner. That means the site is HTTPS secure, and it’s one of the first things that people look for when they enter a new site. Most modern websites will be HTTPS secure so if yours isn’t, you need to rectify that (you can use this guide to help you).

The payment platforms that you use on the site are important as well. If you offer secure payment options that people recognize, like Paypal, they will feel a lot more comfortable making a purchase. If people have even the slightest doubts about the security of your website, you can easily lose a sale.

Add An ‘About Us’ Page

People like to have a sense of the people behind the logo when dealing with a new company. Social media has a big part to play in that because it allows you to show your personality a bit and connect with people more. But there are also some simpler ways to show people who you are, like an ‘about us’ page on your website. This gives you the chance to tell people about your company, why you started it, and what your core values as a business are. People are increasingly concerned with the ethical standpoint of the businesses that they deal with and it affects their purchasing decisions, so letting them know a bit about your company ethos is very important.

As well as the company itself, you should devote some space to your employees as well. Showing a photograph and giving a small description of what that person does and a little bit of personal information like their hobbies outside of work helps to humanize your company and builds trust with customers because they feel like they know you a bit more. Helping customers put a face to a name goes a long way when you’re trying to build that relationship with them.

Simplify Your Website Design

StrategyDriven | Online Marketing and Website Development | 6 Ways To Use Your Website To Build Trust With Customers

The design of your website has a big impact on the way that people see your business and they will make a lot of assumptions about you as soon as they enter the site. If they see a very outdated website that is difficult to navigate and has a lot of broken links, that doesn’t do you any favors. They will assume that you’re an unprofessional company and you don’t have the money to invest in a good web design agency. An overcrowded website is one of the things that puts people off the most because it makes the site so hard to use and it looks incredibly amateurish.

When it comes to web design, simplicity is key. You should only include information that is absolutely relevant and don’t overwhelm people with huge blocks of text. Make sure that everything is easy to scan so people can find the information that they’re looking for quickly and easily. Proper website maintenance is vital as well because if the site runs very slowly or images don’t load properly, that tells them that you’re not really putting much effort into the website. If you’re not putting effort into the website, they’ll assume that you have the same attitude to your products and your customers, so they will not have much trust in you at all.

Finally, you need to be careful with pop-ups. They can be beneficial sometimes, when building an email list, for example. However, if people are bombarded with lots of pop-ups right away, they will get the impression that you only want their money and you’re not interested in building a long lasting relationship with them.

If you follow these steps, you will be able to establish trust with your customers through your website and that will translate to increased sales.

5 Functional Ways to Market and Grow your Business without Breaking the Bank

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, 5 Functional Ways to Market and Grow your Business without Breaking the Bank It takes a lot of time and commitment to start a business. Probably that’s the hardest part that most aspiring entrepreneurs have.

Growing a small business comes with numerous challenges. You might be trying to think of the best marketing strategies you can embrace.

You may be on a budget, yet you want to market and grow your business. In this post, we are going to explore five affordable marketing strategies that you could use.

Here we go.

1. Have social media presence

Social media is getting more popular day by day. Most people use it to connect with friends, colleagues and family members.

Of late, there has been an increase in the use of various social media platforms for business purposes and building careers.

For example, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are among the most popular social media platforms. As a business, you could make use of social media to market your business.

Facebook and Instagram are also the cheapest platforms you can use to grow your business. These platforms are simple to use.

All you need is to create a Facebook page or group relating to your niche. A Facebook page is more effective if you are starting out. You can invite your friends and close contacts to follow you.

You could as well create informative posts that aim to solve people’s problems in your niche. Boost the post by paying a small fee, and that will help you reach out to many people.

The goodness about Facebook ads is that you can target people from various geographical regions. Doing this will make people want to know more about your business and will like your page to follow your posts.

You, therefore, need first to have an active account with informative posts. Within a short time, your audience will grow, and you won’t have to boost posts regularly to reach many people.

Create social media profiles with Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram as well. Having a social media presence is one of the inexpensive ways of marketing and growing your business.

2. Create a website

Having a business without a site is like trying to get noticed in the dark. Did you know that people can know about your business through organic search from search engines?

That’s another cheap way of selling your business out there. However, you need to find ways of getting traffic to your site. You need to learn SEO basics.

For example, you should create content that aims to solve people’s problems in your niche. One of the solutions to those problems could be your products or services.

Use relevant keywords so that you can rank high on Google. Remember, you have other competitors, and you should aim to give the best.

You can include your website URL on your Facebook page about info. Make sure that you are promoting your blog posts using your social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

3. Make use of email marketing

If you are looking for another affordable method of making your business known, email marketing works like magic. While it takes a lot of time, it won’t need a lot of money.

But before starting email marketing campaigns, you need to make sure that you are marketing to the right audience. You might want to create a lead magnet first.

This could be a freebie like an eBook in your niche that solves some problems your audience faces. Create a landing page on your website where you offer the freebie in exchange for their email addresses.

This will help you get people who will be glad to receive emails from you in future. You should find out about lead generation strategies that can boost your business.

Try to avoid marketing emails throughout. Let three-quarters of your emails be educational content, while a quarter of your emails are promotional emails.

Doing this consistently will help you get many subscribers who will turn out to be your customers.

4. Organize a trade show

Would you like to showcase your product one on one to your customers? A trade show is the best place you can use to get instant feedback about it. It doesn’t have to be a big show.

You can plan and start with a small trade show and a few products to test. Later, you can organize a big trade show.

However, you need to prepare well. First of all, you should have a great product that no one will resist buying. Create something that someone would love to use again and gain.

When you showcase the product and give them for testing, they will be glad to use it again.

Before the trade show, ensure that you also have some essential printed marketing materials. You don’t want your customers to lose your contacts after the event.

Since most of them can’t memorize them, you could create attractive business cards for your business.

You could as well create booklets which should have detailed information about your business. Ensure that you mention your products and services and how your clients can benefit from them.

Towards the end of the booklet, include your social media profiles so that people can connect with you. Don’t forget to add your website links and contact details.

Don’t worry about the cost of printing. You can opt for cheap booklet printing and sort out the issue. Just ensure that the booklet has an attractive colour and all the details about your business.

5. Have a loyalty program

Have you started rewarding loyal customers yet? If not, you are missing a lot.

Create exclusive offers only for customers who come back to buy from you. This will help you retain new and old customers.

Every time a former customer comes back, reward them something small. You should also tell your new customers about your loyalty program so that they can come back.

You have taken a crucial step to start your business. That is what you needed because starting has never been easy.

To grow the business, you should make people know about it through marketing. The above marketing tips are affordable and should help you start your marketing journey.

Have you ever marketed your business before? What are some of the budget-friendly marketing techniques you used?

Why You Should Be Using WordPress for Your Website

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, Why You Should Be Using WordPress for Your Website

One of the biggest questions people have is: Why should I use WordPress? If you wonder the same thing, you are in the right place. In today’s article, we share with you five important reasons you should be using WordPress for your website.

Let’s dive deeper into what makes this platform perfect for your business or hobby.

1. WordPress is Free

WordPress is a free and open-source platform. You don’t pay anything to download, install, configure or use it.

Still, you will need to pay for your web hosting and a domain name, but you need to do that anyway. It doesn’t matter what platform you use.

Before we go any further, it’s important to say something. Just because the platform is free isn’t reason enough to use it. It’s only one perk of many.

2. WordPress is Simple to Customize

Most people using WordPress aren’t programmers or web designers; they are just average people like you and me. What makes WordPress ideal for non-techie people is that there are thousands of free themes to choose from.

There’s a theme to fit any business site, online store or blog. These themes come entirely customizable, so you can change the colors, upload your logo and create sliders easily.

Plugins also create additional functionality, and many of them are free. These app-like platforms add features such as backups, analytics contact forms and more.

3. WordPress is SEO Friendly

While there are other platforms to use, nothing is as SEO-complaint as many of the WordPress themes. The platform itself is written with code that utilizes semantic markup. This allows Google to take notice.

4. WordPress is Manageable

You don’t have to worry too much about complex coding when using WordPress (though the option is available). You receive a built-in update management system that makes sure the software and plugins remain updated.

Anytime a new update is available, WordPress notifies you. Then, you click a button and install it.

While this isn’t hard to figure out, we do recommend going through the Green Geeks WordPress Tutorial to learn more about how the platform works. The tips you learn from a small amount of training go a long way to helping you produce a high-quality site.

5. WordPress is Secure & Safe

WordPress puts security first. It’s safe and secure for running any type of website. Let’s face it; the Internet isn’t a safe place. According to WebARX, there’s an attack on a website every 39 seconds.

Intruders seek to get their hands on all of the websites that they can. With a WordPress site, it’s easy to make things secure for additional peace of mind.

As far as the WordPress Core is concerned, an expert team of developers maintains the foundation. They continuously work to keep WordPress safe, which is why you want to perform any updates as they become available.

As far as your themes and plugins, WordPress isn’t responsible for the security of those, yet they still have teams working on it. The regularly check the themes and plugins to look for vulnerabilities. To further protect yourself, make sure you choose plugins and themes from reputable sources. If they offer regular updates, that’s a good sign that it is secure.

How to Use WordPress

Now that you know the WHY you’d want to use WordPress, it’s time to consider the HOW. WordPress is the perfect platform for a variety of websites. You can:

  • Create an eCommerce marketplace
  • Begin a blog
  • Create a business website
  • Construct a membership site
  • Sell your online courses

There are no limits to what your site can accomplish. The key is to begin. Every success has to start somewhere.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
Lao Tzu

Spice Up Business Prospecting with Video

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, Spice Up Business Prospecting with Video
We’re all creatures of habit. We find something that works and tend to stick with it. So long as we’re still seeing growth, why mess with the recipe?

The fact is that no matter your lead generation situation, everyone working with email prospecting can stand to explore some new concepts. If you rely on the same strategies regularly, you run the risk of losing that ability to grab attention, and wind up playing catch up in the funnel.

Video is a fantastic method to layer in some creativity, spicing up your prospecting in the process. It transcends the idea of tactics to encompass an entire new subsection of prospecting that can greatly benefit your efforts. The stats support it: prospecting reps that use video in their prospecting and sales emails get opens at over five times the amount of those that don’t, subsequently generating eight times higher open-to-reply rates.

And sure, video requires a certain amount of proficiency, but you don’t have to be a Hollywood director to get the job done. Most of us have some experience behind the camera without even realizing it, through social media and video chat applications. The reality of 2019 is that this alone represents a large scope of the necessary skill set to get started using video at the sales level. Using these key methods:

  • Drawing Attention to the Video
  • Avoid Overly-Aggressive Sales Call-To-Actions
  • Remind Viewers of Your Partnership
  • Edit in 30 Second Intros to Pre-Existing Videos

…we can tackle the process of incorporating video into our sales prospecting, and see the largest returns on our time investment.

Drawing Attention to the Video

How do you use video to transform the cold prospecting experience? What you need to note is that you’re trying to reach for an audience that, put simply, may not have a clue who you or your company are. Just like we noted in the opener, let them know about video right off the rip. You can do this by something as simple as including “video” in the email subject line, coupled with a thumbnail of the video in the email body. You can also explore embedding video links in email through the thumbnail to generate greater click-through. These methods will focus attention on the video, which is proven to generate a stronger response than plain text.

Avoid Overly-Aggressive Sales Call-To-Actions

Your videos and attached emails should be friendly in nature. Start up a conversation and avoid sales-speak. Remind your prospect that you’re there to introduce and provide education on products that are built to help their business grow. Be natural, use phrasing and terminology in your videos that are more conversational; avoid too much jargon. At the end, present a call-to-action, but there’s no need to be overt. “BUY NOW” can turn a lot of people off, so instead find creative calls-to-action that extend the conversation and foster a relationship that will last.

Remind Viewers of Your Partnership

Whether you have a pre-existing relationship or are building one from the ground up, remind customers that this pursuit is a partnership. If there was a particularly successful venture that you’re aware of in the past that your product assisted with, remind them of it. Make notes and utilize them in videos; feel free to mention particularly complimentary words they’ve shared in the past. Keep your reps consistent in videos as well; often times, people view themselves as working with an individual, not the company as a whole. Use first names when appropriate and leverage your relationship in the video. It’ll show that you’re consider them and their needs with your approach.

Edit in 30 Second Intros to Pre-Existing Videos

Make use of product videos, and feel free to share them with your customers. Go the next step by editing in a 30 second intro to personalize the content. This takes very little time and can be filmed with a camera at your desk. Say hello, tell them you were thinking about them when a new product was released recently and wanted to share it with them. This small touch can make a huge difference in your clientele relationship, and signals yet another way that video can augment the email prospecting experience with a dash of creativity.

About the Author

Sean Gordon has an extensive track record recruiting, hiring, training, and unlocking the talent of people. For 20 years, Sean has been on the front lines of business across North America. He started with AT&T, where he built award-winning teams in sales and operations from coast to coast. He delivered equally stellar results for EMC, Aetna and West Corporation before becoming CEO of a technology company in need of innovation.

Sean founded to engage candidates, prospects, customers and employees – all on one platform. Sean has created new lines of business, reinvigorated stagnant company cultures, and mentored hundreds of employees who have gone on to do great things.

Connect with Sean Gordon on LinkedIn.

The Ridiculously Simple Ways You Can Get People To Read More Of Your Content

Content creation is an effective yet epic task. It takes up hours of your time and is a massive drain on your marketing resources. Because of this, you want to make sure that it’s useful. But how?

It turns out that creating compelling content that people actually want to read is more complicated than many company owners imagine. If you’re like most professionals, you’re focused on what you know – the nuts and bolts of your business. Your bread and butter, if you will. Content marketing is usually little more than an afterthought.

Get it wrong, and you can waste a tremendous amount of time and money. Get it right, and you can dominate.

The trick to successfully getting people to read more of your content is understanding how people consume material on the web. Most of the people on your site probably aren’t reading every single word that you type. Typically, they’re scanning pages, looking for information they need, and then moving on. Bearing this in mind, therefore, is essential when creating content. Your content needs to have pertinent details highlighted or under particular headings so that people can visually scan your document and pick out the information they need.

That’s just one example. There are many more. Take a look at these ridiculously simple ways to get people reading more of your content and get them closer to conversion.

Start By Using Bullet Points

Using bullet points is a compelling way of engaging your users while at the same time giving them a break from a block of text.

  • Bullet points look different from regular prose
  • Bullet points break up the text
  • Bullet points provide white space
  • Bullet points succinctly collect information
  • Bullet points help readers to memorize your content
  • Bullet points organize all of the most critical information in your post

Enrich Your Text

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Photo courtesy of Diggity Marketing

The art of lead magnet creation involves doing much more than writing, say, 1,500 words. It’s also about including a catchy title, moving images, calls-to-action, landing pages, branded document designs and much much more. Creating a visually compelling document is an ideal way to encourage people to investigate more of what you have to say. People want to read articles that tell them about the pictures they’re looking at, for example.

Place Helpful Links Whenever Possible

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article | The Ridiculously Simple Ways You Can Get People To Read More Of Your Content | StrategyDriven | Content Creation | Entrepreneurship

If you’re writing a blog about a particular food ingredient, it helps to insert a couple of links to recipes that use it. Likewise, if you’re writing an article about personal finance, it might be helpful to give users a link to an investment calculator so they can see how much their portfolio will be worth in ten years.

Placing helpful links is helpful to users and helpful to you too. People will want to come back.

Double Check Your Formatting

Once you’ve written your article using the advice above, double check it to see whether the format actually communicates your core message. Put yourself in the shoes of your reader and ask whether they can glean the information they need.