How long will a user stay on your site before leaving? Unless you can prove, quickly, that your site is trustworthy and relevant to their needs, we’re talking seconds. Maybe.
When a customer lands on your site for the first time, they’re coming to you with questions. Questions that they may not even realize they’re on the hunt to answer, but they are. As consumers we’re all looking for subconscious clues that the site we’re on is going to meet our needs, that we’ll have a good experience, and that we can trust them with our credit card information.
What is a first-time visitor asking themselves when they land on your site?
- Where is your search box? How usable is the navigation?
- Are you a real company? Do you have a store? Where is it located? What are the hours? Phone number? I need a map.
- Are you on Twitter? Facebook? Instagram? How do I learn more about your social side to scope you out?
- Is there an About page? Are your employees visible? Do you give them a voice?
- What is the culture like? Are you a “good” company?
- Are there company testimonials? What other people or companies have worked with you? Were they happy with the experience?
- What about product or service reviews? What’s everyone else saying? Am I making a good decision if I commit to this?
- If I’m not ready to buy yet, how can I stay in touch? Is there a blog? A newsletter? Some other way to stay up to date with you?
- How do I know if this is the “right” product for me? Is there a sizing guide? A product FAQ? Comparison charts?
- What’s your return policy like? Will I stuck with this if I don’t like it?
- Do you ship to where I live? Where are you shipping from? How long will it take me to get my goods?
- What are your payment options? Can I pay with Paypal?
- Is your Web site secure? Are there icons that tell me that?
- How will you protect my personal information? If I give you my email address, are you going to respect it or sell it?
- Do your prices make sense? Are you high? Low?
- What’s weird about you? How are you different from someone else? Do I want to align myself with your brand?
- Have any of my friends purchased from this site before? Are they connected with you on Facebook? Do you show that off?
- Are you fun? Serious? Quirky? Stuffy?
- Should I trust you? Are you part of any organizations?
- Do other people seek you out? Do you speak anywhere? Teach a class? Been features anywhere cool?
- What do you believe in? How do you make that part of your experience?
- What’s your story? Who are you in the market?
- Why you over someone else? What’s your point of difference?
- What does your process look like?
- How is this product different from that other one on your Web site? Which is better for me?
And the list goes on.
Is your heart racing a bit more rapidly having read through all that? I know. It’s a lot. But whether you (or they) realize it, these are the questions running through a potential customer’s mind when they land on your site for the first time and begin investigating. They’re also the questions your site must answer — through site content, trust cues, or specific features – before someone feels confident doing business with you.
So, using the questions above as a Trustworthiness Checklist. Does your own site pass?
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