How to Make Your Website More Trustworthy

So much time, effort, money and emphasis is placed on driving traffic to your website. However, the scary thing is that if they don’t like what they see when they land there its all been in vain!

On average, a person will only take a few seconds to decide to stay or leave your website once they arrive. Making it immediately trustworthy in their eyes can keep them longer and could be the difference between a gained customer or a lost sale.

With so many perceived online scams and potential dangers out there the hurdles to a sizable and profitable online business stream are real. Trust is essential.

Here are some tips on how to build that trust for your website.

Looking Good is a Winner 

Let me ask you a question; if you were interested in doing some shopping and you were standing on the footpath looking at two shops would you go into the tidy, clean, creatively named, colourful shop with clever window dressing. Or would you choose the dirty, dark shop with a haphazard window design and a strange name?

My guess is you would choose the clean shop and you wouldn’t be the only one!

These same rules of attraction apply to an online shop font – your website.

With so many clever and inexpensive programs and providers available in todays marketing environment there is no excuse for having a clunky, poorly designed and ugly website. A website should be beautiful, simple and functional.

This is the first step but does this make it trustworthy? The answer is that style and look is very important. With this in spades customers will think that you know what you are doing. A few quick tips include:

  • Avoid all caps paragraphs – this is terrible grammatically and looks amateurish instantly losing trust.
  • Try to avoid comic-sans and other similar fonts – its childish and unprofessional and again will make you look like an amateur.
  • Ensure your website doesn’t have any poor grammar – if you sound like you know what you are talking about the chances are the consumer will believe you do know what you are talking about. Tick!
  • Don’t use tacky or common stock images – if at all possible use your own images that have been professionally created or buy some that are beautiful.
  • Keep the layout of your website simple – the simple things in life are always the best.

Let Your Personality Shine Through

Tell me, why is your favourite bricks and mortar shop just that – your favourite? Is it because not only do you like the products that are available in it but that you like the people who run it? They make you feel safe and like you are in good hands. Essentially you trust their advice and product or service. You know that they care, its obvious in the time they have taken to present themselves. They care about their brand, their products and you the customer.

Your online shop must try to create this ‘personality’ and ‘care’ factor without any direct interaction. This must be conveyed through the messaging on your website as well as how it looks. Some basic points to this include:

  • Have a strong message on the home page of your website. Take time over your copy and branding messages so they create a personality for your brand that is true.
  • Build an ‘About page’ with pictures of your employees and a mission statement is a good idea too. Offer up some information about yourself, your philosophy and your journey.
  • Try to humanise your product pages by including pictures of real people using, wearing or interacting with your product.
  • Include reviews and testimonials where you can. They are important and can further build trust.

Make Sure Your Website is Up To Date

It’s important that a shopper is acutely aware that your website is current and relevant to your business this very minute.

Weather you are releasing new products or services frequently or not, make sure that all of the information on your website in regards to shipping, contact information, product information and more is all up to date. Take some time to go through product descriptions, as well as old blog posts to ensure that there isn’t any out dated information that may be misleading to a potential customer.

A good way to subtly display that you’re on-top of things is to have a media, news or blog page displayed directly on your storefront and that content is regularly added and changed to reflect any changes in the market or to your business and products.

Let Your Customer Know Your Website is Safe

Now more than ever, online shoppers are very aware of their privacy and security. With that in mind, if you are asking a customer to hand over their details, it’s important to be able to prominently display that a visitor on your website is browsing securely.

Display your secure badge SSL certificate symbol or a notice informing them that yours is a secure site. Or better still, do both!

Have an Active Online Presence

Australians are some of the savviest online shoppers in the world given our distance to many overseas brands. A typical behaviour of any online consumer, both here and abroad is to look for a further online social media presence. This helps to check the validity of your brand and see if you are active in your community.

It’s incredibly important to show you have an active voice and that you’re regularly engaging with your audience. It eases a buyer’s mind that you are who you say you are and that other people buy and use your product and/or service.

Be Easily contactable 

Why make it difficult for your visitors to contact you?

There is nothing more annoying and more intimidating than not being able to find a direct email or phone number on a website. Not being able to contact a business will completely turn off a sale.

If you are a trusting business then trust that your visitors will only contact you with reasonable requests and give them a direct line!

By setting up a simple contact form on your website or providing an email address you’re doing yourself wonders in the trust department.

By providing a phone number for customers to actually speak to someone from your company, the trust will grow.

End Note

Trust is a hard thing to build and it takes time, but as long as you stick to the truth of your brand, look good, stay up to date and keep it simple, your customers will believe in you and come back time and time again!


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Margot Stolle

Margot Stolle is a marketing professional with over 15 years experience within several different industries including: sports and events sponsorship; business and financial planning; and fashion. She also owns and manages her own brand of children's sleepwear which is e-retailed and has experience in designing and editing websites and managing social media platforms.

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