5 Ways to Build Trust on Your Website
April 18, 2018
The online world can be a pretty scary place. We’ve all heard those unfortunate stories about people being scammed online, purchasing products that were falsely advertised, and service providers that ghosted halfway through a project. Absolutely horrible!
People need to know that you’re a trustworthy person for your business to be successful. It plays an essential role in whether people buy from you or not. It might seem like a challenge to exude know, like and trust on your website but it really comes down to 5 things. Keep reading to find out my top 5 ways to build trust on your website.
Look the part
Think of your website as a digital storefront. If it looked shabby or didn’t have clear signage would you want to go inside? Probably not. More than likely, you would walk on by and wouldn’t give it a second thought. First impressions are really important in the online world too. This is exactly why you need to have a professional looking website that speaks to your ideal audience.
Now, you don’t necessarily need to invest in a custom website. I totally understand that this isn’t the best fit for every single business owner. I talk all about who a custom website is for and who should DIY, in this post, right here. You can still DIY a professional looking website but please understand that you need to invest a great deal of time to work on it. You can’t just slap something together in 5 minutes and expect to see results from your website.
Whether you’re DIY’ing or working with a designer to create something custom you’ll want to keep a few things in mind to build trust with your audience. Overall, you want a clean and modern design that looks professional and resonates with your niche. Invest in high-quality stock images and even professional headshots if you can. Make sure your website is responsive and easy to navigate. And finally, double check your copy for grammar and spelling mistakes. Install Grammarly if you struggle with this. I know I do – Grammarly is a lifesaver!
When you do have the resources to invest in your digital storefront, do consider hiring a designer to create something custom for you. A good website designer will push beyond the aesthetics of your site and create something that truly fits your business goals. If you’re interested in a custom website, you can check out my website design services, right here. I’d love to learn more about your project!
Show your face
People want to see your smiling face so that they can connect with you. Adding at least one photo is essential to building trust online. The about page is a great place to start on your website.
If you can, invest in headshots that fit in with your brand personality. For instance, if your website has lots of white space and neutral colors, then your photos should be light and muted to match your brand tone.
If you aren’t able to invest in headshots at the moment, that’s alright. But it’s no excuse for not having a photo of yourself on your site! Even iPhone cameras take good quality images. Have a friend snap a couple of photos of you and put them on your site. Just remember to wear clothes that fit in with your brand identity and consider the backdrop of your photo before you snap the picture.
If your website is a personal brand or blog then you should have more than one photo of yourself. Push beyond the about page and consider adding images to your blog and homepage as well. That way, no matter what page someone lands on they will be able to see a photo of your pretty face.
Install an SSL Certificate
Security certificates or SSL Certificates protect purchasers information and make sure that things remain secure. A couple of years ago you only needed to have a security certificate if your website accepted credit cards payments online. Recently, Google started penalizing all websites that don’t have https:// in their URL. This means that Google is favoring websites that have this security certificate and giving a lower SEO ranking to those that do not.
Even more startling though, browsers are sending warning signs to users that their connection isn’t secure when they visit a website that doesn’t have a certificate. Even if they don’t accept payments and technically don’t need one.
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to make the switch over to https. At the moment, the warning sign is really small next to the URL (at least on Chrome) but we’re told that it’s going to start becoming more obvious. You might have already started to notice full-page warning signs to proceed with caution when you visit certain websites. These changes could really hinder traffic from actually making it to your website.
The good news is that many hosting servers have started offering free Less Encrypt SSL certificates. These are basically shared certificates that you can add to your website to get that https address and add a little more security. If you’re looking for a good hosting company, then I highly recommend Get Flywheel. I use them for my own website and love them! Plus, they offer free less encrypt SSL certificates.
One extra thing to note: if you are accepting payments on your website you will need to purchase an SSL certificate. The free Less Encrypt ones aren’t secure enough to handle that sensitive customer information. Talk to your hosting company about purchasing the right SSL certificate.
Share Social Proof
Testimonials from previous clients are one of the best ways to build trust on your website. In fact, I wrote an entire post about why I love testimonials so much and how to ask for them, right here.
Social proof gives potential clients or customers assurance that you’re a good and trustworthy person. They can read those testimonials to get a glimpse into your client process or find out what they will learn in a digital course. This provides proof that you know what you’re talking about and are legit.
It might sound a little harsh, but people are far more likely to trust testimonials from others than the sales copy that you wrote. Especially, if this is the first time they’re interacting with you. It takes time to build that trust with your audience and adding social proof to your website helps to speed that process along.
Update Your Website Regularly
A website that isn’t up-to-date with fresh content looks outdated. Depending on how long it’s been since your last update, it might look like you’re not even in business anymore. Posting fresh content on your blog is a great way to show that you’re still around and that you truly want to help others. Sharing what you know, as an expert in your filed builds trust with your audience.
I just wrote a post all about blogging and how you can create content that attracts the right readers. The most important thing to prevent overwhelm is to create a content calendar for the next couple of months and try to write your content, at least, one month in advance. This will make you less likely to miss those posting deadlines since your content is always ready to go ahead of time. For more tips and tricks, check out this post all about blogging.
If you’re not into blogging – that’s alright. I totally get that it’s not for everyone. But that’s no excuse to not update your audience regularly with fresh content. Sending out weekly newsletters, creating youtube videos, going live on Facebook or starting a podcast are all great ways to keep your audience in the know. Any kind of content will help to build trust and establish you as an expert in your field.
Building trust is critical to your website’s success. Without trust, you will struggle to grow your business and won’t see the results you’re looking for from your website. People want to purchase from companies that they know, like and trust. If you implement the 5 ways to build trust on your website, listed above, you will be on the right track to having a website that’s truly trustworthy.
If you’re ready to take the guesswork out of building a website that resonates with your audience than I’d love to work with you to create something custom. Fill out the project inquiry form to get started!
If you want a little extra help with your website but want to DIY, that’s cool too! I’ve got a website worksheet for you that will guide you through the process of designing a strategic website.