Your Visitors Are Scared….

They don’t know if you’re a hacker sitting in the corner of dirty basement, looking to steal their credit card details, or a legitimate company. Gain their confidence and you’ll make sales. Image is everything – look professional online Here’s a ten-point checklist to find out how well much confidence your visitors have in you…

Number one Do you have your own domain name? If not, you may as well give up trying to make a sale online! I have made a few sales from free webspace donated by my Internet Service Provider, so it can be done… but as soon as I could afford it, I bought my own domain name

Number two Do you have professional hosting? This is quite closely tied to your domain name. I’ve seen people have a domain name that then forwards you to their free webspace. What’s the point of that?? If anything, it looks worse than simply hosting on free webspace. At least then you’re being honest. If you buy a domain name, and then forward visitors to free webspace, they’ll think you’re trying to pretend you’re a professional business when you’re not. I don’t imagine that gains much visitor confidence. Also, professional webhosts are there to host your domain. They’re not (usually) an Internet Service Provider, a grocery store, or a bank. Therefore, they charge you for one service, hosting. As you’re footing the bill, you can expect good service, and your site to be “live” for at least 99% of the time (I prefer to see 99.99%). A domain name with professional hosting is your foundation to visitor confidence.

Number three Do you list contact details on your site? If you list your phone number (“freephone” numbers are very cheap to get hold of, and look very professional), and your e-mail address, the visitor can check up on you. Usually, just listing your details is enough to instil confidence, but, if the visitor wants to check out that you own the domain name, or that your e-mail address works before they purchase, they can.

Number four Do you accept credit cards? Now this really is a “no brainier You can either get a merchant account secured on your business, or set up a free account. But either way, if you want to sell anything online, you must be accepting credit cards. In addition, the more cards you accept, the higher your visitor’s confidence will be.

Number five Do you accept other payment forms? Each one will boost confidence in you because, presumably, you had to go through an approval system to be able to accept the different payments.

Number six Does your website look like a dog’s dinner? Visitor confidence also comes from how your website looks. If it looks professional, loads quickly, and grabs their attention, you’re halfway to a sale. On the other hand, if it has hundreds of affiliate banners, broken graphics and badly written text, you’re not going to get very far. Is this a “no brainer”? Yes, looking back. But I remember my first websites very well, and I know how many times I reinvented them before I was happy with a professional look. My personal advice would be to have lots of white space, reasonably large, black text and very few images.

Number seven Is your personality in your pages? People don’t want to do business with a webpage, they want to do business with a person. Stick your picture on the site. Write with personality. Use “isn’t” and “wasn’t” instead of “is not” and “was not”. Tell a story if necessary. Think about when you visit a hardware store or a grocery store. How many times do you buy something without speaking to someone at the store?

Number eight Are you fast? People want speed and efficiency online. If you have bucketloads of it, you’ll gain the confidence of your visitors. Make sure your page loads quickly, you reply to e-mail quickly, and, if someone orders, you get the product into their hands in minutes with a personalised “thank you” e-mail (obviously, digital goods only can be delivered in minutes, but the same principle applies to anything sold online).

Number nine Can you boast of your success? Nothing inspires confidence like success. If you can indicate to your visitors how well you’re doing, and how you can help them, you’ll make sales.

Number ten Got confidence? Confidence, like laughter, is infectious. If you’re confident about your business and your products, you’ll convey that confidence to your visitors. Make sure you have top-quality products, write about how they’ll help your visitors, and they won’t be able to resist buying them 🙂

Number eleven Endorsements What do you mean, this is a ten-point list?? Testimonials are probably one of the biggest confidence boosters you can get. Visitors read them, and just can’t stop. I’ve seen some sales pages consisting of dozens of testimonials. There’s nothing better than a third-party endorsement of your product or service, so don’t be shy to ask your customers after several weeks of owning your product, or using your service, what they think of it. Hopefully the feedback will be good, so don’t forget to ask for permission to put it on your site!