The Trust Factor – Have You Considered It

Psst … Hey buddy do I have a deal for you. I am from Nigeria and I need help retrieving my 23.6 million dollars and you are the only person in the world I can turn to. Guy pulls up beside you in a white van and mentions that he has stereo speakers in the back that retail for $4000 but is willing to sell them to you $500, but everything is totally legitimate.

Just the thought of any of the above sends shivers down my spine. This posting discusses the issue of trust and the importance that trust worthy websites will have on your business. What we are really exploring is the reason why there has been incredible growth in areas on the web outside of just search engines.

If you have a website you probably know what I am talking about it. Your web designer talks search engines, your search engine guy talks search engines, heck even traditional media talks search engines. I have always claimed, search engines are great tools, however the over-reliance on them is costing businesses in Calgary money. However, let’s stop looking at this from a business prospective, and look at it from our customers prospective.

The most common complaint I hear from people when using search engines is that they do a search for a local business or business category and end up with sites that have nothing to do with what they were searching for. You know, the people that build a web page with keyword content, slap some Google Adwords on their to make money and optimize their sites to capture your clicks when you are searching for a “calgary home renovations”.

Don’t get me wrong, search engines are the world’s best resource for researching information. However, when it comes to actually making a decision as to where to spend hard earned money, the growth of the traditional brands are becoming more important.

Have you heard of the Yellow Pages? Have you heard of the Calgary Herald? What about Barb and Darryl from CFCN Television? Chances are you have. These entities are real, they have already gained our trust. In association we trust the businesses that advertise there, only in so far as we know somebody else has done the leg work in identifying them as real businesses. Let’s examine for a moment.

Why do 62% of people who make contact with a business, after finding them on, purchase a product or service from those businesses compared to search engines that are used with the intention to purchase only 10% of the time? The reason, anybody using to find a business knows you cannot munipulate the listings and the results are always relevant. Some guy sitting in a room cannot decide today’s the day to optimize a web page for Calgary Plumbers and get first page ranking on

Everybody knows Google, MSN and Yahoo are real, there is no question there. But what about all the results they display? Would you trust everyone in those results with your hard-earned money? Do you really believe that when you do a search for Calgary Plumbers in Google, that there are 9470 plumbers in Calgary? These are some of the reasons why Google is constantly changing its alogithms to clean up its data and provide more relevant search results to its users.

Get well positioned within Google but don’t forget the sites that your prospects trust when they are ready to spend their hard-earned money. Sites like,, and other local sites. Since we started representing in 2002 their network traffic has increased from 1.5 million unique visitors per month to over 4.1 million in December 2004. In a world where according to some web design firms, “everybody uses search engines”, somebody forgot to send the memo to 4.1 million Canadians who spent a lot of money in December 2004 of this fact.

What if you spent all your time and money on Google only to have your prospect use a traditional media site to decide where to spend their money? My recommendation to ensure this does now happen, position your business well in the search engines AS WELL AS the local media sites and watch the revenues you generate from the Internet grow.

Your prospects already know which web sites they trust to make buying decisions and ultimately, this will determine how much money your business will make from its online presence.