As the saying goes, it can take 10 years to build trust and 10 seconds to ruin it. This is true when it comes to websites. More so than ever before, first impressions play a vital role in whether your visitors stay or go.
There are several aspects to consider when designing a website to ensure that users will be able to trust you.
(1) Secure HTTPs
HTTPS is a communication protocol that offers a secure connection whereas HTTP does not. This is important for sites because, in 2014, Google started to include HTTPS into its ranking algorithm.
Take a look at any well-known brand's website and you'll see a padlock to the left hand side of the URL. This indicates to users that the site is using the HTTPS protocol and is secure.
Making the switch from HTTP to HTTPS is a job for the web developer and requires purchasing an SSL certificate and updating HTTPS references on your site.
Having an HTTPS site not only helps your relationship with Google, but it also improves your overall authenticity and trust, which in turn makes it more likely that users will trust your website too. They won't be scared off by "not secure" messages popping up and will feel comfortable about spending time on your site.
(2) Testimonials / Reviews
Before purchasing a product or a service, consumers want to know how previous customers felt about the experience and if it is worth spending their money. So, by showcasing reviews and testimonials from past clients and customers they can decide whether they trust you.
Even if a proportion of your reviews are less than five stars, it can be beneficial to post these as it shows authenticity. People are more likely to trust and believe a mix of reviews that show a range in rating over short reviews that are all five stars.
(3) Show Human Faces
We are more likely to do business with a real person, rather than a faceless entity.
People are more likely to trust what you have to say if you are willing to put your face and name to your content. When you're confident enough to be held accountable for your work, users will feel closer to your brand and content.
(4) Helpful Resources and Current Content
Having a blog on your site where the users can go to read relevant and useful resources not only improves the chances of winning great quality high authority links, you will also win the trust of users.
It's important that the content on your site is up to date. No one will trust a page that hasn't been updated since 2012.
Further, people come to your site looking for useful information and resources. When they consume your information, they can be introduced to additional content, as well as services or products you have to offer.
(5) Badges of Payment Methods
According to the National Fraud Information Center, 25% of people didn't purchase anything online last year due to fear that their information would be stolen .
Adding logos of secure payment methods you offer will help users trust your site, and minimise abandoned carts.
(6) Show Social Proof
Most trustworthy businesses will have an active and current online identity, whether in the news or on social media.
If you want more people to trust you, make an effort to build an active online presence so that people know you are legitimate.
When others see that you have a fair few followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc, this establishes authority.
Ultimately, trust is not built overnight and in order to be successful in this process, you have to put yourself in the shoes of your visitors. By following these steps you can improve the credibility and authenticity of your website and therefore increase the number of conversions happening on your site.