Did you know that most people form an opinion of a website within 0.05 seconds (50 milliseconds) of landing on it? With that first glance, people decide whether they can trust you or not — often based on the design of your website alone. A good website design builds trust. That’s why it is so important to focus on building trust when designing your website.
This article will go over five tips to help you build trust with website design.
An outdated design immediately brings up feelings of distrust and suspicion. If your website looks like it’s out of the 90s, it’s going to be hard for people to trust it. That’s why you need to get a modern, professional theme that looks great, is easy to navigate, and is clean and professional.
Let’s go over some things to pay attention to in this regard.
First, your website needs to be clean. That means you need to cut down on the number of pop-ups and advertisements on your site. You’re probably only getting a few cents per click from those ads, so ask yourself if they are worth it.
You also need to avoid self-playing videos, flashy colors, distracting animations, and anything else that adds more clutter than value. Use black text on white background, not white text on black background — the latter is just too hard on the eyes. In general, try to include plenty of white space.
You also need high-quality media. Use professional, premium photos in your posts, and use a great logo. Avoid public domain stock photos you found on the web or Google Images — many bloggers use the same public domain images, and it looks lazy.
Finally, your website needs to be responsive on all devices of all sizes. A mobile-responsive theme is a must. You need to make sure mobile users can access your menu, fill out forms, click call-to-action buttons, and read the text — the text shouldn’t be too wide for the screen.
We specialize in digital marketing, which includes web designs that work and convert. Get a quote below.
A strong brand helps build trust, and a strong brand requires consistency. While there are many things you should be consistent with, there are two main aspects that will stand out the most: your color palette and your tone of voice.
The colors you use in your branding should be consistent across all branding materials. That includes your:
- Social media profiles
- Offline flyers
- Television ads
- And so on
You might not have thought about it much, but there are specific color palettes that you usually associate with particular brands. Let’s go over some examples:
- Green, lime green, yellow, and white — Sprite
- Red, blue, and white — after the US flag, you’d probably think of Pepsi
- Red and yellow — McDonald’s
Of course, context matters. If you are buying a soda in the store, and you see Pepsi’s colors, you’ll automatically think of Pepsi; in another context, you might think of the US flag. The specific shades of those colors matter as well.
Color palettes help increase brand recognition and help people remember you.
You also need a consistent tone of voice. Keep a consistent tone of voice:
- On your blog
- On social media
- In your emails
- In your messages and conversations with consumers
That way, people will know what to expect from you. They will know you are consistent and stick to a certain set of values.
Social proof is important when building trust. When people come across a business online, the first thing they often look for is what other people are saying. People trust other people’s opinions online.
One way to highlight social proof is by showing awards or certifications you received. It doesn’t matter if the certification was big or small — most consumers don’t know the difference, and just having a badge affirming your award will often do wonders for your conversion rates.
If you did not receive any awards or certifications, you can always add simple trust badges to your website. Many WordPress plugins will help you do that. For example, you can add a Visa or Mastercard icon, a GoDaddy trust seal if you host on GoDaddy, or a DigiCert Trust badge if you have an SSL certificate from DigiCert.
Testimonials are important too. Try to get a few testimonials from customers and display them on your site. You can make a separate page with testimonials that you link to, or you can display a testimonial or two in your footer or sidebar.
Important: Make sure to include pictures and names with your testimonials, so people feel that the testimonials are coming from real people.
The reason testimonials work so well is that people put a lot of trust in online reviews. Testimonials on your website might seem somewhat less trustworthy, so consider linking to or highlighting reviews you have received on other platforms as well, such as:
Since those reviews are on third-party platforms that you do not control, people tend to trust them a little more.
In addition to text testimonials, consider embedding a video testimonial. In a video testimonial, the speaker can tell a story and connect with their audience more. Videos by actual people often seem more real than a short paragraph with someone’s picture next to it.
Case studies on results you have achieved for your clients are perfect as well. You can make all kinds of claims and promises, but nothing beats real results, backed up with real data.
A good website design will make it easy for visitors to get in touch with you will drive more sales, as people will be able to ask questions and relieve common pre-purchase doubts and hesitations.
However, by making it clear how people can get in touch with you, you also help build trust. It shows you are transparent with your customers and that you are ready and willing to answer any questions. It also shows you are confident in the value of what you have to offer.
Some things to highlight on your website include your:
- Phone number
Your address is especially important as a local business. Consider also embedding a Google Maps widget, so people can find directions to your location in Google Maps. Need help? Contact us today.
Having an email address is the bare minimum, but having a phone number that people can call to talk with a real person builds even more trust.
You can display your contact information in your header, sidebar, or footer. You can also add a contact page to your sidebar menu, but people shouldn’t have to look around your website for a way to contact you. You want your contact information to be clear and visible from the get-go, as soon as customers land on your site.
Make sure any contact information on your website is consistent with the contact information listed on your local citations.
Finally, you need to show that you are an authority in your niche and that you know what you’re doing. If you offer plumbing services, for example, or you are an HVAC technician, how will people know that you are any good at what you do?
A great way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise is to offer valuable information on your blog. A blog allows you to not only help people but also show that you understand common problems and have the solutions to fix them. You can also talk about common mistakes that people make — including other professionals in your field — so people know you are unique and provide a better service.
Building a social following is another effective way to show authority. That goes back to the social proof aspect we talked about — when a lot of people follow you, it shows that others value your opinions and trust you, which builds trust in new visitors.
It’s not enough to have a lot of followers, however. You need your followers to engage with your content. If you have a lot of followers but no engagement, it will seem as if you bought followers, which is terrible for building trust.
Here are some tips for building up a social following and showing authority on social media:
- Fill out your bio and upload a professional logo or photo
- Post helpful content consistently
- Mix up your content
- Post images and videos
- Consider posting helpful links to resources published on other websites (as long as they are not competitor websites)
- Like and share posts made by others in your niche
- Encourage discussions and comments
- Respond to comments
At the end of the day, it all boils down to trust. Can consumers trust you enough to give you their money? If you can build trust, you will increase your conversion rates, improve your online brand and reputation, and get more sales. You will also get more word-of-mouth referrals. A good website design will build the needed trust if you follow the steps outlined above.
In addition to these five tips, always provide excellent customer service, both before and after a sale. Providing professional support is an integral part of building trust. Be attentive and make your customers feel heard. Accept feedback, including constructive criticism, and use it to improve your services.