The internet is a competitive place. With a seemingly infinite number of websites just waiting to steal your visitors, it’s a fight to be found in the first place, having to jump through all manner of digital marketing hoops. Targeted web traffic is just one piece of the jigsaw, too. Once visitors arrive at your site, you have to get to work to convince them you’re worth their time.
But how? It takes seconds to make a first impression – between 10 and 20 according to Jakob Nielsen – so you’ve really not got long to instil a sense of trust before the visitor to your site bounces and goes to find a competitor. Let’s take a look at what you’re doing wrong.
You don’t maintain your site
I mean this in the nicest possible way, but have you considered the idea that maybe your site’s kinda ugly? A well designed, well-structured site, with intuitive navigation and a sign-posted user journey will help visitors feel at home right away. Don’t try and reinvent the wheel, but tap into common web conventions so visitors feel in control when they move around your site. You ready to make a change? Test it!
And, while you’re at it, check your site’s speed as well as its appearance. A slow site not only looks shoddy, but it wastes those precious first-impression-seconds by delivering partly loaded pages or crappy buffer animations.
Your copy sucks
What Browser Media hasn’t written about copywriting just ain’t worth writing about. Search engines love fresh content, but visitors do, too. Show off your recently published content, add a date, and prove to the big, wide world your brand is live and kicking.
Tell a compelling brand story through an engaging About Us page, write punchy, attention-grabbing product descriptions, and be authoritative in your tone so visitors know that you know what you’re talking about. And for goodness sake, proofread.
You’re an enigma
In a world of chatbots and automation, it’s nice to know when you’re dealing with real people. It’s nice because it’s reassuring. If you can showcase the faces behind the brand, and ‘introduce’ visitors to your people, it humanises you and makes you more trustworthy than an anonymous bot.
Similarly, showing your business has a real address provides another level of honesty. Pinpoint your location on a map so visitors can see you’re real and understand that you actually exist!
You want visitors to take your word for it
Show that other people trust you with testimonials and social proof (guys, I love social proof). As human beings, we look to others for cues about how to behave so we can follow suit, and it’s this persuasive psychological trigger that makes testimonials and reviews so successful in building trust.
In a similar way, you can use partners you work with, your client base, or associations you’re affiliated with and take advantage of the trust they’ve already got. If a well-known brand is willing to put their name to your service, then surely you must be a trustworthy company. This could be as simple as displaying recognisable logos, or maybe something more in-depth like a section on your site where you publish your media coverage.
It’s time to show visitors to your site that you’re a brand they can trust
If it’s been a while since you had someone critique your site, it’s probably time you asked for some feedback – ask a friend or family member to take a look, or use an exit pop up to ask visitors what they thought of your website (you’ll be surprised how honest people can be!). You’re probably too close to give an unbiased view of site design, usability, or tone of voice, but someone impartial, or unfamiliar with your brand could reveal something you hadn’t thought of.
When you’re looking to update your site, do so with caution, running CRO tests whenever possible. If you’re looking to make your site trustworthy, take these potential mistakes onboard, and make changes that will help your visitors feel safe in engaging with your brand.