Trust and successful web sites

On the web, the success or failure of a web project depends on how much trust web users put on it. I recently launched a site survey where I asked to my readers to tell me more about their Internet connection. This was several days ago and actually nobody answered. That was a failure but why did this happen? Simply put, though search engines have shown a certain interest and trust to this blog, my readers still don't recognize it as a trusted site. I'm not talking about security and privacy, but about what really turns a casual visitor into a devoted user: trust.

In a recent seminar I took in Rome last month, I extensively spoke about trust on the web from a pure marketing perspective. I pointed out how trust increases the percentage of selling a product. Further, with the coming of a new social era made up of sharing platforms like Facebook and Twitter, trust has become viral, in the sense that a simple share or tweet can trigger a virtually endless chain of reading/sharing/trusting sequences in all the people that have access to the shared resource, such as friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter.

So it's trust and trust is viral. My audience asked me how web technologies and standards can affect the process of trust. Actually, they can affect this process only from an accessibility and usability point of view. The overwhelming part of this process, instead, lies in the ability of a web site or company to share the human side of their brand with their audience. Trust is a human emotion and humans trust more other humans than machines or inanimate objects.

It became clear to companies that they actually need to project a human image through their digital self made up of company web sites and products. If you can associate humanity with a logo, a brand, a company or a product, then the average percentage of generating trust is very likely to raise in the short and long run.

This blog is technical for the most part of it. Technicality has to do with machines and, as I said earlier, this doesn't generate trust, because people perceive it as cold and distant. So be human because trust is only human.

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