Visitors to your website looking to take the next step in their interaction with your brand need to know they can trust your brand and website before they become a loyal customer.

A business’ website is the perfect platform to build trust with customers. However, all your hard work will come to naught if youdon’t incorporate the right elements into your design.

Here are some sure-fire ways to show trustworthiness through your website and help make that conversion from website visitor to website customer.

Use a Domain Name

The very first step you’ll need to take is to make sure that your website has a professional domain name related to your business and isn’t using a free website host’s domain. This can be a non-starter for any potential customers and for good reason. When you’re looking for a domain, you’ll want to consider a couple of things.

  • Your business name should be incorporated, even if you can’t register the business name directly. If your business is that of a capsule filling machine manufacturer, you’ll want to include that in the actual domain name.
  • Check your domain name isn’t copyrighted before you use it.
  • Stick to a professional domain name extension and if you’re not an international business, use your country’s top-level domain, such as .co.uk for UK businesses or .com for US businesses.

Get an SSL Certificate

An SSL certificate is an assurance to visitors to your website that their connection to your server is encrypted and safe, which is particularly important if you’re accepting payments or exchanging personal information. Most modern web browsers will also display a warning if you don’t have an SSL certificate installed on your website. It’s one of the biggest signs of trust that you can display on your website.

SSL certificates can be expensive. The price varies between different authorities, but the cost is somewhere between $50 and $200. This is billed annually. If the cost of an SSL certificate is prohibitive, there are ways to get one for free from many of the major hosting companies, including BlueHost, HostGator, and SiteGround. Check with your hosting provider to see if you can claim a free SSL certificate (look in the security section on your site management dashboard).

Be Selective About Adverts

Your website’s adverts should be applicable to your industry and shouldn’t be of an adult nature or promote snake oil or scam-like products. This is your cue to veto any penis enlargement and adult entertainment adverts. Instead, work with partners to place adverts that are relevant to your business, if you have to have adverts at all.

Not only this, but they should be placed in a way that they are clearly adverts or promotions and not placed to try and blend them into your website design. That means making it clear that your adverts are actually adverts by marking them as promotional as possible, particularly if you include blog posts that are promotional in nature and you’re getting paid for them.

Using too many ads is just as bad as placing inappropriate ones. Beware of stuffing dozens of ads on a page with minimal text. It gives readers a bad experience and will hurt your SEO efforts.

Be Contactable

To appear reputable and trustworthy, you need to list your physical address as well as your contact details where you can actually be reached at. Being available for website visitors that have questions or would like to talk to you or your staff is important, and in the days of instant communication, you’ll want to give them options outside of just an email address or contact form. An on-site live chat function is an excellent option since chatbots work 24/7 and can deal with many simple queries.

Do make sure contact information is kept up to date and matches information posted on other sites, such as business directories. Discrepancies can erode trust in the customer and search engines.

Build Social Proof

Social proof is an interesting concept because most users won’t even notice that they’re taking stock of it being included but it plays an important part in building trust with your users. Social proof can take many forms, but the most common on websites today are things like testimonials and customer reviews.

Don’t filter out only the positive reviews either, let the ecosystem of your website reflect reality because no user is going to believe that every review received is a positive one. Lastly, build social proof by getting your website, brand, or products featured on other reputable websites and social media influencers who have their own circle of trust.

Ensure Good Design

The design of your website is very binary when it comes to showing trustworthiness. A professional well-built website will not make your users question your legitimacy, but it won’t add anything to your trustworthiness either, while a badly designed amateurish website will quickly turn people away from your business. Good, thoughtful design is a non-negotiable when it comes to building trustworthiness through your website.

Display Your Policies Clearly

One of the things new customers will want to know about are your policies on things like returns, your terms and conditions, and what your delivery policies are. You need to make sure these policies are easily accessible and made visible on your website so those looking for them won’t struggle to find them. Having your policies tucked away in a submenu might mean your customers won’t trust you as quickly. Consider making an FAQ page too that answers questions on your policies in easy to understand language. Make sure return policies are fair and legal.

Building trust with visitors to your website isn’t an easy task, but if you follow the advice listed here, you’re off to a good start. Ensuring you have a good domain name with SSL,generous returns policies,and up-to-date contact information are some of the most important things you need to pay attention to when you’re building your site.

About the author

Mark Coleman

Mark Coleman is the editor at MarkupTrend. He is also a technical writer and digital marketing expert. He handles all marketing, advertisement related activities at MarkupTrend along with his team.