How to Build Trust with First-Time Website Visitorsby@syedbalkhi
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How to Build Trust with First-Time Website Visitors

by Syed BalkhiMarch 20th, 2024
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Build trust with website visitors by having a clean, fast-loading mobile-friendly design. Offer valuable content like blog posts and free resources. Showcase positive reviews and social proof. Invite visitors to engaging events and show your active social media presence. Be consistent and transparent and good things will follow.
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Do you want to learn how to build trust with first-time website visitors? If so, you’re far from alone!

Trust is a necessity in all meaningful relationships, and the connection between business and consumer is no different. All you have to do is think about the last time you visited a new website for the first time to see that this is true.

When we make it to a page that doesn’t feel right, whether it’s offering unrealistic products, devoid of essential information, or poorly made, we tend to back out and look for a more reputable source. The same is true of your audience.

First impressions mean a lot. They will quickly leave your site and never return if they have a reason not to trust you. So, it makes sense that you need to do everything you can to build their trust so you can win them over and turn them into loyal customers.

Today, I’m going to show you several actionable and effective strategies you can use to start building trust with people from the moment they land on your site.

Let’s begin!

Prioritize Accessibility and Design

For new visitors, your website’s accessibility and design are the first ways people know if you have a well-made, reputable website.

I suggest starting with a minimal, uncluttered website design since it feels more professional and approachable. Your goal is to avoid clutter and distraction while balancing blank space and aligning elements throughout the page.

This will make it easier for readers to figure out who you are, what you do, and why it matters to them.

You’ll also want to run a speed test to make sure your site loads in a few seconds or less. People get very discouraged if a page takes too long to load, so much so that they begin to feel the site might be up to no good. I believe this is why 53% of people claim they will leave a site if it takes 3 seconds or longer to load.

It’s also important to make sure your site is accessible on a wide range of devices, including desktops, laptops, smartphones, and mobile. All of these factors matter, but smartphone use is on the right, with 92% of shoppers saying they access the internet using their smartphone.

We tend to test our websites for accessibility, functionality, and design after every major update and once a quarter. Keeping up on these tests helps us run a smooth, user-friendly website, which means we have an easier time building trust with our audience.

Provide Value Without Asking for Anything in Return

In order to show people that you're trustworthy, you have to be willing to give them something without getting anything in return. Depending on your industry, this could manifest in many different ways.

One general strategy that works for just about everyone is producing high-quality blog posts. Close to 80% of people read content online regularly, and 47% of shoppers say they read 3-5 blog posts before deciding if a business is right for them.

Provide actionable advice and interesting perspectives on products, services, and topics that matter to your target audience. If what you're publishing is timely and relevant, there's a good chance they'll keep coming back for more, which helps them see your business as a reputable source the next time they have a question.

You can also provide free tools, workbooks, checklists, and other resources your visitors will find genuinely useful. In this situation, it's not uncommon to ask readers to join your email list so they can receive their exclusive content upgrade. While this is technically asking for something, it's far less invasive than asking a user to pull out their debit card the first time they meet you.

I also like to include FAQ sections on many of our pages so readers can quickly get answers if they are in a hurry. Surprisingly, showing people that you appreciate their time in this way will likely result in them coming back to your site in the future.

Show Signs that Other People Trust You

One of the best ways to build trust with first-time visitors is to show them that other people already trust and respect your brand.

Customer reviews are the most common form of social proof – and for good reason! When a visitor sees that other real customers had a positive experience with your brand, they're instantly more likely to trust you.

For context, around 91% of shoppers say they trust reviews from strangers just as much as they would a recommendation from a friend. Don't believe me? Think about what you did the last time you bought something on Amazon. If you're like most of us, you scrolled through the reviews to see what kind of experiences other people had with the product.

Your audience is looking for the same kind of insights, so don't forget to actively encourage customers to leave reviews on your product pages and share glowing reviews on your homepage and other prominent parts of your site.

Showcasing this type of social proof helps address visitors' underlying concerns about doing business with an unfamiliar company. It puts their mind at ease knowing others have had positive experiences with your services before them.

Another subtle but effective strategy is to include trust badges on your footer and payment forms. Simply put, trust badges are seals that show well-known and trusted companies that they approve of your brand. Norton, PayPal, Mastercard, and other big-name security and financial institutes offer their seal of approval to people who pass their test.

When visitors see your site has the approval of a big-name company like PayPal, they're far more likely to trust you enough to take action.

There are other ways to show signs that other people trust you, but these two broad strategies work exceptionally well for us.

Invite Visitors to Join Upcoming Events

Another effective way to build trust with new visitors is by inviting them to an online event like a webinar, giveaway, or live stream. Events allow people to get to know the human side of your business, and that helps them interact with the people behind your brand.

If you're wondering how this can help you capture your audiences' attention, consider this: 91% of people say they're actively looking for interactive content. These same people say they're more willing to engage with a company if they go out of their way to create engaging, helpful, and unique experiences.

So, if you offer a new visitor an interactive experience that's based on their goals and interests, there's a good chance they'll sign up – especially if everything else on your website looks good.

I've found the best way to win people over is to provide valuable content and actionable takeaways. For example, you might consider addressing a common pain point in your industry and three key strategies for overcoming this challenge. Give specific, relatable examples and share resources they can access after the event.

Finally, don't forget to take questions from attendees and be responsive in the chat. Use this opportunity to build rapport with existing customers and first-time attendees.

Finally, let's talk about the importance of showing you have an active social media presence. People are more likely to trust your site if they see how you speak to the community and that there's a way to get in touch with you if they have a question or if things don't go according to plan.

Social media is the perfect place to direct people because everyone uses it, and it can help them learn a lot about your business. In terms of sheer numbers, it's estimated that over 4.74 billion people use social media – that's almost 60% of the world!

So, adding social media buttons to your site along with a current follower count shows people that you're out there and interested in connecting. Most new visitors will follow you on social media and engage with you there before they make it back to your website.

I suggest including social media links for your company throughout your website, including your blog and product pages. This seemingly small addition will make it easier for people to see what you're about, which is a surefire way to earn their trust.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! The tips shared today have helped me connect with first-time visitors for years, and I believe the same is possible for you. One thing you should know is earning trust doesn't happen overnight. You need to be consistent and transparent while making an effort to build rapport with people from the moment they land on your site.

If you're willing to put in the time and effort, you'll have no problem establishing trust and credibility in your industry. The only thing left to do is go out there and get started!