7 Steps to Gaining Visitors' Trust
Building Website Credibility
Trust is everything for a business. But it is now harder than ever to get customers to trust digital content.
According to research by Usability.gov
, the most important factor to web users is a website's credibility
. Having a credible website is essential to gaining the trust, and the business, of website users. How can you build credibility into your website?
Here are 7 ways to build a website user's trust:
1. Use "symbols of trust".
Symbols of trust are merely recognizable symbols that build the trust of your visitor. Some examples include:
- The Better Business Logo (if you aren't accredited, you can apply here);
- Logos of your current/past clients (particularly if they are recognizable brands);
- Any accreditations, awards, or organization memberships you may have as a business;
- Social media icons.
2. Include Testimonials.
While some people doubt the credibility of testimonials, businesses are required to use real testimonials by the FTC. Make sure your testimonials are: true, include as much information about the individuals / business providing the testimonial as they will allow, and indicate the specific product or service the testimonial is about (if possible).
3. Send a clear message.
If you use Adwords, paid marketing, or any other referral sites, make sure the landing page matches the ad message. Anything that is misleading to bring more visitors to your site will also reduce the credibility of your site, and result in fewer conversions. Don't use false, or even exaggerated, claims to get people to click to your site. It will just create anger and distrust in your site visitors.
4. Get a professional design.
You don't need to hire a company to have a professional looking design. Follow these simple tips:
- Use professional images, but avoid too many stock photos. Find out how to choose the best marketing images.
- Don't include too many links. These can be distracting - keep your navigation simple.
- Use a nice font that is the right size. Visitors will leave your site (and not come back) if they have trouble reading and comprehending your content.
- Don't include too much text, and make sure you double check your spelling. Many people associate misspelled words or errors with spam.
- Avoid placing ads on your site. Unless you use ads as part of your revenue stream (like many content sites such as Mashable), avoid ads as they will not only detract from your products / services, but also lead customers to assign more mercenary reasons to your content.
- Include a feedback or contact form.
- Regularly check for broken images or links, display issues, or other problems that will scare users away.
First impressions are important, so having a nice design will help build credibility in the first few moments.
5. Create a detailed About page on your website.
Having some generic marketing information on your About Us page will not help build a visitor's trust. Include employee bios and images, information about when and how your company was started, and links to press releases or articles about your business. Gone are the days of cold corporate Company pages on websites - its ok to get more personal and connect with your website users.
6. Include Social Media Icons.
Users tend to spend the most time viewing social media icons. They are familiar, and will also increase the trust in your users. Many users will want to connect with your page on their favorite social site to see what others are saying, or to see how many other people Like / Follow your page. This can either build trust, or be detrimental if you neglect your social marketing. If possible, include links to your social sites. If you have an active social media presence, you might want to consider embedding a widget so users can see how many likes / followers you have, view your posts, or like / follow your business directly from your website.
7. Make sure your website is secure.
What makes you trust a website? Share your thoughts below in the comments!