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Online Marketing Advice: How Not To Build Trust

Posted by Christine B. Whittemore on Nov 1, 2011 11:00:00 AM

This is a 3 minute read.

Trust... Something that im loosing.Have you noticed how trust has become a really big deal for customers - more than ever? Yet, I see examples online that either express complete disregard for trust-building, or are signs that business owners aren't aware that their online marketing does not communicate trust to prospects.

In the same spirit that shared with you how to do bad social media, I detail for you how not to build trust online based on examples I've come across in my website travels.

As always, I invite you to add to the list.

1. If you haven't yet, you should explore all 11 examples detailed in How To Do Bad Social Media.

2. Take to heart the 7 online marketing advice tips about using social icons.

3. Make sure you understand what goes into bad SEO techniques.

4. I'm always intrigued with how businesses deal with multiple locations. I love seeing website pages that legitimately describe a store or office location, include photos and even add photos of the people who manage the location. I run away from sites that include web pages for non-existant locations and stuff the page with nonsensical words that have nothing to do with the business, the location or anything of interest to a potential customer.

5. Customer endorsements matter. However, I get suspicious when every endorsement has the same publish date. I'd rather see reviews over time.

6. The 'About Us' section of a website often disappoints me. I want to see pictures of the company principals. I want to read about the business and its reason for being. I want to see signs of intense passion for the business and customers. An impersonal 'about us' page worries me, particularly if I see no active blog.

7. An active blog represents a trust building goldmine for a business with an online presence. Be sure that your blog captures the passion you feel for your business and customers. Include a photo of who's blogging. Be human and approachable in your blog articles. An impersonal blog communicates to readers that you don't care. If you don't care, why should anyone trust you?

8. Do pay attention to your copyright information. Is it up to date? Is it relevant? Is it yours?

9. Periodically check that your links - particularly important ones - aren't broken. I am grateful to visitors and friends who let me know when mine have issues [special hat tip to Bill Buyok at Avente Tile].

10. Think about what you want visitors to your website to do. Not all come to your site ready to buy. If your site focuses heavily on a hard sell message, you will drive away prospects. If you're looking to encourage visitors to browse and get to know you, figure out how to make them feel comfortable and willing to spend time getting to know you. As you might in real life...

11. Make sure your privacy policy communicates trustworthiness. I came across one for a flooring business that stated no one over the age of 18 should be visiting the site... and that other businesses might send unsolicited emails.

Your turn. What have you come across in online marketing that doesn't build trust? What have you found effective for creating trust? What online marketing advice would you share?

Let me know in the comments.

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Image credit: Trust... Something that im loosing. By LifeHouseDesign on Flickr.

Topics: Digital Marketing, managing online reputation

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