6 Trust Factors That Strengthen Brand Loyalty
Before any savvy customer decides to work with you, they’ll need some evidence that your business can be trusted.
When potential clients scan your website, they quickly form thoughts about your brand and whether it’s worth trusting. Current research shows that within 50 milliseconds, a visitor has already developed a partial opinion about your site.
As this happens, these visitors are looking for trust factors — signals that demonstrate your credibility to customers and encourage them to feel good about your brand. If your website is designed to show how your company is credible, they will likely trust it a little more.
Automated search ranking systems — like Google’s TrustRank — also use trust factors to determine how highly sites rank in searches and influence the kind of searches they will be included in.
For these reasons, you’ll want to include trust factors in all your business communications — especially your web presence.
Here are six ways that prove your company is credible and help you strengthen brand loyalty.
1. Testimonials, Referrals, and Reviews
People may not know who you are, but they may know who you’ve worked with. Testimonials and referrals from previous clients let you take advantage of the contacts you’ve built. They can go a long way in convincing a visitor or potential client that your brand has a track record of success and fulfilled promises.
Reviews from respected authors or credible publications can also help you out in a similar fashion. They show that experts and leading industry figures believe your products or services are worth buying.
2. High-Value Content
Many brands — no matter who their audience is or what they sell — maintain blogs or regularly upload articles to their website. This is because content can help you build trust by demonstrating your expertise and providing value to your visitors.
Your content can solve a problem people might have, walk them through a complex task, provide some extra information, or even just entertain them. It just needs to be memorable and useful to your audience.
Content like case studies can go even further and combine the effectiveness of testimonials and reviews with in-depth content that shows you know what you’re talking about. Case studies take a project you’ve completed and break down your process. They show the problem the client had, the tools and techniques you used to fix it, and the challenges you overcame.
These studies can help you demonstrate how you approach problem-solving, and reinforce that you know what you’re talking about.
Good content can also make your website appear more trustworthy to Google’s search algorithms — helping your site place higher in search results.
3. Links to Trustworthy Sources
When you’re creating this content, you should occasionally link to trustworthy sources that back up your claims, provide extra explanations for tough concepts or help round out your visitor’s knowledge.
These sources can demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about. They also strengthen your credibility by leaning on other organizations and webpages that are known to be reputable. Credibility is one of the quickest ways to build brand trust — so if you have an opportunity to demonstrate yours, you should take it.
Linked sources could be published scientific research, articles from industry journals, or resources from government websites. They should help strengthen the arguments you make and lend some extra legitimacy to your claims. Linking will let customers know your arguments are backed up by research, industry expertise, or recommendations from major, reputable organizations.
Off-page sources also get factored into your Google TrustRanking. Consistently linking to trustworthy, high-quality sites can make your website appear more credible to Google’s search algorithms.
5. Essential Information
A visitor to your site should be able to quickly figure out some basics about your brand — who you are, what you do, what you value, and how to get in touch. You should maintain an updated “about us” section that covers some of these basics. Other pages, like FAQs, case studies, and a contact page, can round out the rest.
Your contact page should include your brand name, address, phone number, and email. You may also want to provide a simple contact form to make it as easy as possible to get in touch.
Google also takes into account whether or not you have these pages when determining your TrustRank. If you’re missing one, it can have a negative impact.
5. Professional Design
A professionally designed logo and website will make you seem more credible than brands that look shoddy or cheap.
Professional web design will also ensure your site is readable, aesthetically pleasing, and simple to navigate. This will make it easier for visitors to find important information — like your FAQ, blog, about us page, or contact information. It also shows that you try to anticipate customer needs, which is one of the best ways to build trust with potential clients.
You’ll also want to make sure your site loads quickly. Because people are fast to form impressions about your brand, if your website doesn’t load fast enough, they’ll just click away or be less likely to spend time investigating.
This isn’t to say that everything on your website needs to be very stiff or formal — friendly and professional can easily go together. You can make unique design decisions or use casual language, so long as you remember to keep it mostly professional.
You can’t build this one right away. However, by demonstrating consistency over time — like by providing regular updates to your blog or new content that’s error-free, well-researched, and well-written — you can convince visitors that your brand is worth trusting.
Consistent updates show you’re capable of predictability and integrity and can deliver work that’s up to a high standard every time.
An up-to-date blog or regular content updates will also show visitors that you’re keeping on top of industry developments and maintaining your website.
Using Trust Factors to Improve Brand Loyalty
Trust factors are essential in building brand loyalty and demonstrating your business’s credibility. When designing your company’s web presence, be sure to include factors — like high-value content and essential web pages — that show why customers should be willing to trust your brand. Doing so will drive more traffic your way.
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