Trust is very important when it comes to online shopping. This needs to be very important for every shop owner. Projecting trust is going to help with conversions and also boost traffic to the site too.
The article is going to look at building trust and how it is going to help in boosting your site’s SEO.
E-commerce has become one of the most important aspects of our lives in the past two decades, and most consumers can easily know whether they are getting the “trustworthy feeling” from a site or not.
There are trust elements that are obvious, but there are some that happen without even realizing it. When it comes to ranking on the search engine results page, trust can make things better for a couple of reasons. Before looking at how you can boost trust, let us first have a look at some of the factors that are going to affect rankings.
Search Engine Ranking Factors
This topic can easily be a long article on its own, this is why we are not going to go too deep. There are many resources out there that can help you learn more SEO ranking factors.
You most likely now know the algorithm by search engines is not public knowledge. SEO experts around the world agree that there are some factors that search engines like Google use when it comes to ranking websites.
SEO Ranking Factors
When you improve the SEO ranking factors, you are going to see some improvement in your ranking which is going to affect the trustworthiness of your site.
Google usually looks at these factors before they reward websites with the top positions on the search engine results page. Ranking at the top is a signal that a website is good and has engaging content. When a website ranks on the first page for given keywords, it helps make the website look more trustworthy.
We are not going to go deep into details of the ranking factors, but they are going to be talked about from time to time in the article. You can research more about SEO KPIs and which ones of them you need to be tracking so you can know what to put more attention to.
How to boost your SEO while building your brand trust
The section below is going to look at some of the things you can do to boost trust in your site and also boost SEO.
Following good design practices
You know you only have one chance at making a first impression. This is applicable to both your social life and also e-commerce.
Good design is going to help build trust
We are living in the 2020s. If the website looks like something built three decades ago, the visitors are not going to feel it when they visit your site, especially if you are in the B2C market. Good design is important because it speaks to your brand style and reflects the effort the company put into it.
When the site has clattered images and content and also too many colors, pop-ups, and banners, it sends out the wrong message, and shoppers can be repelled by that. Poor design is a turn-off. Having turn-offs on your site is a sure way of killing conversions.
Apps modern design
You need to choose a “clean” design such as a neutral background with spaces between the different elements. Easily digestible content and easy-to-read fonts are important, avoid super long chunks of text. High-quality images are very important when it comes to an eCommerce site, but you also need to be careful so that the file size isn’t too big, or else the page is going to take longer to load.
The structure of the site is also going to count. Make it easy for shoppers to navigate the site and find what it is they are looking for more easily. Don’t make the shopper have to click around too much.
Another thing that has become important when it comes to ranking is the mobile site design. It is important for every site to look good no matter the device they are accessed from. Mobile is becoming more and more important because more than half of the traffic online is on mobile devices.
All of this boils down to user experience. When someone visits your site, it needs to be easy, smooth, and aesthetically pleasing.
Good Design Boosts SEO
Good design is important because it will make the shopping experience more pleasant.
User experience is one of the factors used when ranking pages as mentioned above. Google tracks your site’s click-through rate (this is how often users click on your backlink on the SERPs). They are also going to look at the site’s bounce rate (this is the percentage of people that are going to leave the site within a few seconds) and dwell time (this is the time users remain on the site).
Google uses these signals to see the relevance of your page relative to the keywords you are ranking for on the SERP. When more people click on your site and then remain or long on your site, it lets Google know that the site provides users with the information and content they are looking for.
Improving product pages
The product pages on your site are very important because they can individually rank on the SERP. It has become even more important to have your product pages optimized because Google announced that products are going to appear in organic searches.
There is also the new section introduced by Google on the SERP where it is going to appear when someone is searching for a product. This feature is only available in the US for now.
The new section is known as “Popular products”, and it looks like the Google Shopping results appear on SERPs. The new section is only for organic results and not paid ones (you will have to upload the products into the Google Merchant Center).
To make things simple, we are going to focus on two factors, texts and images.
Product images build brand trust
We have talked about how good design is going to help in building trust. Product images are part of the design. It is important to have enough images on your product pages. There is nothing worse than visiting a page with a product thinking it is cool and you only see one image there.
Shoppers are interested in close-ups of the product
You need to give your users many options when it comes to images and angles so they can get a feel for the products. You should make the seller feel like there is something you are hiding. When you check out some of the most successful sellers on platforms like Amazon, they offer many high-quality photos.
Make sure the images are zoomable. You should invest time and effort in learning about techniques to improve your product pages.
Product images improve SEO
It is important to produce your own images because it is going to improve your results. There is a good chance that someone else is selling the same products as you unless you are producing your own products. If you choose to use the same manufacturer’s image they are using, then it can be bad for you.
Why is it relevant?
Google has said over and over again how they love original content. This is why you need to go the extra step of taking your own images. There are many resources online that will help in creating beautiful images.
When it comes to SEO, more images are good because it provides you with more room for on-page SEO tweaks. You need to be careful when dealing with alt texts and image file names. They are important because they explain to Google what is on the picture and are also used by screen readers (these are browsers for visually-impaired people).
Careful image optimization is going to be important when it comes to helping images get discovered for the relevant keywords on Google image searches.
Good content builds trust
A good product description and also the text on the site are going to help in building trust. Like with product images, many shop owners often have uninspired text that was written by the manufacturer on the product description page.
You have the chance of separating your shop from your competition by coming up with your own text on your pages. Take the time to learn your audience then speak as they speak. If it is a niche market, then you need to use the lingo used commonly by the community. This will make them feel like you are an insider.
If your audience follows sports, then you can make the trust you by using expressions like “the second half of the season” and “gear up”.
Good content improves SEO
The point for texts and images is almost the same. Google likes sites that have original content. For SEO, more text is good because it gives you more room to add keywords throughout the product pages.
Displaying Customer Reviews Builds Trust
One of the most important tools when it comes to building brand trust is having customer reviews. You need to keep in mind there is a wide range of options when it comes to reviews and it is important to know them.
There are three common categories of reviews:
Shop reviews: this is where customers give feedback about a given online shop (the customer can rate based on customer service, delivery, etc.)
Product reviews: this is where customers give feedback on a given product that they purchased (they can give feedback on the quality of the product they have bought)
Local reviews: they give feedback about a physical shop.
How trustworthy are online reviews?
Customer reviews can help in building brand trust
It is a good thing for customers to sing your praises. Studies have shown 91% of people aged 18-34 trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This has made online reviews almost the same as word-of-mouth marketing.
When you let customers leave reviews and display them on your site, it sends out a message that you have nothing to hide and are proud of the products and services you offer. When you host the reviews on your site, it prevents them from leaving the website to go and look at your reputation on Google.
Customer reviews improve SEO
It is obvious that customer reviews will help in building trust. They can also help in boosting your SEO in more than one way.
Online reviews can have a big impact on product page rankings in the SERPs. When there is a constant flow of new reviews, it is going to boost the perception of the brand. It is also going to increase relevant keywords on the pages.
If you choose to participate in Google Ads (or Google Shopping), then getting reviews using a Google partner is going to let you display the ratings on the ad. The reviews can also come up on the SERPs organically. This is going to significantly improve your click-through rates (it can be up to +17%). This is good for your brand because it is going to reduce ad costs too.
Searching for a given product is going to help the product pages appear on the result page with the ratings.
There was a UK consumer survey done by Trusted Shops that showed the importance of online reviews on both SEO and trust:
76% are more likely to visit a given shop if it is ranking the highest on the SERP
97% of them said they are more likely to visit a shop that they have bought from before when they search for a given product
When it comes to the online shopping habits of consumers, brand trust and search engine ranking go hand-in-hand.
If you can rank on the first page of the SERPs and have customer reviews displayed, then there is a good chance you will convince potential customers to buy from you. There is also a good chance they are going to visit your site directly the next time they need something.
Investing time in content marketing
Content marketing can sometimes be confusing for some people. Content marketing means creating content so that you can rank highly for keywords then increase traffic to your site.
Content marketing builds brand trusts
Although the main goal of creating content is increasing traffic to the site, the concept isn’t to be seen as misleading. The process involves creating relevant content that your audience is interested in and can learn from. This should be seen as a positive. You are giving them a real value that they are going to benefit from.
This approach works best for those in niche industries because there is a high demand for quality content, but low supply.
Publishing a blog
You can boost the product page rankings by publishing a blog on new products.
If you are able to build bridges between the topics you are writing about and the product page, then you can have links to the product page on the post. When doing this, make sure you don’t come off as too sellsy.
The secret is to provide actual value to your audience.
Let us say you have created a post about cheap ways of cleaning carpet stains. Let us say you have listed five ways, and one of them involves pushing the product you are selling, the visitor is not going to mind that.
When you post give tips that only kinda work, the visitors are going to assume your goal is only to sell your product. This is not going to help with brand trust.
- Below are some more ways of using content marketing when building brand trust for your online shop.
- Creating transparent contests that are promoted on your social media accounts so that you create a buzz about your brand.
- Publishing content promoting positive experiences that shoppers have had with your brand (video testimonials/ case studies, positive comments/ user reviews)
- Featuring in-depth explanations about your stock issues/ shipping/ return policy and other things customers care about
- Publishing content that can help your target audience solve their problem
- Featuring personal stories about your employees and brand
Content marketing improves SEO
The content you create is most likely going to be full of important keywords relevant to your audience. Create unique content that focuses on both quantity and quality (Google loves longer blogs) because it is going to improve your on-page SEO and also increase visits to your site.
Make sure you have added links to the product page in the blog articles because it will produce internal links, which is a sign that the pages are important to your site, and this can help these pages rank high too.
When you promote content that you have published on the blog, it can result in many blog comments and social shares. This is going to boost your online presence and improve engagement.