Making Your Site Trustworthy
Earning visitors’ trust is essential to your business website’s success. If visitors don’t trust your online brand, they probably won’t buy your products or services. There are ways to make your website more trustworthy, so that mistrust doesn’t hurt your business’s sales.
Upgrade your Web Design
According to a study conducted by the Nielson Norman Group, the average internet user will decide whether he or she wants to stay on a website within just a few seconds of loading it. Therefore, you must capture visitors’ attention while conveying your website as an authoritative, reputable brand by using an attractive design. Avoid using free templates or themes for your website’s design. Instead, hire a professional web designer to create a premium, unique design that accurately reflects your business’s online brand.
Use the HTTPS Encryption Protocol
More than three-quarters of all web pages loaded by U.S. internet users are now encrypted with the HTTPS protocol, according to a Firefox Telemetry report. If your website still uses the conventional HTTP protocol, you should consider switching to HTTPS. Like HTTP, HTTPS handles the way in which data is exchanged between a website and its visitors. The key difference is that HTTPS encrypts this data by turning it into illegible code so that hackers can’t read it. With HTTPS encryption on your website, visitors can rest assured knowing that their personal information is safe and secure.
To use the HTTPS protocol on your website, you must buy and install an SSL certificate on your server. Visitors will then see the HTTPS prefix, along with a padlock icon, in their web browser, indicating that your website’s traffic is encrypted.
Display Trust Seals
Another way to make your website more trustworthy is to display trust seals. Also known as a trust badge, a trust seal is a logo or icon that instills confidence in a website’s visitors. Although there are exceptions, most trust seals are offered by cybersecurity companies. And to legally display them on your website, you must purchase and use the company’s cybersecurity product. Displaying these trust seals shows visitors that your website is secure, so they are more likely to trust it.
Some of the most popular, widely recognized trust seals for websites include the following:
- – SiteLock
- – Shopify Secure
- – McAfee Secure
- – Trust Guard
- – VeraSafe
- – BuySafe
- – GlobalSign
- – Better Business Bureau (BBB)
How effective are trust seals at building trust with a website’s audience? According to an Econsultancy and Toluna joint survey, trust seals are the single most important element influencing whether visitors trust a website, even more so than a professional design.
Use Real Pictures
The allure of filling your website with hundreds of cheap $1 or $2 stock photos may sound alluring, but you should use real pictures instead. Stock photos, while professional, often look fake and inauthentic. They feature professional actors and actresses in a generic landscape without any specific imagery that relates to your business’s online brand. Because of this, visitors are less likely to trust your website if it features stock photos. It takes time and resources to create real photos for your website, but doing so will help you build trust with your visitors.
Most stock photos are also sold as non-exclusive usage rights, meaning other webmasters will probably purchase and use them on their sites and marketing material as well. And if a visitor sees the same image on your website that’s published on another website, he or she may distrust your site, believing that you stole the image.
Display Social Proof
Considering that 69 percent of U.S. adults use some form of social media, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that displaying social proof can make your website more trustworthy. Social proof, like trust seals, is designed to project your website as being trustworthy.
There are different forms of social proof, one of the most common being Facebook likes. A Facebook like button with counter, for example, allows visitors to like the web page on which it’s published while also displaying the total number of likes the page has received. If your homepage has attracted 250 Facebook likes, this button will show that 250 Facebook users have given it their thumbs up. There are similar buttons available that display the number of Twitter retweets and Pinterest Pins a web page has received. If your website is powered by WordPress, check out the Social Media Share Buttons & Social Sharing Icons and Social Count Plus plugins.
Furthermore, you can embed Facebook posts and Twitter tweets in your website as social proof. If a user wrote a positive review of your website on Facebook, grab the embed code and paste it into your website’s HTML.
Make It Easy for Visitors to Contact You
When a visitor has a question, comment or concern about your business, he or she may attempt to contact you through your website. Therefore, you should design your website so that visitors can easily contact you. This shows visitors that your website is a legitimate business that cares about its customers.
Include your business’s contact information within your website’s theme or template so that it’s displayed on every page. Additionally, create a “contact us” page that includes a web-based form where visitors can send you an email.
When was the last time that you published new content on your website? Visitors are more likely to trust your website if it features fresh, new content. A business website isn’t something that you can set and forget. Once launched, you must regularly publish new pages of content so that visitors have a reason to return.
Try to update your website at least once a week with new content. In addition to publishing new pages of content, go back and edit existing pages on your site.
All commercial ventures require strong trust between a business and its customers, and your business website is no exception. Lack of trust will prevent visitors from engaging with your website, resulting in fewer sales. You can build trust with your site’s visitors using these seven tips.