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Friday, Oct. 26, 2007 at 10:45 am

Screencast: Building Trust & Credibility Online

By Dave Young
October 26th, 2007

If the roof of your home started leaking, you probably wouldn’t waste much time trying to fix it. And unless you happen to be a carpenter, you’re likely to find someone else to do the job. You’d probably call a professional; someone with experience, who can find the source of the problem and patch things up. A leaky roof isn’t generally a good place to shop on price alone. You want to know that whomever you hire can be trusted.

Well, your website isn’t much different. Each day, visitors come to your site, hoping to find someone they can trust. The strange thing is that people tend to think that the words they use online are somehow different than the words they use face-to-face. They’re not. But online, you need to be even more careful about how you relate to would-be customers. They’ve got less to go on. Looking you in the eye isn’t an option, and talk remains cheap — even if it’s in the form of web copy. So, it’s your job to change that around; an especially difficult thing for smaller and/or local brands.

Today, I’m going to show you how one of my clients, Roof Life of Oregon (www.rooflife-oregon.com), used Persuasion Architecture™ to replace their own, virtual roof. I’ll show you how each page uses trust-building elements to create persuasive momentum with the customer to make them feel at home.

Please enable Javascript and Flash to view this Viddler video.

Have you used any of these techniques before? Are there any websites you like to visit that inspire confidence? Ones that need fixing?

If you have questions about how to build trust online, please share them in the comments.

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Comments (17)

  1. Fantastic job Dave!

    It’s a very nice touch to place CEO, Patrick Morin’s image/video on the home page as well as the Credentials page. This is a HUGE credibility booster that so many companies neglect. Nothing bridges that chasm of anonymity on the web like REAL pictures/video.

  2. Really interesting post.

    We often forget some personality because its easy to fall in the trap of putting everybody in the same basket as you during the functional design of the website.

    I think reputation also goes a long way with online reputation, trust and credibility. A simple google search we reveal bad customer experience with a website. Giving a A++ service goes a long way

  3. 26 Tips To Write Copy That Sells Users & Search Engines…

    How do you create exciting prose and witty copy that will enchant your audience and make the search engines give you a top 10 ranking? How can you use the art of search engine optimization to please real readers and not just try to appease the fickle g…

  4. I agree with you Dave. Trust is very much vital in every business. If you have your subscriber’s trust you, expect them to be coming back for more of your products as they believe that you are able to deliver the kind of service or product they can rely on.

  5. After watching the screencast and reading your information about online trust, I decided to build a page on my website, titled ‘Your trust and security’, to show, the security seals my website has. I was not really sure what to say to talk about the page, so I just wrote what I felt. I am curious if anyone has any feedback about the page?

    http://www.biblebible.com/trust-security.asp

  6. [...] of all, take a look at Dave Young’s screencast on “Building Trust and Credibility Online.” Dave does a fantastic job of breaking down specific techniques he used to build a website [...]

  7. [...] wanted to mention one screencast and one slideshow I found on the websites linked to in the answers. I also wanted to highlight the [...]

  8. What a great screen cast! Thank you. The emphasis on personality types in designing each page created a great structure for the entire site. Clear, reliable contact information that provides multiple ways of connecting with the company also fits the personality model. Some people prefer email that they can send off any time of night or day, and others prefer the personal contact of a phone call. The part of trust building that is in the hands of the business person is still delivering a quality product, no matter the decision making method of the customer!

  9. This is indeed an excellent resource – along with Fogg’s ideas on captology it just inspired my own post at: http://blog.purevisibility.com/2008/09/use-causation-to-convert-leads/.
    In this post, I ask whether there might be a risk to combining certain content types within a single page, for instance, a description of services. Do you have a take on this? While pictures and details can clearly go hand in hand on most webpages, could there be examples, where data geared at fast logical types, stats et all, is intimidating to emotional decision makers?

  10. [...] http://www.grokdotcom.com/2007/10/26/trust-and-credibility-screencast/ addthis_url = ‘http%3A%2F%2Fwww.searchengineoptimizationcompany.ca%2Fseoblog%2Finternet-marketing%2Ffour-temperaments-or-4-personality-types-in-marketing%2F24102008′; addthis_title = ‘Four+Temperaments+or+4+Personality+Types+in+Marketing’; addthis_pub = ”; [...]

  11. [...] with a good estimate for the amount of variance in the individual visitors’ times on site. Discussions of credibility in web design like this one refer to different types of decision makers – slow vs fast. Some variation in time on site will [...]

  12. They’re not. But online, you need to be even more careful about how you relate to would-be customers. They’ve got less to go on. Looking you in the eye isn’t an option, and talk remains cheap — even if it’s in the form of web copy. So, it’s your job to change that around; an especially difficult thing for smaller and/or local brands.

  13. Very good post. I believe that trust is becoming more important every day, and with new technologies coming along your online reputation should be a top priority.

  14. One of the simplest way to gain online credibility is to post a photo of yourself!

  15. I believe that trust is becoming more important every day, and with new technologies coming along your online reputation should be a top priority.

  16. [...] with a good estimate for the amount of variance in the individual visitors’ times on site. Discussions of credibility in web design like this one refer to different types of decision makers – slow vs fast. Some variation in time on site [...]

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