Whilst working on a website rebuild for a small industrial distributor last week, I looked at the sites belonging to half a dozen of their competitors. To be honest, although I was familiar with the market sector and the technology, these competitors were quite niche ones, and I’d only ever heard of one of them. This meant that like many website visitors, I made snap judgments about the companies from just a few seconds reading a product page. I’m not sure whether the companies which struck me as looking competent, approachable and trustworthy were indeed the ones which are most competent, approachable and trustworthy, but that’s the way customers make decisions.
I’ve just read Is Your B2B Website Inspiring Trust? on Savvy B2B Marketing, which makes a great attempt at identifying the elements that make a website give the desired impression at a glance. The article lists eight things to look at, to which I’d add “Is the website talking to me?” and “Would it deal with a customer of my size/in my location/with my requirements?”
If you’ve got a few minutes to spare, put up a page from your website and ask those ten questions about it. If you’ve got a bit longer, see how your competitors fare.