If you get a website, don’t take it for granted that visitors trust it. Because, who do you trust? Maybe it’s your family, your dog or your best friend, but chances are it’s not that brand new website you just stumbled across that says “BUY NOW! BUY NOW!”
When you run a website, an online store, a non-profit website, or are starting out as a freelancer, your success depends on how well you introduce yourself to new visitors and ideally gain their trust. How do you differentiate yourself from the millions of websites out there and show that you’re the “real deal?”
These website tips will help you build a site that looks trustworthy and professional:
A relevant custom domain
You’re asking people to take a chance on you and your services. But how can you expect them to do that confidently if you won’t even commit to a domain name? Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with starting out on a free subdomain with a website builder kit. But once you want a professional website (and you’re actually trying to make sales), that’s the time to commit to a custom URL like www.yourdomainname.com. Ideally, you’ll be able to get a domain name with one of the top level domains (.com, .org, .net, etc.). It’s sort of the website equivalent of moving out of your parents’ garage.
There are also hundreds of other gTLDs to choose from. If you decide to go that route, you’d probably want to keep it in the realm of professionalism.
Clean and simple web design
First impressions make a big difference when you get a website that your customers will trust. There is a lot of research, even from Google, on website visitor behavior, that shows that people make split-second decisions about whether or not a website is “right” for them. While you probably knew that already, it is a bit surprising how people make this decision. Research from Google found that people were most influenced by two design factors: “visual complexity” and “prototypicality”. In other words, people liked designs that were simple and familiar, which means that they prefer websites that “fit” into what they were expecting to see.
Therefore, a website that doesn’t look like what people are expecting is like a breaking a dress code on a social event. It creates a little bit of dissonance that makes people more skeptical. That’s why it pays to follow the most common rules of web design and always stay ahead of the curve when it comes to new design trends. If you are still undecided if you want to need a website, simply get a website quote from us.
Reviews and testimonials
Why do we care about what a stranger thinks of a local business website of a restaurant, a barber shop, or a random product? It’s because “social proof” is a powerful psychological influence. Before we take a step, we like to know if others have taken it before us and we are interested in their experiences. They don’t even have to be people we know. According to a recent consumer survey by BrightLocal, 84% of people trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations.
Think about adding a testimonials page to your website. You can gather testimonials from happy customers on your website and share them well-designed testimonials element. If you have permission to add their full name and photo, even better.
Logos and badges
A third-party logo or badge can also be an easy way to show off some visual “seals of approval” and boost your reputation. Maybe you’re a member of a trade organization, you’ve won an award, or you’ve been certified. Perhaps your non-profit qualifies for a certain charity rating or maybe you’ve been featured in a magazine. No matter what it is, knowing that reputable third-party endorses you can give visitors more confidence.
Nothing is more annoying for customers than having an urgent question and not finding any contact possibilities on a website. It doesn’t matter if you have a small local business or a large corporation. Your visitors will build website trust more easily when you offer sufficient contact methods. You can do that by providing a contact form, your contact details or even an online chat module on a website. The more transparent and accessible the methods are, the more a visitor will trust your website.
The internet is full of quick fixes, get-rich schemes, and emails from princes who want to give you their money. If you want to build trust, don’t let those serve as a model for your website writing. A website is similar to a salesperson in a shop. Websites that come across as to sales oriented or exaggerated can turn off savvy customers. If you find yourself falling back on marketing-speak (“innovative synergy”), vague statements (“we’re the number one service provider”), cliches (“a once in a lifetime opportunity”) or too many exclamation points (!!!!!), then it might be time for a rewrite.
For small businesses, the best results come from authentic, natural, and more conversational website text. Start by telling your story as if you’re talking to a real person. How did you get your start, what do you like about your work, and what makes you unique? Better yet, have a friend read it and ask them, “does this sound like me?”.
While visuals and authentic writing are important, it’s even better if you can back them up with some hard numbers. Write about the number of customers you’ve served, the number of years you’ve been in business, or the number of products you’ve sold. After all, there’s a reason McDonald’s famous sign says “Billions and billions served.”
If you’re a non-profit or charitable organization, it’s becoming a standard practice to share information on your finances on your website. This helps in showing how you spend your money, who your donors are, and what percentage of donations go directly to services as opposed to overhead or fundraising.
Get a website with clear policies and security
When you get a website and we talk about trust, a lot of what we are saying is, “Am I willing to give this person money?”. As a visitor to a new website, that’s a big leap to make. That’s why you can take some steps to make your online presence look even more reputable and secure.
Fortunately, the VEONIO website has HTTPs security, so your customers’ information is encrypted and secure. If you have an online store, it’s a good idea to take payments using the most reputable payment processors, like PayPal and Stripe. Both can be implemented in your shop if you have a VEONIO online store. If you have a non-profit organization website, there are also lots of reputable donation engines that will help people donate to your cause safely and securely, as opposed to just sending you a check.
In addition to the payment processing, it’s a good idea to write out your website policies, data protection statements, and contact information. In some countries like Germany, they are even required by law. If you have an online store, adding shipping, payment, and store policies are necessary and will avoid a lot of confusion for your customers. Spell out exactly what your return policy is, how long orders take, and any other issues or points of confusion. A page with frequently asked questions (FAQ page) is a great way to do this). Good store policies show that you have experience with all sorts of online store issues. Everyone will be on the same page and have confidence that you won’t take them for a ride.
Whether you’re just having a website to present your business online, sell online, take donations, or look to attract new customers, building trust is a major goal. With a little effort, your website can send the right signals and make people more comfortable doing business with you. Any other thoughts on what makes a trustworthy website? Let us know in the comments!