If you want to build a trustworthy website, it’s the little things that count. Including small details like a testimonial here or a trust badge there can add up to create a website that establishes credibility with your visitors.
That’s a great thing to shoot for, too, because everyone, from your customers straight through to Google, loves a trustworthy site.
These 13 tips help you build a trustworthy website
1. Make sure your website’s design looks great
Whoever told you not to judge a book by its cover wasn’t talking about web design! According to this scientific study, “Given the same content, a higher aesthetic treatment will increase perceived credibility.”
In simpler terms, that means that a better-looking website automatically inspires more trust than a poorly designed site.
2. Avoid spam, from both you and advertisers
We all know that spam such as pushy ads and full page pop-ups hinders free access to content on any site. When it comes to your own site, what’s nice is you have full control over how much of it you allow.
To keep your site’s credibility, don’t display spammy ads, and keep your own opt-in offers as unobtrusive as possible.
Most visitors are comfortable with sensible use of pop-ups and ad-space on a website. But simple tweaks like not showing pop-ups to returning visitors can keep visitors on your site.
3. Include an About page to put a face to your site
Showing your visitors that there’s a real person (or people) behind your website is a great way to build a trustworthy website. Your site’s About page can help you do that. It’s the first place readers check to learn more about you and it lets you share more about yourself, your team, and your mission.
Fortunately, most quality themes include templates for an About page where you can add videos and images to convey information and share photos of your team members. Oh, and no stock photos for this page, please.
4. Clearly display your contact information
Showcasing your name, address, and phone number (NAP) on your website is a safe bet to boost trust quotient. Usually visitors look for contact details in the footer or as a menu item, and it’s best to keep it that way. Besides being strong trust signals, contact details on your website can boost local SEO.
5. Include a contact form so that you’re easily reachable
Beyond the contact information above, you also want to create an easy-to-use form where people can reach you.
Contact forms are a more reliable and secure way of communicating with your website. Furthermore, contact forms indicate professionalism within your organization and send out all the right trust signals.
6. Add a blog and keep it up to date
A blog helps you share relevant information and builds a lasting relationship with your readers, all necessary to build a trustworthy website. And when you include useful and relevant information, your readers know you care.
However, you need to update your blog regularly. Otherwise, your readers may doubt if you’re still in business.
7. Display testimonials or reviews for social proof
Generally speaking, any feedback from third parties that endorses your services or products works as social proof. You can choose from favorable media mentions, testimonials from customers, the logos of companies that you’ve worked with, and more to build a trustworthy website.
Those great reviews you receive on places like Yelp or TripAdvisor or social media? Include them on your site.
And whenever possible, include real names and pictures from your testimonials/reviews, as it further boosts their credibility:
8. Use trust logos or symbols to show you take security seriously
Logos and symbols from reputed companies such as McAfee and Norton are instant trust boosters. This is especially true if you’re an eCommerce site where personal info is shared. For example, in a case study from VWO, adding a trust badge boosted Bag Servant’s conversion rate by ~72%.
In order to put customers at ease, include a number of popular payment methods and display the icons on the checkout page.
Likewise, badges such as logos of companies that recommend you, organizations that you belong to, awards that you’ve won, or security measures you’ve implemented on your site – bring them to the foreground to instill confidence in your visitors.
9. Showcase impressive follower numbers from social media, email, or other spots
If you’ve got a sizeable following, you really should let your visitors know about it. It indicates that you run a reliable business.
If your followers are on social media, you can add links to your social profiles and follow counts. Or, if you’re talking about email subscribers or customers, you can display the raw numbers using text:
11. Proofread your content
To build a trustworthy website, you can’t have simple errors lying around your content. It might seem like a small thing, but spelling and grammar have a big effect on your site’s credibility, with plenty of data to back that up.
Check this post for some tips on how to edit your content.
12. Use an SSL certificate to show that your site is secure
An SSL certificate helps you use HTTPS and get the green padlock for your website in people’s browsers. Not only does this make your site more secure, but it also helps you build a trustworthy website. For example, GlobalSign found that ~29% of visitors specifically look for the green padlock in their browser.
When visitors see the security badge on your website and the lock symbol on your website address bar, they know that their personal information is safe.
13. Always use a custom domain name – not a subdomain
Finally, avoid using free subdomains, like “yoursite.wordpress.com”. Essentially, what this tells users is that you don’t care enough about your website to buy a custom domain name that costs very little.
If you want to build a trustworthy website, including all these elements is a great way to boost your credibility with your visitors. It might take some upfront work, but many of these tips are one-time changes. So once you set them up, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of credibility for the rest of your site’s life!