If your website doesn’t appear trustworthy, no amount of SEO or traffic is going to help you. Keep reading to learn about 4 major website trust factors…
Before you even begin to think about ways to drive more traffic to your website, your priority needs to be improving your conversion rate … and the first step is to make sure that your site is trustworthy.
Think about it… before a visitor is going to hand over their information to you, they need some reassurance that your business is worth their trust.
While there are many factors that determine whether or not your site is “trustworthy,” the basics are to ensure that your contact information is clearly visible on your site, that you are using SSL on your shopping cart, that you have reviews or testimonials, including a LiveChat app, etc. The more trust factors, the better.
A professional design also helps, and it should go without saying that your website should not be riddled with spelling errors or broken links. Familiarity also breeds trust … in other words, there is a reason why most shopping carts all function similarly.
Believe it or not, studies have shown that you only have about six seconds to create a positive impression with your visitors. That is not a lot of time to make a good impression, but it is certainly enough time to make a bad one!
In 1999, Jakob Nielsen listed 4 ways in which a website can communicate trustworthiness: design quality, up-front disclosure, comprehensive and current content, and connection to the rest of the web. In recent studies, these very same factors continue to influence users.
With all of that said, here are 4 of the major website trust factors that you should consider incorporating into your site in order to build trust:
- Professional Website Design (design quality)
- Contact Info, Privacy Policies, Prices, Guarantees (up-front disclosure)
- Valuable Content (comprehensive and current content)
- External Sources (connected to the rest of the web)
Let’s break each of these website trust factors down a bit more:
Website Trust Factors
Professional Website Design
A professional website design is one of those things that you know when you see … or don’t see. Now, when we talk about a “professional” website design, we don’t necessarily mean that you have to hire a web designer. Nowadays, there are tons of WordPress themes, and plenty of DIY bloggers that are able to create a very professional website.
The first way that a website communicates trustworthiness is through the design. After all, that is the first thing that a user will see when they visit a site. Everything from the way a page is organized to the imagery to the color scheme … every visual element contributes to the overall professionalism of the design. And, every lack of attention to detail, such as typos, broken links, and other mistakes, can quickly erode trust and make the site appear unprofessional … and not worthy of trust.
Contact Info, Privacy Policies, Prices, Guarantees
Also known as “upfront disclosure,” your business can communicate trust through your website by being very transparent about who you are, how to contact you, how you treat a user’s data, what your prices are (depending upon your industry), by answering frequently asked questions, by providing your shipping policies, by making sure that all forms and shopping carts are secure, by making your guarantees clear, etc.
All websites have content, but we would but that a majority of it is not valuable. Valuable content is comprehensive, correct, and current, and it should exude expertise and authority.
Users appreciate websites that have a large amount of relevant content. This can show that your business is well informed, and is committed to helping your customers.
While we certainly believe that you should include testimonials, case studies, awards and certifications on your website, you do need to have external sources of unbiased reviews. Linking to these external review sites shows that you do not have anything to hide.
Sure, there are more than just 4 trust factors; however, this is a good start and implementing them will go a long way towards making your site appear trustworthy.
Do you need help making sure that your website appears trustworthy? Fill out the form below to request a free consultation.