If you are in the service business, you know how important it is to establish trust and credibility. In the home service industry in particular, trust is the key ingredient for success. Home service technicians play a crucial role in the safety, quality, and comfort of the home. Understandably, customers need to be extra careful about who they allow in.
These days, the first impression of your business is normally made online. And the top question in the mind of the customer is “Can I trust them?”
How exactly do you establish trust and credibility on your home service website?
We’re here to tell you.
12 Ways to Add Trust to Your Home Service Website
Accurate and Detailed About Page
Customers want to know exactly who they are doing business with. A detailed about page is a great way to tell your story and add personality to your business.
Tell the story of your business and ask yourself what the narrative is. Rather than listing a bunch of facts, focus on the customer and what makes you human. Don’t be afraid to get personal, however, you don’t have to share every single detail.
Everything on the about page should be there for a reason. Cut out the fluff. This page is basically a well-prepared elevator pitch. People want to know what you do and why. Ask yourself what the reader is thinking and what you want them to think. It needs to reflect your company well.
Don’t forget to include your address and up-to-date contact information. Revisit your about page every 6 months or so to polish it up.
Real images of team members, service trucks, technicians at work at a real customer’s home—these all convey trust and transparency. While stock photos can be used on some interior pages, use only real photos on your home page, about page, and team members page.
A recent study by BrightLocal revealed:
- An image of an owner is the biggest trust factor (52%)
- No images on website inspire very little trust (16%)
Sometimes, you don’t have enough information to provide full bios for each team member. That’s fine, but remember that people do business with people, not companies.
You can increase your website’s trust factor a great deal by including photos of your team members with a short bio. This makes sure that your customers know who they are working with. Some information that describes experience, background, and personality is best.
If you don’t have individual head shots available, try adding a couple photos of your team in action. This can be a service call, fundraising event, or team meeting. Regardless, photos of team members add trust and character to your website.
Upfront Pricing (No “Hidden Charges”)
If you include the price of your service, maintenance, or repair charge on your website, make sure you stand by it.
Straightforward Pricing, Upfront Pricing, and Honest Pricing are used on a lot of service websites. The total price (including all taxes and fees) should always be made clear to the customer. Trying to hide extra charges will affect your customer reviews and make people not trust you or your website.
Clear and Thorough Contact Information
Clear contact information is one of the top trust signals. A recent study demonstrated that “thorough contact information” plays a significant role in establishing trust and credibility:
“When asked what causes them to leave a vendor website, 44% of survey respondents indicated ‘No Contact Information / Phone Number.’ When asked to rate website elements that annoy them, more than half (54%) of respondents indicated that the lack of thorough contact information reduced a vendor’s a credibility and thus would cause them to leave a website. When asked what types of content assets were missing on most company websites, 51% of respondents again indicated, ‘Thorough Contact Information (phone / email / address)’” (2015 Web Usability Repoert by Huff Industrial Marketing, KoMarketing & BuyerZone).
If you don’t have clear and thorough contact information, you are missing an easy opportunity to increase the trustworthiness of your website and business. Since many people rely solely on the internet for business information, your contact information/phone number needs to be readily available. Include your physical address for an even stronger trust message.
Easy-to-Read Phone Number
A large, easy-to-read phone number in the header of your website increases trust and conversion rates. The presence of a phone number indicates that you are readily available.
If you can, include a 24/7 designation next to the number so customers know that they can reach you no matter the time or day.
In this day and age, it’s important for home service companies to have a clear and conspicuous contact form. This form should be visible at all times and as simple as possible. If you can, limit the number of fields to 3. Pick a loud color for your contact form, such as red or orange.
If you do receive a message or request, make sure it works. The form should be delivered to the right person so they can get in touch with the customer as soon as possible.
Products & Services
When creating and maintaining a business website, you want to check off the basics first.
- Product & Services Page
- About Page
- Contact Page
“When you get to a vendor website, which section of the site do you look at first?” A little over 47% stated “Products and Services,” with 33% choosing the Home page and 16% choosing “About / Company Information.”
We then asked, “Once you’re on the Home page, what information do you want to see available?” The answer, “Products and Services”, was roughly the same as 2014, at 86%. Most surprising, however, 64% of respondents stated they wanted to see Contact Information, and 52% stated they wanted to see About / Company Information” (2015 Web Usability Repoert by Huff Industrial Marketing, KoMarketing & BuyerZone).
The information people want to see is:
- Products & Services – 86%
- Contact Information – 64%
- About Information – 52%
- Testimonials – 27%
- Marketing Collateral – 23%
- Social Media Icons – 12%
- Blog – 8%
- Pricing – 2%
Contact forms that don’t work, pages that are slow to load, 404s, and other errors on your website give off the impression of an unprofessional and careless business.
It’s better to have a simple website that is error-free than a complex website with lots of errors. Hire a web developer to conduct an audit of your site for broken links, slow-loading pages, and coding problems. Hire a copywriter to beef up all of your pages and get rid of spelling and grammar errors.
Don’t forget, your website needs to be responsive/mobile-friendly! If it’s not, that’s an “error” in our book.
Online Reviews and Reputation
Links to online review sites like Facebook, Yelp, Google+, AngiesList, and HomeAdvisor are perhaps the best way to add trust to your website.
Trust badges are extremely important, especially if you are asking for sensitive customer information, such as names, addresses, emails, and payment information.
People want to know that they are dealing with a legitimate website. Home service companies need even more trust badges to indicate the safety of their service.
This is often accomplished with trust seals and credibility markers from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), HomeAdvisor, NATE, EnergyStar, Technician Seal of Safety, ACCA, NCI, and authorized dealership badges from major manufacturers. If you do include trust badges, link them to the appropriate organization’s website.
Like it or not, social media not only influences your trust factor and overall branding, but can indirectly affect your search rankings as well.
Social media is a great way to build engagement with your customers, provide additional customer service, build links, and gain trust. Now that social media platforms, such as Facebook and Google+ are gathering reviews, customers are often going there first to check out star ratings and online reviews.
TRUST FACTORS when it comes to SEO
When SEO marketers say things like “relevance,” “authority,” and “trust,” they all refer to distinct topics that affect a website search engine ranking.
While authority relies on gaining links from authoritative sources, trust is lost when there are too many spammy links connected with your site.
Have a professional audit your website for Trust Rank Factors, such as:
- Trusted Links (No Spam)
- On-Page SEO
- Trusted Domain (purchase 5 years at a time rather than 1)
- High Click-Through Rate
- Low Bounce Rate
- Well Sourced Images and Content
- Matching Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP)
- Fresh Content
Step into your customers’ shoes
When looking at your website, ask yourself what kind of message it’s sending. Does it match up with the message you’re trying to deliver?
Don’t forget, when running PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns, always direct visitors to a landing page, not your website. Learn more about why landing pages are better than website for PPC.
Read our other blog posts for more information on web design and SEO:
- Website Design and Strategy for Increasing Calls and Conversions
- How Content Marketing is Replacing Extinct SEO Tactics
- Mobilegeddon or Mobiletopia: Your Guide to Responsive Web Design
- What You Need to Know About Google’s Phantom 2 Update
We offer two services that will help you accomplish your online marketing goals: Website Design (which includes original content) and Social/Local (which includes original blogging on your site once a week).