You know that your website is to be trusted, but you’re just one person behind a screen. Aside from your friends and family, no-one who visits your website is going to know a thing about you. In order for them to take your website seriously, and as you intended, then there needs to be a degree of implicit trust. They can’t have doubts about who you are, your credibility, and so forth. They have to believe! Of course, trust is a tricky thing, in all environments. But there are things that you can do. Below, we take a look at nine actions that’ll have your visitors on your side from the second they’re on your landing page.
A website could have the best content on the web, but if the package it’s wrapped up in looks substandard, then it’s going to have difficulty convincing people of their credibility. As such, make sure you have a top-quality design for your site. It shows instant authority, and perhaps even more than that, shows that the people who run the website understand the web and take what they’re doing seriously. It doesn’t have to be a groundbreaking design, but shouldn’t look like it’s from the early 2000s.
Keep Things Simple
Internet users can be a sceptical bunch, and with good reason. If anything’s too complicated or out there, then they may have doubts about the authenticity. Some websites go way too heavy on jargon speak, which, instead of making the website sound more intelligent, just raises doubts (like why say something intentionally wordy if it’s good in the first place?). You’ve got a mission with your website, so let that do the talking, rather than making your site intentionally complicated. If it’s good content and so on, they will come.
Take Security Seriously
Cybercrime is the most pressing tech issue of our times. We’ve all read about those big data breaches in recent years, and they’ve had a big impact on people’s perceptions of websites and the internet as a whole. Should I trust this website? It’s not a question people used to think about, but now it’s at the forefront of their mind. As such, the security of your website is not something that you can take lightly. Make sure you have all the correct safety practices and defenses in place. To not do so is to risk losing any trust you’ve built up in recent times; once a website has been compromised, and their customer’s data stolen, no apology will suffice. Those customers will not be coming back.
People have never been the most patient of creatures, but the issue does seem to have gotten a little worse in recent times. Perhaps it’s because we’re all used to having everything we wanted in front of us instantly, but whatever it is, we’re not willing to wait all that long. If a visitor stops by your website and it’s taking too long to load, then it won’t be long before they’ve clicked the ‘X’ button. It’s not just the slow-loading time that affects them; it’s also the mistrust that this slowness invokes. If a website isn’t speedy, then something is going on behind the scenes that are not quite right. It should be your aim to avoid anything that gives them doubts about your credibility, so you should always make sure your website is optimised.
Avoid Dark Patterns
You may or may not have heard of dark patterns, but you’ve probably come across them if you’ve spent any amount of time on the internet. They’re the things that prompt you to do things using, well, shady tactics. For example, a website that wants you to sign up to its email list might give you two options: “yes, sign me up” or “no, I don’t care about improving my life/the world/my kids/whatever.” It’s emotionally manipulative, and it must work on some level — otherwise, why would they do it? — but it’s not to be encouraged. Trust is based on respect, and this seems like an obvious lack of respect.
You want your website to be as successful or profitable as possible, but you shouldn’t force the issue. If you’re relying on annoying features to grow your email database and make more revenue, then yes, it might work in the short-term, but it’ll be a disaster for your long-term success. It’s not so much the features themselves that cause the trust issue (though they are annoying…), but rather what they imply. Would a company who had their act together have to resort to such practices?
A website can look like it’s got everything correct, but then, upon closer inspection, raise doubts in the mind of the visitor. Take, for example, a website that is never updated. It could have excellent content and so forth, but if the last blog entry was 2016, then a visitor will reasonably question whether this site is still in operation. As such, it’s important that you’re taking the time to keep your website updated. It’ll show that you’re still alive and kicking – if the only posts are from years ago, it’s hard to tell whether the company is still in operation.
Testimonials and Reviews
It’s all good and well doing things to make people trust your website, but it’s even better if you can have other people make your visitors trust you. Studies have shown that testimonials and reviews have a tremendous impact on a person’s view of a company. If you’re in the selling business, make sure you’re publishing all your fantastic reviews for others to see — they’ll make a big difference.
Finally, you’ll want to have an ‘about us’ page or section set up on there. People are more likely to trust a website if there are details and photographs about the people who are running things.