14/04/2021 by Mie Bilberg
How to create a trustworthy small business website
A customer decides in 50 milliseconds whether or not she likes a website (BBC); therefore, the website must target the customer´s needs and expectations.
A website has two main goals:
1: Build trust,
2: Drive conversions.
In that order. Nothing leads to more conversions than a trustworthy website. So how do you optimize your small business website and prove to your customers that you are trustworthy? We’ve come up with some tips to create a tried and true small business website.
Build trust top-down and bottom-up
There are two very important “trust-building” zones on a website: at the very top of the page and down in the footer. Visitors consciously and unconsciously scan these two areas of a webpage to see if the site is trustworthy or not, so small businesses need to make effective use out of these areas and create a position of trust.
How to build trust in five steps:
1: Get a lock on SSL certificates
A visitor to your page can immediately see whether or not your small business webpage contains an SSL certificate in the URL, as it is signaled by the ‘s’ in HTTPS. For example https://monosolutions.com/
But what is an SSL certificate exactly, and how does it help build trust?
What is an SSL certificate?
SSL certificates are what enable websites to move from HTTP to HTTPS, which is more secure. An SSL certificate is a data file hosted in a website's origin server. A website needs an SSL certificate to keep user data secure, verify ownership of the website, prevent attackers from creating a fake version of the site, and gain user trust.
If the website does not have an SSL certificate, Google will warn the visitor of the webpage with a notification and corresponding security symbol (see below). This may scare off some visitors to your site, increasing your bounce rate and decreasing conversions.
Want to know more about secure connections and security symbols? Read more here.
The importance of SSL certificates is quickly catching on amongst small businesses. In a European-wide market research study by Siinda, it was found that 74% of small business websites in Europe were enabled with an SSL certificate in 2020; compared to just 47% in 2019.
The adoption of SSL certificates has improved amongst small business websites, but the remaining 26% of small business websites need to make the switch to a more secure visitor experience. It is important for small business owners to quickly gain visitor trust, and for digital service providers, it is an upsell opportunity. Contact Mono to learn more.
2: Proof of identity: The logo
Creating a clear and strong sense of identity is important for any small business, and the company logo can be thought of as the photo ID for the company; serving as identification on the website, social media channels, printed materials, and so forth. On the website, small business owners should ask themselves: Is the logo placed at the top left corner of the page? Does the visitor immediately meet the identity of the business? And does it look trustworthy?
Here is a good example from Norway:
3: “Contact” page
Once a user reaches a webpage, she now knows where to find the small business online. However, the user might also want to know, where the business is located offline. The user may need to find the closest location to her neighborhood, go to the physical location, find where products are being shipped from, or just check to see if it is a real business.
So, it is important for small business owners that their local presence is clear and visible. Small business owners need to ask themselves: Does the contact page tell the user where the office or store is located? If not, we highly recommend the Mono Map module.
Tip: Use the Mono Map module to highlight your small business location to visitors. This great feature makes it easier for customers to find your small business's physical location, and in return makes the website more trustworthy.
Want to learn more? Watch how to add a Map module to a small business website
Read more here: Available integration on Mono Help Center
4: “About Us” page
One of the most visited pages on a website is the “About us” page.
This is the page visitors will check to determine whether or not a business is trustworthy, so small business owners need to craft a quality “About Us” page.
Bonus: One way small business owners can differentiate themselves from competitors and stand out from the crowd is to tell the story of how and why this local small business was born and by whom.
A fantastic example of a company with a great story on the ‘About us’ page is Coachingnachhilfe.de.
This website was created on our website builder platform and was designed by German Websmart, a Mono Solutions partner.
5: Privacy and cookies policy
We have all heard about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), right? For those who need a refresher, it is the European data law, or in everyday use, it’s the pop-up that those living in Europe accept or modify when visiting a site.
We think Advokatfirmaet HøgSeth is doing a great job; take a look here: https://advokathogseth.no/
This website is created by Mono Solution’s Norwegian partner, Idium, and the website is created on the Mono website builder platform.
Idium is also the winner of our 2021 Best Website Competition with this website as its case. Visit the winning website of 2021 here.
Mono is founded on the belief that all small businesses, despite smaller budgets deserve the same level of online presence and performance as larger companies.
Mono Solutions, part of SME services at Bauer Media Group, delivers award-winning white label marketing technology for websites to digital service providers at scale.
Mono offers different service models and revenue streams: Do-It-Yourself, Do-It-With-Me and Do-It-For-Me. We prioritize creating future-proof technology, with a best-in-class customer experience.
Mono’s technologies include guidance and support to ensure the success of the re-sellers and small business owners.