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Web Presence: the Latest Trust-Busting Turnoffs

Posted on the 12 November 2015 by Marketingtango @marketingtango
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Web Presence: the Latest Trust-Busting Turnoffs

Ask any integrated marketer: when trying to engage visitors, trust is a must. The cornerstone of every customer interaction. Without trust, engagement (if it happens at all) will be empty and superficial…and worse yet, short lived and unprofitable.

So what are some factors that fuel site-visitor mistrust?

A Neustar/Ponemon Institute study of 750 U.S. adult internet users identifies several crucial (and easily correctible) trust-busting issues, including:

#1: Content Errors

Nearly all respondents–91 percent–said they do not trust sites that contain errors or other inaccuracies. Examples may include:

  • Mistakes in spelling, grammar or punctuation
  • Incorrect or outdated product or contact information
  • Inconsistencies between pages, sections or content

#2: Sites that Crash

Another red flag for consumers is when sites are frequently unavailable or go down often or unexpectedly. Eight-eight percent of those polled say they do not trust sites that appear to be unreliable.

#3: Sketchy Security

Perhaps not surprisingly, respondents cited several security-related concerns that inspire their mistrust of a site:

  • Seemingly lax identity and authentication procedures (75 percent)
  • Knowledge of a recent data breach (63 percent)
  • Inadequate personal-information safeguards (55 percent)
  • Use of password-only user identification (31 percent)

#4: Looooong Load Times

For reasons not mentioned, a whopping 67 percent of those polled look with suspicion at sites that take several seconds to load. Perhaps users suspect some nefarious, behind-the-scenes data-skimming or click-monitoring scheme. In an online world fraught with risk and danger, such apprehension would not be surprising.

What is surprising, however, is how notably consumers’ expectations vary by market vertical. For some reason, respondents overlook (and almost expect) slow load times for government and financial services websites. But for social media, entertainment or shopping websites, forget it! It’s a ‘give-it-to-me-now’ mentality that leads to missed opportunities.

To the list above, we would also add not posting your company privacy policy. Failing to disclose what you do with information collected through your site may give users another reason to cast a wary eye.

Preserving Your Reputation

We recommend regular website reviews and content audits, and that marketers thoroughly vet and proofread all content prior to posting. Using qualified in-house staff or outside professionals can help you prevent trust-depleting content errors.

Another prudent preventive measure is working with your developer to conduct ongoing security reviews and software updates. This can keep you up to date and out of trouble, with little or no impact on daily operations.

Check out our website and web presence archive for more tips on securing and maintaining your biggest marketing asset.


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