Instead of expending all of your energy trying to figure out Google’s next move (do you really think you can crack their algorithms?), it may be time to invest your resources into practices you know can increase your return on investment. SEO, though effective, changes like the wind but the basics of consumer confidence (overall trust and optimism concerning a brand) are effective and they can increase your bottom line with only a few tweaks to your eCommerce store.
Here are a few tried and true practices you can implement that will help to boost consumer confidence in your brand:
Phone Number – You would be surprised by how many online stores either do not have a direct phone number or do not display it on their sites. A business without a phone number is similar to a house without an address…it simply does not make sense. Successful businesses are focused on customer service, which begs the question, “If you don’t have a phone number, how are you building a business if your customers can’t even reach you?”
Your phone number should be displayed above the fold in the top 1/3 of your webpage and completely visible to web visitors.
SSL Security – Your attention to the security of your eCommerce website will make your customers feel safe which will also boost their confidence in your products and your business brand. SSL encrypts private data (like credit card information) and protects hackers from stealing your customers’ personal information as it is passed from your site to the appropriate financial institution. An SSL certificate confirms the identity of your site and the validity of the encryption.
Trust Logos – A trust logo is a symbol of a trusted third party validation of your web site. You can obtain one from several organizations and use them on your site to display your authenticity.
Even if you run your business from your kitchen table, you shouldn’t look like you do. Your trust logo should be visible on every page of your website. This one action can increase your conversions dramatically.
Customer Reviews – You can say whatever you want about your products, but what matters most to your customers is what other consumers have to say about your products. Companies like trustpilot.com are making it easier for your customers to offer their opinions about anything and everything on the internet. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that you focus on pleasing your customers.
Give your visitors a chance to review your products directly on your website. It will make them feel honored that you feel their opinion counts and that it is valuable.
Professional Website Design – The canned templates won’t cut it here. Your website layout and design will give your customers their first impression of your online business. In the website design industry, you get what you pay for.
Hire a professional and study your target demographics before you begin and tailor your site around what would appeal to them.
Consumer confidence is one principle that will outlive Google’s ever-changing algorithms and the latest SEO tricks and trends. Your website could land on the first page of Google and still lose profits if your customers do not feel confident they can trust you. Put your resources into practices that will convert your website visitors into loyal customers and you will have a long-term business that will outlast anything Google throws your way.