So, you’ve forked out for a flashy new website for your business. Next, you’ve paid to send traffic to the site – the audience is relevant and well-targeted, but they are just not converting! At this point you’re hundreds or even thousands out of pocket on this marketing campaign, and ready to give up… Chances are, your website is missing some basic features that are going to build trust, and ultimately convert your website visitors.

In that last sentence I mentioned ‘building trust’. This is super important for a local service business – in a lot of cases, you’ll be working in/on somebody’s home, and unless you’re going to rely entirely on word of mouth, you’re going to have to persuade people who haven’t heard of you before that you are trustworthy enough to come and work on their home.

In this article, we’ll briefly go over three key elements that you can easily add to your website and achieve what we discussed above.

1. Social Proof

Reviews and testimonials is what we’re after here. Research done by Bright Local found that 97% of consumers aged 18-34 read online reviews to judge a local business, while 78% of consumers aged 55+ are satisfied after reading 1-6 reviews online. This is huge, and if you aren’t leveraging this properly then you’re leaving money on the table. Their research actually goes as far as to say that people will be put off by lack of reviews.

So how do we do this well? There are good ways to display testimonials, and there are not-quite-as-good ways. Let’s start with an example of the latter:

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Okay so it isn’t terrible – in fact it’s better than having nothing at all. However, why would I trust this testimonial as a prospective customer? It might be legit or it might not be – it is just some text and a name. Let’s look at some examples of better social proof.

Lawnmaster are using video testimonials to build trust with their website visitors:

lawnmaster testi

HubSpot published an article on using video testimonials for a business website. One of the key things they highlighted there was that authenticity and emotion you get from a video with a real customer. It does exactly what we’re trying to achieve: building trust, and it’s a great step towards a converting visitor.

One more example: at Mello Cleaning we use GrooveJar to display a live feed of customer reviews directly from the Facebook page. The reason why this is so effective, is that website visitors can feel confident that there is a real person at the other end – they can see the name, the face, and even click through and see the review live on the Facebook page.

mellotesti

In summary: People do trust online reviews, sometimes to the same extent as they trust personal recommendations. Use testimonials and reviews on your website, and make them authentic and persuasive. Human faces are important.

2. Borrowed Credibility

If the traffic coming to your website is completely cold (as in, this is their first interaction with your brand), then they have no reason to trust you. However, we can ‘borrow’ credibility from brands and places that they have heard of. There are a few possible ways to utilise this.

Firstly, you can go with the ‘as seen on’ route. This can be as simple as recognisable directory websites such as Yell or Freeindex, or if you’ve been featured in a local newspaper, a TV interview, a podcast or anything like that, these can all work too. We’re just looking to bring in familiar logos and names that will convince the visitor you’re legit.

 

Most industries (construction in particular, this screenshot is from a roofing website) also have professional accreditations that can be acquired and displayed. This is another one worth doing, and another step towards that all-important conversion!

3. Personality

The final thing we’ll touch on in this article is personality – taking the first steps towards building a connection between yourself/your team and the visitor. We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it: people trust people, and if you’re going to be working in/on somebody’s home, you can be sure that they’ll at least want to know what you look like beforehand.

This is where things like a ‘meet the team’ page or section comes in.

The final thing we’ll touch on in this article is personality – taking the first steps towards building a connection between yourself/your team and the visitor. We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it: people trust people, and if you’re going to be working in/on somebody’s home, you can be sure that they’ll at least want to know what you look like beforehand. This is where things like a ‘meet the team’ page or section comes in.

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Code7 (pictured above) have a useful article which provides advice on what should be included on such a page – for example name, job title, responsibilities, and social media profiles. It doesn’t need to be all business either – sometimes people may feel more of a connection with your team when you write about non-work related things like hobbies, volunteer work, etc.

 

And finally, one other way you can start to convey your personality through your website is by writing a blog. Writing a blog has loads of benefits – like social media, it allows your customers to stay up to date with what you’re doing – and for new customers, it shows that you’re an active business. Furthermore, you demonstrate your expertise and position yourself as such. This is even more effective if you can get people to sign up for regular email content. If a person is not ready to buy, but is consuming your content weekly, you can take a pretty good guess about where they’re going when they are ready to buy!

So what can you write about on your blog? Well, as above – two of our primary goals with doing that is to 1) connect with website visitors and show that we’re active, and 2) position ourselves as industry experts. As such, your blog content should reflect a mix of those things – some updates about the company (awards, new employees/promotions, other news), and authority posts giving advice that your audience will find valuable (tips and tricks is usually a good place to start). This plumbing website blog has good examples of ‘tips and tricks’ / general advice blog posts.

 

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