Start with These Basics
- Write clearly without hidden meaning or jargon.
- Everything should be up to date, grammatically correct and without typos.
- Use a well designed template integrated with consistent, branded components (logo, fonts, colors, icons and imagery).
- Build your site on a mobile responsive template, so it looks good on all devices. If you're not sure if your site is mobile-friendly, take the test.
- Create navigation and menus that help visitors find what they need quickly.
- Remove obstacles, like broken links, competing colors, inconsistent images, etc.
Simple Trust Signals
- Current copyright and date
- Terms and conditions
- Affiliate disclosure
- Professional licenses, numbers and icons
- Membership icons
- Accreditations, certificates and awards
- Testimonials: place them strategically near claims you make about your business
- Partner and/or client logos and text links to their sites
- Media and press mentions; especially useful from known experts and influencers in your market. Use logos and link to their sites (outbound links can help your Google rank too).
- Icons, logos or text links of organizations you belong to. Apply this same idea to clients who are okay with being listed. Links to organizations your visitor belongs to or knows helps create affinity with the visitor (look, we’re part of the same group).
- For ecommerce sites, add icons like Authorize.net. You should have an SSL certificate too, especially if you’re collecting personal information or using ecommerce to sell products. Namecheap offers SSL certificates at a decent price. Plus, here’s how you can get one for free and when it's appropriate to use it. Some website builders like Squarespace include SSL with their packages.
Build Out Your Content
- Come across as the expert you are by including your professional background, education, portfolio, awards, memberships, bio, headshot (people like to see who they’re working with, attaching a face to a name), and a LinkedIn link.
- Case studies help explain what you do and demonstrate your capabilities. Visitors will relate to your stories, which gives them confidence you can solve their problem. Visual before and afters are great way to demonstrate customer successes.
- Avoid using too many stock photos that look, well, fake.
- If you work with a team of experts, use consistent-looking headshots.
Maximize Your About Page
- Give a very clear statement about the type of business you are, i.e., We are a real estate benefits company.
- We’ve been in business since…why you started the company…we’re based in…
- Purpose or business philosophy: “We strive for…”, “We believe…"
- How you are able to accomplish what you claim to do; why you’re uniquely qualified to offer this service. Brag a little if you can.
- Tell a story that kicked off your business idea
- Provide staff details (photos, biographies, qualifications)
- Mention key clients
- State your business hours and/or when visitors can speak to someone live
- Give visitors a way to get their questions answered. At minimum, provide an FAQ.
- Add a support page or live chat.
- Make it easy for visitors to ask questions by making the phone number and email readily available, or encourage the use of a contact form, depending on how much inbound contact you can handle. Give people an idea of when you'll respond and stick to it.
Help Google See Your Site as Trustworthy Too
- Register your domain for 2+ years. It lets Google know you’ll be around for a while.
- Register an original domain name; in our case, blockbeta.com. Back in the day, a domain that was all keywords, such as seattlemarketingconsultant.com, was a good idea. Not so anymore.
- Make it public: Real companies don’t have private whois, so make sure the address you list is real. Unless you’re uncomfortable showing, for example, your home office.
- The sites you link to reflect positively on your site, so link to authority sites that have these extensions: .org, .edu and .gov; also link to high traffic sites, such as news, industry publications and other media.
- Keep your bounce rate low by attracting qualified visitors and giving them the information they’re looking for, so they don’t leave after visiting only one page (read Create a Savvy Homepage from a Simple FAQ). This will also improve your quality analytics, such as number of pages visited and session length.
- When writing your blog or other website materials, include sources, attributions or references at the end.
- Get that SSL certificate explained above.
A Little Tougher to Do, But Worth the Effort
Tell us what you've been doing to increase conversion at your website in the comments below.