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5 Reasons Your B2B Website Visitors Don’t Trust You

by Jennifer Beever on February 6, 2012

Create Trust for Website VisitorsWhen it comes to your business-to-business website, it’s important to establish credibility and trust with site visitors.

You’ve invested in search engine optimization and lots of great, relevant content so that your prospects can find you online. But what is really happening once a prospect lands on your B2B website? Do they see you as credible? Trustworthy?

Here are some of reasons visitors to your website don’t trust you:

1. Your website does not display your physical business address.

There’s a reason the federal law (the CAN SPAM Act) requires the sender’s physical address on all promotional emails. It’s because people have been scammed and defrauded online by phishers and spammers, and they don’t want to be victims. Because of this type of activity on the Internet, not having your physical location listed on your website instantly makes you suspect. List your address, if not at the bottom of every page, on the Contact page. Include a picture of your building and a map.

2. Your website has no photos or bios of your employees.

What would happen if a prospect came to your workplace for a meeting, and there was no one there? A business with no humans behind it is suspect. Show who runs the company and tell their stories. People buy from people they like.

3. Your website has inconsistent design.

When a prospect lands on your home page, they get an instant brand impression from your logo, the page design, the images, the headlines and content. If they click on another page to learn more about you and are redirected to another site or a page with a different design, they may lose trust (in addition to being confused). Make sure your website pages are branded consistently.

4. Your website photo isn’t current.

I once landed on a website that had a very glamorous photo of the business owner embedded into the home page design. But just below it was a video, in which the still shot of the owner looked radically different – older, less makeup, no touch-ups. It was a shocking difference and created instant mistrust for me. No matter how much we want to appear glamorous and perfect, make sure that photos of you on your site are consistent.

5. Your content doesn’t match or isn’t current.

You say one thing on your Home page and another on the About Us page. Your company history doesn’t include information about the last five years. Your blog hasn’t been updated for two months or more. Your copyright statement includes a year three years ago. Your news page includes no press releases from recent years. It’s critical to keep all content consistent and current on your website.

What else leads to a loss of trust on websites? Please share your experience in the comments below!

 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Wendy Offshack February 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Hi Jennifer… GREAT content and very sound advice. I have a question for you. I work at home, it is only me for now and I am not sure I want my home address posted on the internet. I have posted my P.O. Box and city, does that count?

Comment on Lack of Trust Issues: My lack of trust is when I watch people or read their stuff and it doesn’t offer any solutions or action plans. Hypothetical stuff is fine for thinking, but thinking and not taking action leads nowhere. What that tells me is that they have no proof that it works and I want someone to give me advice that has been in the trenches! I want someone to tell me what to do or how to apply the information they are giving me!

I am just starting my new coaching and seminar business after training through my previous business for over 30 years. I am excited to be out on my own now. Thanks again for the great advice! I will definitely keep it in mind!

Jennifer Beever February 8, 2012 at 11:21 am

Hi Wendy,

I’m so excited that you have launched Fresh Start By Design! Many people need or want a fresh start about now, and I know you have lots of success and experience in growing yourself and your business!

I understand the concern about listing a home address with your business website. Like you, I have a mail stop address listed on my website – in my case a private mailbox service where my mail is delivered – just blocks away from my home office. That is the address on my website. Perfectly OK, since anyone can reach my by phone, email or mail. We’re not hiding anything, just protecting our privacy and perhaps our safety. I just can’t stand it when I can’t tell where in the world a business is! They offer nothing but a form or email if you are lucky.

Swati February 13, 2012 at 5:17 am

Great advice, Jennifer. I’m an inbound marketer and such guidelines are in valuable for me!
I totally agree with you on the physical location aspect. It is very inconvenient when you don’t know where a particular business works from. Most websites only have a ‘contact us’ form. I feel that, the visitor must trust you before he gives away any information from his end.
I also feel that, a website which has simple & precise content, easily understandable by most visitors is very trustworthy. Websites who use highly technical language or frequent jargon (unless absolutely necessary) might turn off its visitors.

Jennifer Beever February 13, 2012 at 11:16 am

Thanks for the comment, Swati. Inbound marketers unite! I also love your added comment that language on sites must be understandable. Some say it should be written to a high school level. That is hard for business owners who are highly educated and in technical industries, but it must be done!

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