If you’re a business with something to sell, you likely have Merchant Center set up. This dashboard where you can manage your appearance across all Google ecommerce products is undeniably helpful for online retail visibility.
A large priority for Google is to provide a safe and trustworthy place for both customers and retailers and therefore it can take some time before a sufficient level of trust is established and Google considers it safe to display your products and offers to customers.
Google’s guidance for building customer trust
In a recent article released on Google Merchant Centre Help, Google shared some guidance for building customer trust, which will in turn help boost your online visibility to potential customers. Here’s a rundown of the tips provided.
Create a strong business identity
A well-defined identity provides a consistent framework for all aspects of your business, aiding recognition, both on and off the web. You want your name, logo and even messaging to be immediately recognisable as your own.
To build a clear business identity, Google suggests:
- Using your official business name across the web, avoiding any mismatches in your registered name and domain name.
- Publicise your social media accounts with direct links from your website. Encourage your customers to follow your accounts and regularly connect with them on there. Social media is a more personal aspect of the internet, and customers can relate to a brand much easier when interacting in this way, whether it’s simply liking posts, reacting in the comments or responding to polls.
- Include an ‘about us’ page on your site. Share the story of your business. What first inspired the business? Where did it start? What hurdles did you face to get where you are now? Customers can feel more connected to a business when they understand its roots.
Designing for professionalism
If your website is the first exposure a potential customer has to your business, their first impression is incredibly important. Customers are much more likely to trust a brand that looks and feels professional. It can be easy to get caught up in SEO practices (which are, of course, very important), but don’t neglect the overall design and useability of your site.
To improve the professional design of your business, Google suggests:
- Ensure your website is accessible for all customers, with simplistic navigation. Don’t forget to optimise your site for mobile devices too.
- Don’t put an unfinished page live. If a customer visits a page on your site that has a placeholder for upcoming text or imagery, it looks rushed and unprofessional, lowering the trust they may have in your brand.
- Install an SSL certificate so that customers can be confident their data is securely stored.
Building your online reputation
In today’s digital age, online reputation has never been more important for businesses, especially when it comes to ecommerce. Often, a customer’s first impression of the business will come from its online presence, so building a positive reputation can significantly influence their decision to make a purchase.
To improve your online reputation, Google suggests:
- Show testimonials and customer reviews. Customers value genuine feedback from others, and a wealth of positive reviews may give you the advantage over your competitors. It can also be beneficial to respond to reviews, especially any that are negative. A business can regain customer trust after admitting fault and fixing a problem.
- Promote all blog posts or articles that your business has written or been mentioned in. Valuable content is often appreciated by customers, and if your business is consistently the one to provide it, they’ll remember that.
Transparency and clarity
A transparent business is often perceived as ethical, reliable and trustworthy. Customers are confident in a business when they have a clear understanding of what they can expect, from placing an order to receiving it and even to interacting with customer service if they need to.
To increase transparency, Google suggests:
- Be clear, open and truthful about your values, ethics, business model and how you operate.
- Promote any badges or seals of approval from third-party sources.
- Ensure that your site has simple contact methods so that customers can easily get in touch with you. Having a range of methods can help to suit a wider audience, such as a contact form, email address, live chat and phone number.
Trust is a fundamental element in fostering customer loyalty, and in today’s competitive business landscape, customer trust can give your business a huge advantage. Customers feel more comfortable making purchases from a business they trust, resulting in higher conversion rates and larger average order values.
Building trust and credibility is crucial for the success and sustainability of any business. If your business values its ecommerce, this Google guidance is not to be missed!