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5. Make Your Trust Visible

Trust is probably the most scarce thing on the internet. In real life we get many indications whether someone is trustworthy or not. We see the person’s behavior, the way they speak, the way they act, the way they look, we can observe their reaction to certain situations, and so on. There’s no such possibility online.

Whoever visits your site will be naturally suspicious of anything you do or promise. New visitors don’t trust you right from the get-go because they are preconditioned to feel that way. Therefore, your job is to make them trust you.

Getting trust is critical to getting people to convert on the web. If someone doesn’t trust you they won’t click your link, buy your products, or download your software.

Because you can’t interact directly with every visitor you’ll have to use words and other means of communication to convey the message that you’re indeed trustworthy.

There are two main ways of doing this online:

  • Use “as seen on” blocks. These blocks display a range of logos of other respected companies. The message they send is something like: “As seen on: CBS, CNN, ABC, The New York Times.” The important thing here is to make these blocks visible, preferably by placing them to the side of your homepage. And the other thing is not to make them ridiculously obvious – just don’t use blocks like: “As seen on: Google, Facebook, Twitter” – this is simply lame.
  • Using social proof. Social proof is where you display something that indicates the fact that the product you’re promoting has already been obtained by many other people/customers. A good way of doing this is by displaying a number of downloads, or copies sold. If the number is big enough it will make people think that since everyone else is getting the thing then they probably should too.

If you were to include advice #6 here, what would it be?

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