A typical new visitor to your website will determine whether to stay or leave within the first 15 seconds. Since the web got infinite alternatives to your site, it’s crucial that you immediately instill a sense of trust.
So without further ado, here’s 10, 16 ways to make your site seem more trustworthy at first glance.
An aesthetically pleasing site will show the visitor that you’re serious and didn’t just hack something together in the dark hours of the night.
A well-designed site (not to confuse with over-designed) shows that you’ve spent time and money on it, instilling trust.
It’s important to show new visitors that the content they’re seeing isn’t on some old abandoned site left for the eternal Internet archive.
Display some recently updated content (with a date) to show that your site is up to date. Having a blog or an embedded Twitter feed are great ways to show your site and people behind it are still active.
People don’t trust a website - they trust the people / brand behind the website. That’s why you should use real images of you and your team. This way people can see that a real person is behind your site, and not some robot. It humanizes your website.
You can take this a step further by using videos to present you, your team, or your products.
Social proof – showing that other people use and trust your site – is a very important factor in establishing trust, as it’s deeply rooted in human beings to look at how others behave and then mimic it.
Social proof can be as simple as having a Facebook fans / Twitter followers / RSS subscribers counter or user comments on your site. Alternatively, you can also use more detailed and in-depth “proof” such as customer case studies or video testimonials.
Slow loading sites tend to come across as less serious, degrading the trust relationship.
New visitors will feel familiar with your site much faster if it’s easy to use.
A well-structured site tapping into the most common web conventions goes a long way in making your visitors feel familiar with (and thus in control of) your site.
Partner logos, services you use, trade organizations you’re affiliated with, places you’ve been reviewed, site seals, etc. – it’s all good ways to leverage the brand power of other organizations. Affiliating yourself with these brands shows you’re in good company, suggesting that the visitor will be in good company with you too.
This is why you often see sites boast “Seen in New York Times” and so on – even if the actual mention had negative elements. If you sell something and don’t have any other brands to tap into then simply showing the logos of credit cards you accept on your site is better than nothing.
A good about page is a great way to quickly instill trust in new visitors curious about your site.
Make the visitor feel she knows you and your site better and send her to the primary content on your site – content she is likely to be interested in.
On the Internet anyone can be anonymous. Don’t be. Displaying your real address tells the visitor you have nothing to hide. Furthermore, if the visitor knows the place, you’ve got something in common too.
If you live in a more obscure place and cater to an international audience, then consider showing your address on a map. Actually showing your address on a map makes an otherwise unrecognizable address seem more trustworthy, as the user can literally see the place exists.
Obvious grammatical and spelling errors on your site will immediately tell the visitor that you aren’t taking his time serious – a bad start for establishing trust.
In our experience, grammatical and spelling errors are more forgivable on informal channels such as your blog, Twitter account, Facebook page, etc – part of the appeal is that the content hasn’t gone through multiple layers of marketing teams, copywriting, proofreading, etc. On your more formal channels and all static pages hiring a proofreader can be a good idea and easily worth the cost.
Do you know other ways to make a site seem more trustworthy at first glance? Then share them in a comment.
Join 22,000+ readers and get Baymard’s research articles by RSS feed or
Topics include user experience, web design, and e-commerce
Articles are always delivered ad-free and in their full length
1-click unsubscribe at any time
I would add having a authoritative content. When content looks like you really know what you are talking about (even if you don’t) it seems more trustworthy.
Thanks for the suggestion Janar.
Thanks Sara, I’ve added them both.
Really excellent article fellas!
Your perspective on humanizing the experience was really refreshing! I like to say, “Start with being a real person.”
“Obvious grammatical and spelling errors on your site will immediately tell the visitor that you aren’t taking his time serious – a bad start for establishing trust.”
I hate to say it, but this site as a whole does suffer from #10. It’s a pity, because otherwise the articles are insightful & thought provoking.
Not having English as a native tongue will result in some grammatical errors. We’ve used external proofreading services for the static pages (sales page and about page) as well as for the usability report.
On the more frequently updated content channels (primarily these articles) you are, however, stuck with our own proofreading.
Im really grateful for this article! I will try to use every single step you wrote.
Same here Kuhinje, I will also be going to implement the above too. Christian did good job by sharing this.
This is probably obvious, but worth stating. I find testimonials helpful; especially if they tell visitors what we were able to do to help solve a problem and how success was measured.
Thanks for a great suggestion Donna, I’ve added it to the list.
Sorry for the late response.
I would like to add that it helps if your business has a story to tell.. something interesting that users can relate to
As mentioned in a few of the other comments testimonials and product reviews will help considerably too!
Hi, thanks for the suggestion. I’ve added yours to the list as well.
Be to the point about what you want people to know about you & why they are at your site. That’s not to say do it in 25 words or less but at the same time don’t waffle on for a good 25,000… I’ve been to some sites that just have seemingly endless amounts of text. it’s not inviting, it’s just plain disturbing.
Did I miss this but I didn’t see anything about having a Norton Seal on your page.
Hi everyone, this is a very interesting article that I recently covered as well. I wanted to know firsthand what really matters to website visitors when considering trustworthiness. Tellwut asked their voters variety of questions on the topic and these are some of the results:
- 63.17% said that they check website reviews before subscribing. Therefore, trustworthiness is considered outside your website as well.
- 48 out of 100 people stated that they usually read the “About Us” section which means that it is important for website visitors to understand better what the company is doing and who stays behind it.
- For the majority of the nearly 1100 people which is 23%, to know the brand prior to visit the website is more important than anything.
To see more about the social behavior online in regards to trustworthiness: http://bit.ly/15zH13F
All the tips become helpful when the blog or website owner put his 100% to market his/her website or blog to increase their Alexa rank as well as their visitors. I found myself doing some of the tips on this article. However, I never focus on showing my affiliate brands because I thought this would steel my visitors away from my websites.
Advertising- make sure if your page must have advertising, that it is page appropriate. No one wants to see the hottest trends for shoes on when looking at life insurance- and vice versa.
Also it needs to be discreet and tasteful- popups, page relocation and flashing blinking lights are ALWAYS a no!
Excellent info, but you missed one very important issue. Is the goal to ‘SEEM’ trustworthy or to ‘BE’ trustworthy? Your title implies these are instructions to only appear trustworthy, while actually not being so, which is scary. Aren’t you really trying to show how to communicate the fact that you TRUSTWORTHY? …and these are the ways to ensure your visitor gets it?
This are all in static , any suggestion on building the trustworthy by interactive ?
I hate websites that are cluttered and unreadable. I completely agree with it has to be aesthetically pleasing. Thanks fir sharing these important points, I think ever website should strive to communication in the best possible way; both in designing and content :)
Well done love how you spelt your words. I think humanizing your brand is often very crucial as to building trusted brand names and reliability to oneself online brands.
All great points including comments but it seems, no one mentioned about sitemap.
Site is very vital especially for bigger websites. A Sitemap is an XML file that lists the URLs for a site. It allows webmasters to include additional information about each URL: when it was last updated, how often it changes, and how important it is in relation to other URLs in the site. This allows search engines to crawl the site more intelligently. Though this helps more from listing perspective but it helps visitors realise that these giys are serious.
Secondly, often people do not mention contact details and only provide a form which seems you want to attend the customer as per your comfort or you are not comfortable in sharing contact details.
Often forms are not tested means if you need a mobile number than that field in the table should not entertain words.
I am not as learned as you all but I am just too curious to know and learn.
I am a professional astrologer and I did my website myself in past few weeks. So I k
Dont use different content from the title
Title says : 16 ways to make your website trustworthy
Content actually has : 10 ways :)
The first version of the article had 10, but then 6 additional items are added by commenters and we’ve then updated the article based on that. The 6 additional items are listed just below the article body text.
This article very useful for me !! thank you
Great article! Out of my experience, publishing phone and physical address helps a lot. Also, adding an option for users to leave a feedback is one of the most important things. The next one is LinkedIn profile with updated information
Also, you can integrate reviews from different platforms on to your website.
Really it’s very helpful to make a website and safe. I hope you write how to customize the WordPress website.
© 2021 Baymard Institute US: +1 (415) 315-9567 EU: +45 3696 9567 email@example.com