How to Design a Website That Inspires Trust
There is a common saying, that you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Since your corporate website is likely to be the first image prospective customers see, it is crucial that your website builds trust. Factors that contribute to trust are transparency, user-friendly and attractive designs, relevant content, security, social media presence, excellent reviews, and certifications.
1. Create a Professional and Attractive Design
Focus on the user experience as the key to creating a website that is guaranteed to build trust and convert prospects to customers. Relevant content, sophisticated graphics, and strategic design choices that enhance your website’s ease of use will impress visitors and promote a positive brand image. Live chat and professional photography are two elements sure to invite new visitors in visually, offering the option of interaction if questions arise.
One of the main principles that define good design is a visual hierarchy. What this means is you design your website based on what order a visitor’s eye sees different elements. Utilizing color, size and visual images effectively relays information quickly and highlights key information.
Another important design consideration relates to the use of white space. The strategic use of space between visuals and text is also critical to achieving the desired impact. When you consider that the white space helps to shape the appearance of the information, too little white space is uninviting to a reader and may actually cause them to leave the site or page.
2. Disclose Everything and Be Transparent
Transparency about any terms and fees or other transactional information is crucial to building trust. No one likes fine print that seems to be purposefully hidden or is too easy to miss. Any important information must be obvious and clear.
Website designers must always remember that there is a cost/benefit relationship attached to website visits. Visitors are only willing to spend so much time on your site to get the information they want before they turn to alternate sources. Professional website design ensures ease of use and builds trust.
By designing the site so that contact information, terms, and fees are conspicuous and easy to locate, visitors are more likely to stick around. Don’t make visitors work hard to locate the information they want. Visiting your corporate website should be a pleasure, not a chore.
3. Provide Relevant, Useful and Current Content
When a prospect arrives at your site, it is safe to assume that they are looking for information. It is crucial to anticipate the questions that prospects will have so that you can adequately provide answers. Remembering that it usually takes more than one website visit to convert a prospect, it makes sense to focus on offering high-quality content to keep them coming back for more information until they finally buy.
Salesy sites turn off a lot of prospects and do the opposite of building the trust necessary to establish a relationship. Showing your website visitors how to solve their pain via case studies, articles and FAQ pages will help them find the answers they need to ultimately buy. Essentially, helping others find solutions builds trust.
Keyword research and general industry research that is necessary to remain competitive will show you what information your readers want. Employees and marketing managers can also gain insights from their marketing teams to discern what questions prospects are asking. Ongoing feedback should be analyzed.
4. Let Them Know Their Data Is Safe
In this era where consumers are constantly bombarded with newscasts about hacking and data breaches, the public is understandably careful and takes care of their online security. Before customers will release even the most basic information such as email addresses, names, and phone numbers, they need to know how your website and company is protecting their personal information. Building trust with consumers demands that your company protects customer data.
Multi-factor authentication and anonymous storage requirements should be considered viable security strategies to reassure prospects that they can request information or purchase products without risk. Keeping customers aware of changing security policies and allowing them to easily opt-out is also a good way to show good faith to customers.
Words are cheap. All business professionals tell customers that they are security conscious. Taking action and utilizing audits from objective third parties to verify site security is a proactive way to show how important data security is.
5. Promote A Presence on Social Media
Third-party endorsements via social media are golden as consumers look to peers to decide whether your business is trustworthy. Publishing logos of partners or customers is an effective strategy that legitimizes your business. Certain names and logos carry a lot of clout in terms of promoting trust.
Consumers expect to see you reach out to them where they spend time. In the digital age, a social media presence is expected and assumed. It is important to remember that your savvy competitors will be on social media sites where they expect their audience to be playing and working.
While all the social media sites represent a different demographic, it is crucial that you identify the most appropriate platforms. Then, you have to show up. By consistently offering good information and maintaining a high profile, a company increases the odds that they will become a trusted resource.
6. Provide Reviews and Certifications
Certifications and reviews on a website add credibility. Obtaining and posting reviews from trusted sources on your website is an excellent way to prove your company’s reputation. Trusted third-party reviews or quotes from prestigious publications like the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal can definitely bolster your image.
Certifications that prove that your company is operating professionally should always be visible. For example, placing a Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating that is excellent can mean a lot for industries that receive a lot of negative feedback. Since the Better Business Bureau is well-known, most consumers recognize the symbol and respect an A rating from the BBB.
7. Optimize Website Performance
Buyers are impatient these days, accustomed to getting the information they need as soon as they click “search.” If your website does not load quickly, you are at great risk of losing a lot of visitors to other sites. Slow sites are considered unprofessional, which undermines trust.
Loading times must be fast on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. Since different buyers are likely to use different types of electronic devices, businesses must ensure that they manage site performance on all devices. It is too expensive to waste money attracting traffic if they are likely to bounce off the site due to slow speeds.
As websites continue to take center stage as the new marketing arm for companies, it becomes more important than ever to build trust with a professional website that offers value. Focusing on the design so that visitors enjoy their website visit without frustration or a long wait time is key for converting visitors to customers. Corporate websites are the new “showroom” of today, where marketing professionals must work their magic to attract and sell customers.