Perfect scenario: All your visitors go to your website, browse through the product catalogue and click the “buy” button within 10 minutes.

Real scenario: There are hardly any visitors to your website. Even if there are any, they click away even before your website is fully loaded (not to mention browsing the product catalog). Out of 100 visitors, only 1 buys your products. Out of 10 who bought your products, 2 requested for refund.

Sound familiar?

If it is not happening to you, then it is definitely happening to a lot of business owners out there. The only reason why most websites are not making a lot of sales is because the visitors are not comfortable buying from them. It all boils down to the word: ‘TRUST’. If there is no trust between the buyer and seller, there won’t be any transaction at all. Will you ever buy from someone who you think might con you?

One question you can ask yourself: “When you are building your websites, do you have your visitors in mind, or only thinking of how to make more money from your visitors?”

The fact is, Your website reflect what you are thinking. If you are only keen making money from your visitors, they will know it in first glance and next thing you know, they click out of your website.

If you are facing such scenario, then following 20 tips will be very useful to you:

1) Design a professional website. It does not have to be a full flash website with a lot of animation. A simple website with a nice header banner, an easy to use navigation structure, organized content layout will be sufficient. A thing to note: a professional website serves to make your visitor life easier, not to overwhelm them with tons of video and animation.

2) Give a clear focus on what your website is about. If you are dealing with dog, don’t talk about cat.

3) Use simple and proper language that is easy to understand and get the point across. Do not attempt to confuse your visitors with superfluous words and content.

4) Regularly add new content to your site. It shows that the business is alive and kicking.

5) Make sure all your links are working. Dead links and error pages will affect your visitor browsing experience and give your visitors a bad impression

6) Publish REAL testimonials and third-party endorsements. Try to always use real names and link to websites where possible.

7) Include an ‘About Us’ page and make it personal and comprehensive. People always want to know who they are dealing with. If possible, include a photo of yourself to add to the credibility.

8) Provide a contact us page and make sure you reply all email request promptly. Most people like to make enquiry before they buy your product. Replying promptly is the best way to show them you care.

9) Don’t make false claim on your product and lie to your visitors. Bad news spread very fast. If you are making claims that you can’t support, very soon, your visitors will start to condemn your site on forums and blogs.

10) Be careful who you are linking to. If your site is about dog training and you have links to Party Poker, people are going to question your integrity.

11) Be careful of what you advertise. Ensure all your ads are relevant to your theme and audience.

12) Include a privacy policy. This will give your visitor confidence to leave their personal information with you.

13) Include a security policy. This shows that you are out to do an honest business.

14) Publish the refund and returns policy clearly. If possible, include a 100% money back guarantee for all your products.

15) Make your visitors feel at home. A good way is to allow them to comment on articles, interact and exchange of views. People feel more comfortable when they play a part in your website.

16) Use a high level of security when processing credit cards. Make sure you make your clients aware of all the steps you are taking.

17) Make your pricing transparent. If there is any additional charge (such as shipping cost, tax etc), let your visitors know in advance.

28) Keep your SSL certificate up to date. Let people know you are using SSL encryption and who the provider is.

Building a trustworthy website require great effort on your part. You have to constantly find out what your visitors want and actively providing them what they want. Remember, if you give what they want, they will give you what you want.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Internet Strategy Blog RSS Feed!