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Monday, September 22, 2014

What Influences The Trust Factor Online ?



Trust is the topmost layer of the semantic web. It is like the cherry on the top of the cake which makes the cake look appealing. People do business with those that they like, know, and trust. If a consumer believes that a specific brand produces quality products or services then such a customer is most likey to become an online brand ambassador.


Semantic Web



Trust is the end result of many factors in action. Trust is the emotional and logical aspect of the users decision to refer and recommend the site and content if he has been getting valuable information from the site.

Trust cannot be purchased, it has to be earned over a period of time via continuous and consistent efforts and reliable actions.

The Trust Factor Online


Potential online customers critically evaluate a site before finalizing the call to action on the web page.

Some of the factors the online customer may scrutinize and critically evaluate are:

  • A good updated and a functional website: A website which is regularly updated with the latest stock and offers is more trusted than the rest. A consistent logo displayed on an overall web presence on across all platforms builds brand value and also helps customers have a better recall value. Being genuine and avoiding any over the top announcements and claims also adds to the trust factor.

  • A blog that is regularly updated: A blog is a platform where you can share any news about the industry or about your company. Please do not make your blog a sales platform and avoid spreading sales messages. A blog is a place where you can establish the foundation for your online ‘Thought Leadership’. By offering information and by sharing your knowledge you show that you care and are willing to help your readers / customers / visitors. A person landing on any page of your blog via search engines or social media or via any media should get information about what he was searching for. This encourages repeat visits which lead to recommendations to others. A blog can also become a communication platform via comments.

  • Social media activity: Social media is the best platform where your satisfied readers and customers are going to share their experiences. This same platform offers you also the option for sharing the content of your website and blog. Social media is not about likes, followers and the no. of people in your circle but about what people are writing about your business/ blog or products and how it is being further shared. Social Media signals in the long run are the main source which help establish the online reputation of a business.

  • Reviews And Ratings: Reviews and Ratings where people have to login to express them have a better trust factor than the ones posted on the site by the website owners on the website. Though there is a lot of spam involved with this and this factor has to be taken with a pinch of salt it adds to the trust factor in a limited way.

  • Testimonials: Testimonials from authority people of your industry and from satisfied clients who have a good online reputation does add to the trust factor and influence the user positively.

  • Good Search Presence: Search engines are the place where all your potential buyers start from . If you have optimized your blog and website and are found by the searcher for more than 3-4 search queries made by him , it will surely sow the seed of trust in his mind and as he goes further and searches on social media and other platforms and again he finds the same presence it goes on adding up and develops an interest and curiosity to know more about your business and products.

  • Secure Payment Gateway: A secure site where the user can share his personal details and credit card details securely without any fear surely again gains more trust.

  • Quick response to the inquiry form filled by the user: An online buyer wants quick answers to his queries as he has multiple options available online. If you delay in providing the answers he is surely going to move on to the next option.

  • Brand search results: Ranking for relevant search queries surely gets you the targeted traffic but when these potential customers want to know more about your company, they expect you to rank for brand search queries too. If your website does not rank for brand search queries then it has a negative impact on the searcher. Hence, ranking for brand search queries is equally important.

  • Contact Page: A detailed contact page which explicitly has the address and contact numbers adds to the trust factor. If you do not share contact nos. and address and only have a form then it may be detrimental to the trust factor. Why should they share their contact information when you cannot share yours? Openness, genuineness and the willingness to offer answers will surely win the trust vote for your online presence. In this case being found on local search results of Google with all the details too helps in winning the trust of the online visitor.

  • About us page: Last but not the least, though people are buying the products online they always are curious to know the humans behind the front end and feel confident when the ‘About us’ page has the details of the team offering the facility online. After checking out the products people may also check out the management and other team members online especially when the amounts to be online are substantial.

Just like in real life it takes time before your friends or customers can trust you , online too it takes time to build trust and then retain it. It may range between 2 – 5 years to build the initial trust and then to retain it is a constant exercise and is a continuous effort in proving them that their trust in you is not a wrong decision made by them.