How to create a website that your visitors trust

So you’ve managed to increase your website visitors, but they just don’t seem to be sticking around… Did you know establishing trust within the first 10-20 seconds is a crucial step in maintaining your users attention?

September 7, 2023

Most users typically scan a website's content to grasp its general vibe. Trust is usually established in the first 20 seconds, so first impressions really do count! There are several strategies you can employ to pique their interest right off the bat.

Enhancing your website's visual appeal can lure them to stay a tad longer, and maybe get them to click that all important "Call To Action". However, to forge a stronger bond with potential customers and persuade them to buy, subscribe, or complete your desired action, there are a few things you need to consider.

Website design matters

The appearance and structure of your website is paramount in establishing initial trust with a user. If your website lacks aesthetic appeal, it's probable that visitors will leave within that initial 10 to 20 second timeframe. Key elements to keep in mind for increasing engagement with your visitors include:

  • Professional, modern, and uncluttered visual design
  • Appropriate colour scheme
  • Accessible - we recommend following the WCAG guidelines
  • Easy to navigate
  • Unique to you and your brand

The layout of your website is not to be overlooked. Easy to use navigation ensures users can swiftly locate and consume information, users generally prefer having pertinent details within 2 or 3 clicks or about 20 seconds. So don’t go hiding your menu in some obscure corner of the screen or hiding pages within pages that would require a PhD in archaeology to dig out.

From a visual standpoint, your website should combine aesthetic allure with a polished and professional look. It's imperative that your site has an established brand. If you don’t have a brand colour palette, we advise focusing on 3 or 4 harmonious colours that resonate with your business, customers, and industry. If you need some help understanding exactly which colours will work for you, drop us a line and we can help you out.

Ultimately, cultivating trust between your business and the user relies on your website exuding professionalism.

High-Quality content

When crafting content for your website, two critical aspects must be considered. The first is uniqueness, offering exclusive information to your users that they can't find elsewhere, this will also dramatically boost your search engine rankings.

The second factor is value; ensuring the information you put on your website is beneficial to the user fulfilling both their needs and your website's purpose. Trust is fostered when your content aligns with users' interests, making them more likely to engage with your page beyond that crucial all important 20 second window.

When generating content, adhering to these simple, but essential, three principles will help you instil confidence in your users:

  1. The first rule is accuracy. Blatant errors or conflicting facts in your content could damage your reputation.
  2. The second principle is timeliness; users won't be interested in content that's obsolete or no longer pertinent.
  3. Lastly, ensure your content delivers the greatest possible value in its respective form.

Content selection should be dictated by your target audience and the most effective medium to convey your message should be considered, be it video, infographics, written material, or a mixture of all of the aforementioned.

Always have an SSL certificate

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a technology that creates an encrypted connection between the user and the web server. It ensures the secure transfer of personal details, mitigating the risk of third-party interception and potential data theft. Therefore, integrating this additional layer of security can significantly enhance the credibility and trustworthiness of your website.

Display accreditations that you've obtained

Often, reputable governing bodies or institutions related to your website's purpose have accreditations that you can display on your website. These are a great way to gain credibility and showcase your expertise and leadership within your industry. It informs the user that certain standards are upheld and that your business and its services have undergone scrutiny by an authoritative body.

This undeniably reassures users that they are dealing with a legitimate and reliable business. In some industries, having and displaying certain accreditations is required by law, so not displaying them will deter users and could ultimately cause legal repercussions.

Provide a cookie policy

In the EU, having a cookie policy is now mandatory and required by law. It is the on the onus of the website to ask for consent from users before storing or retrieving any information on a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Even if your operations aren't based in the EU, seeking users' permission only serves to elevate your website's trustworthiness.

Remove anonymity

Trust can be a challenge to cultivate when you're an anonymous presence behind a screen. Users might question who is operating the website and how they can reach out to you.

An effective way to bolster your website's credibility is by including photos of yourself of you and your team, thereby reducing this uncertainty. Accompanying these images with personal individual contact details allows users to directly connect with your staff, team members, allowing professional relationships to be established and built upon.

We all feel better when we know exactly who we’re dealing with!

Highlight business relationships

If you can showcase evidence of successful relationships with previous clients, it increases user confidence in your credibility and reliability. Some ways to demonstrate these relationships include:

Customer testimonials

Incorporating customer testimonials on your website is an excellent strategy, as they significantly contribute to enhancing your website's image. If you've also had the opportunity to be featured in any form of publication, ensure to display the logos of the companies that have acknowledged you.

Review websites

Several companies, such as Google Reviews and TrustPilot, provide widgets that you can embed on your website to display user reviews of your services. If you have a good review score on any third party sites, it would be a crime not to display it on your website as it will greatly enhance customer trust.

Licenses, accreditations and awards

If your business has earned accreditations from either a bureau or trade organisation, don't hesitate to highlight it on your site. Additionally, displaying any trade licenses is always a good idea as it simplifies the process for users to verify your business credentials.

Don't shy away from flaunting any industry awards your business may have achieved - you've earned it!

What does it all mean?

Numerous strategies can be employed to build trust with your website users, but never forget the importance of those first 20 seconds.

Don’t let their first impression, be their last impression.

If you're in need of assistance with building trust with your visitors don't hesitate to get in contact, or if you're seeking a complete website overhaul, we've got you covered. For website support and hosting services, feel free to reach out to us anytime.

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