Does your small business’s website have the look of an ethical, legitimate operation? You don’t want your business to give customers the wrong impression. Making a few tweaks to your online profile can help consumers feel confident you’re a trustworthy business.
The World Wide Web is filled with fraudulent websites. Because the COVID-19 pandemic significantly increased the amount of time consumers spend online, those misleading sites are a growing issue. In fact, more people have lost money to an online purchase scam than any other coronavirus scam according to BBB’s 2020 Scam Tracker Risk Report.
As a result, consumers need to keep a close eye on any potential red flags. Does your website pass the test? Better Business Bureau put together the following checklist to help small businesses verify their website is trustworthy:
- Secure your website. A trustworthy business ensures their website has the capability to safeguard privacy and protect consumers’ sensitive information, especially if they are making purchases. Consumers look for the security lock and the “s” in https to signal the website is safe. Check the security features of your website host and look into an SSL certificate for added protection.
- Be accessible and reachable. A consumer wants to ensure they can reach you if an issue arises. Be sure to provide an official business address, phone number, email, and hours of operation. A trustworthy business is responsive and addresses marketplace issues quickly, professionally, and in good faith.
- A clear return and service policy will solidify a consumer’s purchasing decision. A trustworthy business is transparent in their business practices so there aren’t any unpleasant surprises. A consumer wants to know what their options are in case they want to return an item or there is an issue with the service, before committing.
- Use your own original images. Scammers tend to copy and paste professional images from official, big-name websites to pass off products as their own. Savvy consumers will do a reverse image search to verify whether the same image is used on multiple websites. If you aren’t able to use images of your own, purchasing stock images is a viable option too. Additionally, images of you and your team go a long way in building trust.
- Free of major grammatical errors. Typos can put off consumers and tend to be red flags of a scam. Ensure all the content that lives on your page is concise and informative. A clean, professional website builds credibility for your business.
- BBB Accreditation Seal. The Better Business Bureau Accreditation Seal demonstrates that a business meets the 8 Standards of Trust and has promised to uphold ethical business practices. If you’re an Accredited Business make sure you are displaying and showing off your Accreditation! Quick note to consumers: For this same reason, scammers may falsely use the BBB logo on their website to mislead consumers; verify whether the business is actually Accredited on www.bbb.org.